Exposé Online banner

Gift — Awake and Dreaming
(Cyclops CYCL-151, 2006, CD)

by Sean McFee, Published 2008-01-01

Awake and Dreaming Cover artThe Gift are a fairly new British group targeting the more accessible side of the progressive spectrum. They have lots of analog keys and such, although many songs are just a singer and an acoustic guitar. The album is basically a song-based concept album that would go over big with the ROSfest gang. The rockier numbers remind me a bit of early Echolyn at times, maybe mostly because the vocalist can sound a bit like Ray Weston. It seems to be an anti-war concept. This kind of thing has real potential to become a melodramatic mess but the songwriting here is good and fairly understated and I don't find it too cheesy. One interesting bit in "Escalation" where he sings an anti-war line to the melody of the final couplet in the American national anthem. Solos and the like are pretty rare on this album, but based on the strong keyboard solo in "La Lune de Miel" I would conclude this was by choice, and that the band is playing to the concept instead of proving their chops. I haven't seen much of a splash for these guys yet, but if they keep at it I think they are going to make one fairly soon.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): The Gift

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gentle Giant - Out of the Fire - The BBC Concerts – English archive label Hux Records is slowly building an excellent reputation for having the best BBC tapes for re-release. Out of the Fire fits in nicely into their archive plans (alongside Caravan...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues