MARTIN ORFORD – The Old Road (review)

1. Grand Designs
2. Power And Speed
3. Ray Of Hope
4. Take It To The Sun
5. Prelude
6. The Old Road
7. Out In The Darkness
8. The Time And The Season
9. Endgame

Year: 2008
Label: Giant Electric Pea

It’s been a long time since I last listened to such a good album as „The Old Road” by Martin Orford. This musician, famous for being a long-term member of IQ at one point felt disappointed by the present situation on the music market (downloading from the Internet) so he decided to say goodbye to music business and „The Old Road” is a kind of his farewell

I must confess that if this is really the last album featuring Martin Orford then it is definately a farewell in the best style possible and at the highest level. This album includes nine tracks that can be treated as an essence of what Martin has composed so far. There are charming ballads, gentle melodies and twisted keyboard lines. Orford was helped out on this album by such great musitians as: John Wetton, Mike Holmes, John Mitchell and Dave Merosa

If I were asked to choose my favourites I would, without any hesitation choose the opening track „Grand Designs” with a marvellous guitar solo and „Ray of Hope” and „Endgame”. These two are real highlights of this album. They complement each other and create some kind of a closed composition. I’ve been listening to this delicate, easy-to-listen melody of „Ray of Hope” and containing more rock elements „Endgame” (using some elements from „Ray of Hope”) for quite a while one by one again and again and cannot really stop! A title track „The Old Road” is worth a try for those who like IQ. It contains characteristic keyboard lines, interesting acoustic guitar parts, few folk-tinged violin lines and an intersting chorus that really can stay in your memory for long. At this point I just have to mention some tracks that include vocals by John Wetton, which are „Take it to the Sun” and „The Time and the Season”. I think that if these two compositions were on „Phoenix” I would definately like that album more.

„The Old Road” is one of the most interesting albums I’ve listened to recently. It is not the first time when Martin Orford proves himself to be a great rock musician. This album includes progressive elements, ambitious pop, some elements of AOR. In my private set of albums released in 2008 „The Old Road”, without any hesitation, is in top 10. I highly recommend!


Piotr Michalski

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