Danish multi-instrumentalist Robin Taylor might be considered a modern day professor of progressive rock. He fuses the best of the past while instilling a sense of newness into his expanding discography. Art Cinema signifies a project that was brought about via Taylor’s musical relationship with guitarist Michael Denner, who appeared on Soundwall (Independent, 2007), by Taylor’s Universe.
Taylor’s Art Cinema intimates a new modus operandi, namely due to the addition of Jytte Lindberg and Louise Nipper, who alternate lead and backing vocal duties. More importantly, the music transmits a nicely integrated balance between prog-rock and sophisticated pop or alt-rock. Taylor is a multitasking machine and workaholic, but it’s all about the passion. With his arsenal of keys, basses and guitars, he assists with carving out a broad panorama. These dappled textures and background treatments attain a near-flawless coexistence with the lead soloing excursions of saxophonist Carsten Sindvald, guitarist Jon Hemmersam and Denner.
A good portion of the program contains towering sax and guitar parts amid moments of tenderness, largely executed by the singers’ angelic and somewhat prophetic vocalizations. The guitarists provide the crunch chords and hard-edged rock element, yet these group-based compositions are designed with memorably melodic phrasings along with a few dreamscapes and tender moments.
Featuring Lindberg’s wistful vocals, “Crimson Night” sparks notions of classic Moody Blues shaded with an ethereal storyline and powerful support structure. It’s definitely a contender for widespread, prog-based radio airplay. And while the album clocks in a bit lean at thirty-four minutes, there’s no semblance of filler material here. Taylor’s slight shift in strategy yields abundant dividends.
Track Listing: White Frozen; World of Shadows; Climb My Ladder; What Am I Doing Here; Crimson Night; Dreaming of Metamorphosis; Last Day of Summer. Personnel: Jytte Lindberg and Louise Nipper: vocals; Robin Taylor: keyboard, guitars, percussion; Michael Denner: guitars; Jon Hemmersam: guitars; Carsten Sindvald: saxophones; Muus Tranberg: bass; Bjarne T. Holm: drums; Pierre Tassone: violins.