This version of Cairo is not the same as the US band that released a trio of great prog albums between 1994 and 2001. This is an UK band, also of progressive nature, and is the new outlet for singer and keyboard player (and writer) Rob Cottingham, of Touchstone fame. The name might be new, but the sound of the band is not that distant from his previous band. This even has a female singer adding to Rob’s delivery.
The album opens with Cairo, an instrumental with a nice Eastern feel. Next is a prelude to Shadow’s Return, and mainly contains spoken word. And finally after some 5 to 6 minutes into the album we hear the first singing. Not that I got bored before mind you, I think the mood was set to get you to listen carefully.
Of the 13 songs on the album, many are in the 2 – 3 minute range. And of course there are songs that tick the 9 minute mark. It is also obvious experience rules in the band. Many layers, clear production and interesting arrangements galore. Happily all this led to an album that is far from sterile. If anything it sounds warm and convincing. In fact, I’d expect that even non prog lovers would find several songs on this very appealing. Songs like Wiped Out or Say are plain catchy! Another bonus is the band is not afraid to experiment. Just have a listen to Katrina Breath mix, the closing song.
So there you go, if you liked Touchstone, you will not have a problem liking this too. And if you are into quality music with great melodies, you might want to have a listen to this. It is very tasty!