Halcyon Hymns

Downes Braide Association

Magical Thinker, 2021


REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa


What an amazing melodic rock record this is!  Incredible melodies just jump out at you and make it irresistible to put this record down. The writing is simply top notch, and the delivery is just perfect. Halcyon Hymns has the ability to lift one’s spirit within few minutes.

Geoff Downes is of course know for his work with Asia, Yes, and The Buggles. Chris Braide is known as hit writer for many top ten stars on both sides of the Atlantic.  This association managed to write and record four albums. While the other albums didn’t get much publicity, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Halcyon Hymns is a record that will solidify the duo’s position. 

There are some elements of prog rock here, but generally it’s just melodic rock with very deep lyrical approach. While the music may come across as very simple, the vocal melodies take it to another level. In many ways, one may think that was the whole purpose of it all. Chris Braide is given a lot of space to move around and he takes full advantage of it. 

The album is full of great tracks, and it’s difficult what the favorites may be as they change from week to week. So far, “King Of The Sunset,” “Your Heart Will Find A Way,” “Warm Summer Sun,” and “She’ll Be Riding Horses” are standouts. But a few other songs could easily be mentioned as the album just produces one great tune after another.

DBA is a side project to many other things these players do, but it certainly feels like they put in a lot of effort into this recording. Roger Dean provides artwork for the album, automatically giving it that prog rock feel. The fairytale feel Dean provides matches the positive lyrical content and the overall feel of the album. 

Halcyon Hymns is a very special record. It can be enjoyed in variety of settings, and it always makes the listener feel relaxed.  While it doesn’t introduce any new revolutionary music, it brings solid dose of memorable melodies and good songs. I can’t wait to see what they will do next!

Rating: A

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