Saturday 22 February 2014

Manning - Margaret's Children (2011)

Guy Manning & Co's twelfth album.

Margaret's Children is part 2 of Anser's Tree. It was not planned as that, but Guy got the inspiration from the excellent Margaret Montgomery song from that album and decided to follow the family. That as far as I remember it. Guy Manning may disagree with my hazy memories. It is a good, no make that an excellent way of telling a story and to develop this concept. An excellent concept. I have used it on my latest novel myself.

So we follow Margaret Montgomery's offspring here and their stories. That is seven songs, seven people with their stories. From 1645 to 2022, in eight years time. Every song has their name. Every song is pretty epic too, following the stories of the persons involved.

The music is varied too. The gospel song Jorgen Barras (Revelation Road) is a superb song. I am not a fan of gospel. But I am waving my arms and moving my legs to this one. Gospel is an effective form of music and Guy Manning hits the bullseye with it. It is one of his best ever songs. If this had been released on a major label, we would had been talking about a hit single here.

The seventeen minutes long Amy Quartermaine (A Perfect Childhood) is an epic symphonic prog song and is also hitting the right notes. The rest of the album has some lounge doo wop jazz on Harriet Horden, folk rock, symphonic prog and some songs based rock.

The end result is a great album and probably Manning's best ever album. The quality of Guy Manning's albums is very high anyway and he is without any doubts one of the best songwriters in the UK. This album is close to being essential. All his albums is in my view worth purchasing.

4.5 points

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