Another year comes to an end and what a year it has been for progressive rock music brimming with magic, creativity, insight, virtuosity and empathy. To all those who wrestle to make these wondrous creations happen – thank you. The world would be empty and impoverished without you.
This is not definitive in any sense at all. As always, my selections are based on the albums which never stray far from my player and to which I have repeatedly listened since their release. Since the discovery of Patrick Molesworth’s fabulous Zeelley Moon project the direction of my musical tastes have somewhat changed as the course of the year progressed. Sharon den Adel, known primarily as lead vocalist for Within Temptation, released an entirely unexpected gem as part of her new My Indigo project; and as the year closes out, Marek Arnold and Manuel Schmid drop an absolutely superb art prog release in the form of Zeiten. All three are off my usually well beaten tracks but I am revelling and enjoying the directions in which these visionary artists are developing the prog genre.
Special mention also to Steven Wilson as well as to Camel for what was without doubt for me the two concerts of the year at the Royal Albert Hall. Wilson’s performance was poignant and moving, whilst the addition of Peter Jones to the Camel line-up and some clever takes on older material brought an invigorating and exciting revisioning of the Camel sound. It is so good to see Andy Latimer on such good form again. Mention must also be made of Pendragon’s 40th Anniversary concert in London toward the end of the year. Nick Barrett’s song selection was an inspired tribute to the sheer range and diversity of the band’s creative impetus and hugely impressive catalogue, which shows no sign of slowing down.
Thank you all for a wonderful 2018. Let’s raise a glass in gratitude for the feast we have enjoyed and in anticipation of the wonders to come in 2019.
Album of the Year:
My Indigo – My Indigo