Collins, Simon - Becoming Human

Kev Rowland, Collins, Simon - Becoming Human

Collins is back with his fourth solo album, which in some ways is a progression on from Sound of Contact’s ‘Dimensionaut’ album, in that he again provides drums and vocals and has been joined by ex-SoC colleague Kelly Avril Nordstrom (guitars). The line-up for this release is completed by Robbie Bronnimann (keyboards, programming, sound design), Gaz Williams (bass guitar) and renowned session man Robin Boult (electric and acoustic guitars). Given that there are two guitarists in the band I would have expected a much heavier aspect to the overall sound, but instead what we have is something that has been massively influenced by the UK synth scene from the early Eighties, mixed with loads of pop and just some rock.

It is a very polished album, and there are times when there are some brief forays into more progressive territory, but for the most part this is something I found quite unusual and strange to listen to, in that it is a style of music I tend not to enjoy, but there is no doubt there is something in this which makes it interesting. He very much has his own style, yet there are some moments on “This Is The Time” in particular where he definitely sounds like his father, which in itself is rather unusual. Of course, he knows what he is doing around a drum kit, and the use of live drums in this environment is certainly a blessing as it would have been very easy to continue down the electronic path. The overall result is something which is incredibly commercial and poppy, dated in many ways yet also fresh and interesting in others. I do wish the electronica has been toned down and the guitars ramped up, but even so I can see this album gaining a lot of interest, and Simon has certainly followed his own path in the last twenty years with some very different albums indeed. Not really for me, but no-one can deny there are some interesting tunes and performances on here, and the production is excellent. For those who want a more poppy, commercial, electronic take on rock.

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