Phil Lanzon - If You Think I’m Crazy

Phil Lanzon - If You Think I’m Crazy

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(CD, Phil Lanzon Ditties, 2017)

It’s quite rare that an album starts with vocals from the first note. But the effect when “Mind Over Matter” starts in its glory is phenomenal. I was expecting great melodies and epic arrangements from Phil Lanzon but the first few bars really exceeded my expectations. What's to come on “If You Think I’m Crazy” is fabulous pieces of music; it’s melodic and the melancholy makes it all very cozy. It is much of that feel-good moments happening when seeing URIAH HEEP live that comes out of Phil Lanzon’s solo album as well. It’s pompous and grand, the crescendo at the end of that first song almost touches upon TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA greatness.

One of my favourites from the album is second track out, “Kelly Gang”. I’m quite surprised by this because it is a very soft piece of music. Catchy, of course, and that normally works. The dynamics and nerve are there though and these make the trick, and everything is flawlessly performed (as expected). When it comes to musical perfection, style is actually secondary. Phil himself sings on two tracks on “If You Think I’m Crazy”, first out is “I Saw Two Englands”, a folksy tune, more of an acoustic singer songwriter, country influenced track. His voice is great and he has a fantastic sense for melody. So, even if this is quite far out of my range from what I normally listen to it works because of the musicianship. I let the soulful intro of “Lover’s Highway” fool me initially. I thought the track would be one of those I would skip but after those first few chords it turns into a fateful Heavy piece. But the mix of styles in the song is rather wacko, it’s as if BEE GEES meets BLACK SABBATH, the disco-vibe is there but the song itself is dark and moody. It’s just fabulous how a combination like this can work out. This is definitely one of my favourite tracks of the album.

I do prefer the second track Phil lead sings over the first though. “The Forest”, on occasion feels like a modern interpretation of “The Magicians Birthday” or some other URIAH HEEP-epic. It’s a massive track with multiple passages and fantastic melodies. It always makes me wonder how a song like this happens; if the composer has a clear picture, or just takes it as it comes. No matter what, it sounds amazing and closes the album in a fantastic way.

Even if I got what I expected from Phil Lanzon with this record, it still surprised me and exceeded my expectations by far. It's a very cosy and caressing record, perhaps not a party-booster but should definitely be a hit for the after-hours.

7/10 


Links:

www.PhilLanzonWordsandMusic.Com
www.FaceBook.Com/Phil.Lanzon


Tracklist:

01. Mind Over Matter
02. Kelly Gang
03. I Knew I Was Dreaming
04. I Saw Two Englands
05. Step overture
06. Lover's Highway
07. Donna & Joe
08. Carolin
09. The Bells
10. The Forest


Lineup:

Phil Lanzon - Hammond B3, Piano, Rhodes, Wurley, Geoshred
Richard Cottle - Arranger, Orchestrator, 2nd Keys
John Mitchell - Lead Guitar
James Graydon - Acoustic Guitar
Laurence Cottle - Bass
Craig Blundell - Drums
Sarah Jory - Pedal Steel, Banjo
Joe Atkins - Piccolo Trumpet

Lead Vocals:
John Mitchell - On tracks 1, 3
Andy Makin - On tracks 2, 6, 7, 9
Phil Lanzon - On tracks 4, 10
Andy Caine - On track 8