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ALBUM REVIEW - SIMON COLLINS, BECOMING HUMAN

Written by  Jo Higginbotham

Simon Collins’s fourth project, Becoming Human, is less an album, and more a stream of thoughts, consciousness, and emotion. It begins with a stellar soundscape to reel in the listener, followed by the title song, giving a proper introduction to an extraordinary set of compositions. Moving forward, the listener is in for quite the sonic rabbit hole.

Taking influence from his band, Sound of Contact, and blending styles of progressive rock and electronica, Simon Collins has created a mixture of vibrant and colorful music in Becoming Human. Since his 1999 debut, All of Who You Are, Collins has made excellent additions to electronic and progressive music, mashing modern and nostalgic sounds, and this new project is no different.  With pumping synths and keys mixed with a classic ‘80s feel, this album feels like a dark atmosphere that ultimately can be addicting. Becoming Human is fresh, yet familiar.

Following the title track, “Universe Inside Of Me,” ventures through a mysterious void, finding its way to an almost victorious turn in the hook. This leads into “Man Made Man,” with its glitchy intro, melodious vocals, and simple structure which hits just right. “This Is The Time” has a bright energy, and highlights Collins’s songwriting prowess, with catchy lyrics and a tune that sticks with you. “Thoughts Become Matter” provides another beautiful soundscape, leading into a heavy, beat-driven, electronic gospel. The energy shifts again as “I Will Be Waiting,” presents a dark ballad, with an incredible sound design and movement.

“No Love” and “Living In Silence” bring the listener back into Collins’s rock influence, while still giving a progressive feel. “40 Years” wraps up the second act of this journey, stepping away with a nice slide guitar style, and more of Collins’s catchy vocals. “So Real” returns to the heavy electronic feel, with more pleasing, striking  melodies. The project comes to a climax with “Dead Ends,” which builds from a dark soundscape into a high-energy anthem, wrapping everything up in a definitive way.

Simon Collins’s work on the drums is, to say the least, spectacular. Incredible drum work is no surprise coming from the son of Phil Collins, but nonetheless, there is a certain unique quality to Simon Collins which is beyond that. With guitar work from Robin Boult and Kelly Avril Nordstrom, bass from Gaz Williams, and beautiful sound design from Robbie Bronnimann, Becoming Human could be one of the best progressive rock albums this year.

In short, it’s a masterpiece.

 

As always, rock on my friends and stay safe!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  8.7 out of 10

Artist:  Simon Collins LPBecoming Human  Release Date: September, 4th, 2020,   Label:  Frontiers Music SLR

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