GPS – Window to the Soul (review)

1. Window to the Soul
2. New Jerusalem
3. Heaven Can Wait
4. Written on the Wind
5. I Believe in Yesterday
6. Objector, The
7. All My Life
8. Gold
9. Since You’ve Been Gone
10. Taken Dreams

Year: 2006
Label:Inside Out

GPS is a project of ASIA`s past members: John Payne, Guthrie Govan , Jay Schellen and keyboardist Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard). I must frankly admit that even though I am keen on new progressive rock/metal incarnations, after first or maybe second listening I put this album on a shelf. Because it doesn`t surprise, because it doesn`t amaze, doesn`t reveal any new horizons.

But the revenge day has come and I had to balance my dues with GPS. It appeared that if you give the music some time without rush to fill out the room it gains depth. Payne uses his voice in a pleasant, non-impudent manner, even during the stronger, rocker accents, he`s simply persuasive.

Guthrie Govan is one of the most potentially interesting guitarists I had opportunity to listen to recently. His playing is featured with solidly-grounded technical training, however it doesn`t lack fineness and imaginativeness – he plays smoothly, chooses warm guitar sounds, sometimes reminds David Gilmour with his phrases and it seems like he just casually articulates the melodic unisono with keyboards (the repeated chorus part in „Taken Dreams”).

A propos keys – another plus. From the speakers flow pleasant sounds, different, sometimes rock-like, another time more subtle, Roy`s sounds palette is also interesting. It shall be mentioned that he uses his role in the band in an intelligent fashion – he doesn`t cross the board of good taste in terms of either sounds selection ( not always the more means the better) or showing his skills. His playing is balanced, perfectly completes the harmony built by the remaining instruments and his solo parts has got a definite musical value, they don`t tire you with aimless showing off without any conclusion. Unfortunately, most bands seems to choose this way to fill out this lack-of-ideas-gap.

So how`s about the tracks on „Window to the Soul”? They`re usually relatively short (as for this genre, max.8.30 min.) songs with complex instrumental side, very melodic and catchy.
In fact each song is a potential hit „I believe in yesterday”, „Heaven can wait”, my favourite „Taken dreams” or „Written in the wind” with wonderful acoustic intro).
Instruments sound clear, they perfectly match and complete each other, choirs nicely highlight the choruses.

To sum up, I could say that this album is as a sunset – normal, simple, natural, we can watch it every day, it is just there and still it`s got something special that introduces us in a reflective and dreamy mood, with all its dynamic and animating turns. This CD is not a breakthrough but I can assure you that it will spin in your player many times.

Mark: 8/10

Marcin Szojda

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