Steve Walsh, Shadowman, 2005
Steve Walsh will forever hold a place in my heart for his contributions to both Kansas and Streets (and a few other spots). Alas he is lesser known for his solo releases, this being his third if I am not mistaken.
As with previous solo effort Glossolalia this is a challenging listen. Of course the mighty voice is there, as are the melodies that carry the songs. The arrangements however are very thought through and hold many a variation within them. At times heavy on guitars, at times orchestral. Some tracks start as a rock song and develop into a symphonic work out. Others have so many faces one might get lost describing the beast.
One has to admire the creativity at work here. With thanks in the booklet to guys like Trent Gardner and Jack Foster III it is no real mystery where all of this came from. Avoiding the obvious is standard here, as is the challenging of the innocent listener. But that voice! Steve holds everything together with ease. His delivery is spot on as always and does not reveal the 30 plus years in the business. And over repeated plays everything really gels together. It may not be instant, but it is beautiful.
Over time it´s secrets are revealed. So again we are rewarded with an album that withstands continuous play with ease. Brilliant stuff.
Personal play tips: buy it and play it!