2018-09-15 – Sea of Tranquility (“The Single Edits” Review)

Originally published at
https://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=21246

The last few years Australia has really become a hotbed for progressive related music. Multi-instrumentalist Ben Craven is one such artist who I first became familiar with upon hearing his 2016 effort Last Chance To Hear, an excellent disc.

His new album titled The Single Edits is just as it suggests. Tidied up versions of a series of tracks taken from three of his albums: Two False Idols (2006), Great & Terrible Potions (2011) and the aforementioned Last Chance To Hear.

The disc begins with “Critical Mass Part 2” punctuated with Craven’s patented guitar licks giving off an Animals era Floyd vibe. The Pink Floyd references are numerous throughout the disc as Craven’s Gilmouresque tone often creeps into the mix. “The Remarkable Man” has hints of Marillion with an overarching ‘60s serial vibe. A nice use of vocoder highlights the prog pop of “Ready To Lose”, a melodic gem of a song. The synths and guitar, both acoustic and electric, come together in a most pleasing fashion. Slow burning electric guitar and delicate acoustic playing make “Aquamarine” another excellent track. The Gilmour-like guitar solo is another plus for Floyd fans. The voice of William Shatner is featured on the beautifully orchestrated “Spy In The Sky Part 3” while the dreamy “Great Divide” has its roots embedded in albums like Floyd’s Obscured By Clouds. The darker edge of “No Specific Harm” is almost sinister in scope with stabbing guitar work and lush keyboard layers. Really, this album is filled to the brim with outstanding songs.

If you haven’t heard Craven before The Single Edits would certainly be a great place to start. If you are already a fan these remixes and edits give a nice overview of a musician rising to the top amongst Australia’s progressive artists. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Critical Mass Part 2 (3:27)
2. The Remarkable Man (3:53)
3. Ready To Lose (3:37)
4. Aquamarine (3:21)
5. Spy In The Sky Part 3 (3:17)
6. Great Divide (4:33)
7. Nobody Dies Forever (2:56)
8. No Specific Harm (3:30)
9. Captain Caper (4:17)
10. Golden Band (5:12)
11. Revenge Of Dr Komodo (2:35)

Added: September 15th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score: 4 Stars