“Gentle, melodic songs and soaring guitar solos: it’s all in one – Having heard and loved several samples of Tony Lowe’s music in the past, I decided it was time I bought this album to see what a whole collection of songs offered.
I have to say I am totally charmed. I love the atmosphere generated by this album: the gentle vocals, melodic songs and soaring guitar solos. The musicianship is fantastic. The peace the album conveys is compelling. I guess this is why I am reminded in some ways of David Gilmour. Tony Lowe does not sound or play like DG, but the sense of listening to a master is there as is the sense of tranquility and love. It’s the sort of album that makes me think of sunshine and driving in open country – always good. Favourite tracks? Reasons (love the guitar in this), Seven Billion Tiny Sparks (likewise, the guitar), Meet me on the Hillside (just a beautiful song with gorgeous backing instrumentals), Mirror to Mirror (lovely vocals and rich instrumentals, especially the guitars at the end). Wonderful, keepable music that is good for the soul.” Rivergirl
“Fantastic Album – What a great album, great guitar work! The album is uplifting, the lyrics meaningful and thought provoking. I find myself playing this album over and over because it leaves me full of energy.
Other reviewers I think nail some of the influences I hear in this album. No need to elaborate.
I’m very glad I got it–I feel Amazon’s short 30 second streaming clips and quality, makes it really hard to tell with some albums, particularly this album.
While I like all of the songs, some of my favorites include:
Fly With Angels
The Grand Illusion
Seven Billion Tiny Sparks
Faster Than Light” – Waki
“Yes! Music the way they used to make it. Soaring guitars, intricate melodies, meaningful lyrics; have they all gone into hibernation? Died an untimely death? One might be tempted to think so. Fortunately, with ‘reflector’, Tony Lowe’s latest offering, they gloriously resurface in nothing less than a miniature musical tour de force.
Wary of comparisons, I can’t help but mention seeing ‘reflections’ of several other bands and musicians here; from Mike Scott and the Waterboys to prog giants Steve Hackett and Yes, with a taste of George Harrison thrown in for good measure. I could have sworn I felt the presence of Jade Warrior as well; in other words, excellent company all-round. That said, ‘reflector’ is not in the least derivative; this is 100% Tony’s vision, with his own unique musical style, fantastic dreamy guitar chops and first-class songwriting. What’s more, this is an actual album, a wholeness, not a loose collection of songs. Play it from start to finish and you’ll find the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Flaunting the craft and lush production values of yesteryear, yet sounding as fresh as your morning coffee, this is clearly the stuff of a genuine musician. You can feel the combination of care, talent and true emotion that unobtrusively permeate each and every song.
Still, the eponymous title track is such a classic of atmospheric progrock guitar playing that it has already earned a special place in my heart and has burned itself into my mp3-player forever. Likewise, it’s impossible to remain unmoved by the achingly beautiful ‘Seven billion tiny sparks’, a heartfelt ode to humanity.
Because finally, and most importantly, this is music that moves you, the way that music is meant to. The songs entice; they pull you in and then whisk you off on a magic aural carpet ride. Yet even when the ride is over, they play on. That’s ultimately where real rock starts and finishes. It becomes part of you. And quite frankly, it doesn’t get much better than this.” Brian Talgo aka Robert J. Roid – “Artist and Author”
“Excellent, melodic, guitar-driven pop music. Reflector is a delightful new album in the tradition of thought-provoking, musically-rich pop groups such as The Waterboys and World Party, and reaching back to psychedelic bands such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson. Highlights of this outstanding set include the catchy opening track “Reasons,” the driving, existential piece, “The Grand Illusion,” the uplifting “Fly with Angels,” and the emotionally intense, “Change of Heart.”” Paul Halpern – “Physicist and Writer” (Amazon Review)
“Tony Lowe’s newest CD, Reflector, is one of those rare gems that grabs you from the first listen and doesn’t let you go. It is a collection of lush, rich melodies that evoke the heyday of great 70s prog rock in its attention to detail and musicianship, and yet remains modern and fresh. The lyrics are positive and manage to fill the listener with optimism and hope for the future. My favourite time to listen to this CD is during my walks to and from the gym- for the two half-hours it takes to get there and back, I am energized by the powerful words spoken and by the vibrancy of the music. Whether transported to the soft landscapes in “Meet Me On the Hillside” or just taking in the peaceful messages in “Fly With Angels”, this is a meeting of remarkable poetry with music that stays with you after you’ve put the earphones down.” Anne-Marie Klein – “Author”
