Thank you to Professor Rob Fisher for this astute and insightful audio review of ‘reverie’ on Progressive Discoveries.
Tony Lowe , ESP Project‘s master composer and performer is certainly in an intense creative period if I refer to the past year, which has seen the release of no less than 3 albums: Anarchic Curves, Innerlife, and the latest born, reverie. Title in French please! For this new version, Tony Lowe leaves his usual musical framework to offer us a slightly different experience: a symphonic suite in seven very instrumental and orchestral movements. Tony often calls on a big names such as David Cross, David Jackson, Alison Fleming and many others for his albums, he leads his reverie here alone!
Seven parts therefore, themselves broken down into 3 sections, so that we are dealing with a sound mosaic constantly renewed in its rhythms, melodies and harmonies.
“Carrier Wave – Peace will Come – A Breakthrough” with its sung first third is close to the classic ESP Project with its impeccable melody. The suite then takes on the orchestral colours that I mentioned above: strings and woodwinds are part of it, and it’s superb!
“The Long Climb – View from Above – The Steep Return” begins on a lively ternary ostinato, before offering us a very poetic moment around 3’12, with a beautiful guitar motif on sumptuous synth harmonies.
Note the strange atmosphere of the intro of “Manifestation – Cities In The Sky”, which puts us in a waiting position before becoming positively grandiose.
The fifth part lets Tony‘s voice be heard again for a few seconds, but it remains an exception in an essentially instrumental musical flow. The movements are linked in as many moments of musical grace until the final part. The final tableau, the aptly named “Coming Home” puts an end to reverie in a disembodied atmosphere on long mysterious and even a little disturbing synth outfits… Small note a little darker in a resolutely optimistic ensemble.
For the eighth album of ESP Project(*), Tony Lowe leaves the field of melodic prog for a large-scale orchestral work, of impressionist essence (as opposed to descriptive music), where the writing is not linear but made of a succession of shimmering and sophisticated sound impressions. If the voice is very little present here, it is often to better to let the guitar sing in very beautiful melodic lines. Here is once again a captivating album filled with refined feel good music !
Updated review from Gareth’s Prog Blog “The ‘Reverie’ CD, the latest album from Tony Lowe’s ESP Project makes its appearance after the download featured in last month’s playlist. Combining the symphonic elements of the debut release ‘Invisible Din’ with the best of the cinematic moments from subsequent albums, it’s jumped to the top of the list of my favourite ESP Project releases where the exquisitely produced widescreen sound is complimented by yet another gorgeous CD package.
Seven downloads feature in the list, all of which hold something of interest and are easily worthy of inclusion.” – Gareth’s Prog Blog
“REVERIE is the latest album from ESP Project. I couldn’t wait for the CD to arrive so I listened to the download, and was not disappointed. Tony Lowe is the sole musician here though the wide palette he’s employed gives the impression of a full, tightly-knit ensemble. It’s really uplifting stuff and somehow it feels like a step forward, as though Lowe has embraced the possibilities of a huge, blank canvas. As always, his playing is exquisite and his production is superb. Unfortunately I’m unable to appreciate the care that goes into the physical package until the CD lands on my doormat.” Gareth’s Prog Blog
“… a tremendous listen” – Garry Foster/Prog Rock Files/WCR FM
“Getting my first listen to “reverie”, the forthcoming album from ESP due for release from Sunn Creative on 19th May. Beautifully nuanced and alive with exquisite textures, Tony Lowe creates a striking and absorbing set of symphonic landscapes across seven tracks or movements. It’s a riveting journey which never fails to engross and absorb with abundant richness and engaging atmospheres. The stunning artwork yet is also courtesy of Tony and completes a package which brings a definite sense of peace and hope. Magnificent.” – Rob Fisher – The Progressive Aspect
“Glorious new music from the genius of Tony Lowe. A seven-song mini symphony that delights the senses and moves the soul. Exquisite sounds that expand and explore every movement and note creating a cornucopia of wonderful sensations and feeling! The music flows with energy, vitality, and distinction, creating a colorful, cosmic atmosphere, full of anticipation and wonder. There is an emotional release almost like a prayer being offered in the hopes of a better future. A positive uplifting album, this is original music of healing, love, and comfort for a wounded and hurting world. Sensual and strong, touching and forging, ‘reverie’ is a masterpiece of progressive music.” – Rick Peuser
“Outstanding album!! Airplay this week on The Prog Bus” – Progzilla Radio
“Another very impressive album from ESP Project” – Shaun Geraghty
“After a very beautiful Anarchic Curves in 2022 (followed in the wake of an album, Innerlife, which the group did not wish to distribute outside its personal network), ESP Project returns to us with an equally successful album, highlighting before an undeniable melodic brilliance and an equally magnificently embodied symphonic ambition. ESP Project has once again decided to publish very few copies of Reverie, so don’t wait to get your hands on this one (musical economic situation obliges), with its typically English beauty and personality…” Cosmos Music
“Tony Lowe, the master thinker of the ESP Project group, gives us a symphonic suite in seven movements, themselves broken down into several parts. Note the strange beginning of the title “Manifestation – Cities in the Sky” which really takes off after three minutes. We find ourselves in a reverie with the following title “Lights in the Field – Into the Earth – Heat Beneath the Soil”. Then the long (almost thirteen minutes) “Flying Deeper – Power Revealed – Reawakening”, on a slightly jazzy rhythm (late night bar atmosphere), allows us to continue our high. The last piece, “Climb to the Stars – Corridors of Light – Coming Home”, further accentuates the cottony jazz-leaning atmospheres. The very last part of this beach allows us to leave this plate, in a disembodied and sometimes disturbing atmosphere.” Tiberius – review on Prog Censor facebook page