Back in the ’90s Chris Read was living in Dallas and playing in a couple of bands. He moved to Oregon in ’97 and was involved in more musical acts until arriving at his current project entitled Quiet!
Read and company released Before The Embrace...A Kiss. His music is varied and eclectic ranging from ‘70s glam to solo acoustic guitar twelve string action. The music is fairly cohesive despite a couple of songs that arguably felt a little out of place.
Either way there is unequivocally some great music here. Up first is “Spooky Action at a Distance” which was a highlight that definitely has some of that ’70s David Bowie inspired glam that you can also hear with contemporary acts like Ariel Pink. The song is smooth and sleek. I thought the instrumentation was great overall but the horns really took this song to the next level.
Up next is the title track which gets into experimental territory. It's more of a soundscape which brings to mind Brian Eno and David Bowie's album Low. The guitars definitely have a ’70s feel to them .
“In the Mirror” is the centerpiece and is an almost twelve-minute track. The song grows with energy as it progresses. There’s a good amount of jams some of which work better than others but overall I enjoyed the track and the directions it went.
“Thursday Afternoon Illusion” was the twelve string acoustic part. It felt a bit like filler and also a bit out of place compared to what came before. Another highlight was “Technicolor” which felt a little more aligned with glam/prog vibe. The cello and horns sound fantastic on this track. There were also a number of notable transitions. Great song. “And These are Its Transmissions” is a tight instrumental track while the closer “Beggars” is a whimsical, atmospheric piece.
Overall, this is a great album. The songwriting is tight and the band manages to tip its hat to some obvious references while still sounding original.
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