The band has a slightly mellower sound than most in the neo prog genre but well played out. Most of the songs are fronted by Martin Read with Tony Müller backing him up, similar to the way Gabriel/ Collins did their melodies. On a few songs they feature female vocalist, Jo Michaels. She has a very pleasant voice... very complimentary to Martin's, showing a more lounge like atmosphere. There is a slight cantebury sound fused with the neo element on "This is Where We Came In".
My least favorite track is "Broken English" mainly because it could have been a lot shorter as it was too drawn out, with no ending to it.
There's a is radio-friendly tune that I like called "Love Is her Thing" with a very familiar melodiy even though it's quite original.
Bard is a collection of songs to relax to as there's no intrical inter paying here just nice and soothing music even jazzy at times like on "A Short Visit to Earth".
My favorite track is "For Winter" as it has a very dreamy like feel to it... Martin seems to have a "storyteller" like sound to his vocals. It's in this song you can hear similarities in his voice to such great voices as Gabriel but as a whole they sound closer to modern-day Camel than Genesis. The guitar playing is very fluid like and foksy too without being in your face. I believe that's the sign of a great guitar player.
According to their website this may be te last Big Big Train recording we'll see... I hope not as I rather enjoy what they have to offer the prog world. I'd say they are a counter balance to the aggressive metallic prog assualts of the past few years.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on March 26th, 2002