Artist/ Band: The Skys
Title: Colours of the Desert
Label: Self release
Year of Release: 2011
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

With nine songs this self proclaimed Lithuanian crossover band plays a mix of progressive rock and pop, along with middle eastern fusion that starts off sounding a good deal like the debut Mandalaband. Much of the rest has a big nod to Alan Parsons Project and Roger Waters/Pink Floyd. In fact the line up of guest musicians might give you a huge clue as to the spread of styles. Martin 'Frosty' Beedle / drums, David Kilminster (Roger Waters band) / guitar, John Young (Bonnie Tyler, Scorpions, Fish) / keyboards, Snake Davis (Eurythmics, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney) /saxophone, Tony Spada (Holding Pattern) / guitar, and Anne-Marie Helder (Mostly Autumn, Panic Room) / vocals. So you have a better imagination of things now. The main band is Jonas Ciurlionis / guitars, vocals, Aleksandr Liutvinskij / guitars, Bozena Buinicka / keyboards, vocals, and Justinas Tamasevicius / bass.

You will have to love both the more pop and rock genres as much as progressive music to appreciate this beyond just casual listening. While it’s like a concept album, the music does vary a bit from track to track. The trouble I had on first listen was a couple of the songs were very shallow and short on being anything beyond mediocre on the composition skill. At track 3 I was struggling to pay attention. I did get a second wind for the next tune called ‘Walking Alone’ (track 4) as it established an interesting eastern theme and slow Pink Floyd duplication. If anyone desires more Floyd like “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” then this song will give you your copycat lust fix. It’s pleasing and actually changes about 1/3 way through into a more aggressive jazz rock infused Floyd-like song. You can also hear more Alan Parsons influence here. The 9 ˝ minute time gives plenty room to lay this one out nicely. After a second listen, I warmed up more to the whole recording.

‘When the Western Wind Blows’ gives way to some beautiful vocals from Anne-Marie Helder with a male counterpart that sounds again amazingly like a Pink Floyd song, dead on with sax and all. I think it’s a very nice song and the male vocalist sounds remarkably like Robbie Robertson. I don’t mind that at all. The following ‘Calling Out Your Name’ has the same vocalist and on the chorus is again joined by Helder. Again it has a Robbie Robertson sound along with the Parsons style. Then I heard a Jefferson Airplane influence. I swear track 7 (‘The Pyramid’) made me think of “White Rabbit” with a spot on female vocal take on Grace Slick, except at the end they bring it on in a large way with the Floyd space lead guitar and choral effects (mellotron) to epic proportions, so it’s very enticing (all 7 ˝ minutes of it).

As much as this CD has a Floyd /Parsons sound, it also has this late 60's trip vibe going on. I think it’s by osmosis. ‘Lethal Kiss’ haunts you with ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ era and a twist of middle eastern Dead Can Dance territory with really gorgeous voice by Helder to finish it out. The ending song takes a little tolerance to allow to grow on you. It’s very light and elemental, but pleasant. So after listening three times to this, I became fond of it. It’s another nice release that will go along side of the mellow and easy to digest music when my mind can’t take another RIO disc. Not all my music has to be intellectual, just done well. This one fits the bill of the well done and pleasing on a more commercial level. You can even play this to those anti progressive music friends when they come over.

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on July 11th, 2012

Tracks:

01. Colors of the Desert (7:33)
02. Is this the Way? (3:57)
03. I... He... (4:29)
04. Walking Alone (9:33)
05. When the Western Wind Blows (6:15)
06. Calling Out Your Name (8:21)
07. The Pyramid (7:28)
08. Lethal Kiss (6:39)
09. What If (3:03)

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