“Simply stunning. Precise and soulful guitar playing accompanies nine immaculately crafted songs. A captivating listening experience from a true musical genius.” Alison Porter
“From the superbly imaginative guitar work of the title track, ‘reflector’ to the sublime romance of ‘fly with angels’, this album certainly reflects the song-writing ability of a highly respected musical talent.” Colin Shears
“Enchanting – ‘reflector’, the latest gem from Tony Lowe, is such a beautiful album. His unique voice and virtuoso guitar skills are perfect for the thought-provoking, meaningful lyrics. This is spine-tingling music that you’ll want to listen to over and over again; music to be uplifted and inspired by.” Lisa Tenzin-Dolma
Review of Dream of the Gryllidae by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma
This is an extraordinary album, far-reaching in the sheer power of its emotional resonance. The music ranges from heart-rending poignancy to a maelstrom of passion, and further into exquisite beauty, with Yumi Hara’s haunting vocals and keyboards complementing the soaring virtuoso guitar sequences that Tony Lowe is renowned for (though ‘Dream of the Gryllidae’ is very different to Tony’s other albums). The music stays in the mind long after the final notes have faded.
While listening for the first time I decided not to look at the titles of the tracks and, instead, to focus on the emotions evoked, because one of the unique qualities of this album is its ability to tap into and draw forth a wide spectrum of feelings. But during the third track I couldn’t resist a peek, as it seemed to me that the music was like something from a dream that lingers on after waking. The title, when I looked, is ‘The Dreamer/The Dreamt’. How appropriate!
Some sequences in this album feel almost balletic – I could imagine dancers tracing graceful steps upon a stage. Yet there is a jazz strain running in and out of ‘Waterspout’, interspersed with Yumi Hara’s astounding voice ranging freely over wide, drawn-out spaces that made me think of an elemental call echoing through the deepest reaches of the cosmos. There are iridescent colours within the emotional surges of the music – bright, uplifting flashes of luminosity alternating with calm, muted earth tones and fiery reds and golds. Hours after listening, Yumi’s vocals in ‘Cicadas will Cry for Me’ still echoes through my mind.
Review of All of the Above at The Inn on the Green by String
The successful and intensely well received All of the Above show on the 25th of October 2008 at the Inn on the Green, proved that audiences thrive on unique – positive and engaging musical experiences.
Hats off to the amazing group of people who performed this last Saturday night to a packed house, filled with those who had traveled from the US, Wales, Scotland, Canada and Europe, in order to experience the special magic that is ‘All of the Above’.
The show opened with a masterful performance by Lee Harris and River Styx – chilling the crowd out with their lovely combo of trance hip-hop and beat poetry. When Tony Lowe and Alison Fleming came on, the audience was in the perfect mood for an inspiring and uplifting show. And was it ever, driven by the power machine of Buj Stapley and Steve Gee on drums and bass and accompanied by the upbeat keyboards, percussion, and backing vocals of Poppy Gonzalez, the band had everyone enthralled from the moment they started. Tony Lowe’s blistering and heartfelt guitar electrified the room and when accompanied by Alison’s ethereal vocals the result – a mesmerized and thoroughly fired up crowd! Thanks again to those who traveled from afar, to the wonderful group at the Inn on the Green, to Lee and River, Gareth Redfarn (sound), and to all those special people who helped out. Also our great thanks to all those who donated to this charity fundraiser, all in all a huge success and all for a great cause!
“Thanks to you, Alison and the rest of the band for creating a night of magic and great music! It surely was worth the trip all the way from Denmark!”
“What a brilliant night, you’re a truly gifted songwriter. There wasn’t a track that did not stir me.”
“I felt so uplifted.”
All ticket proceeds were donated to Action Aid’s – Bollocks to Poverty Tour! Bollocks to Poverty is part of ActionAid, an international charity that works in the world’s poorest countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. “ActionAid doesn’t just hand out aid; we give people the power and resources to end their own poverty for good by helping the world’s poorest people speak to the world’s most powerful and demand their right to food, education, and healthcare.”
A very special thanks to two special people, without whose support the event would not have been possible. Reviewed by String