[Review] Looking Glass Lantern – A World of Great Invention

Looking Glass Lantern is the solo musical project conceived by the English multi-instrumentalist Graham Dunnington, who has a PhD in Victorian Popular Music and a great passion for Progressive Rock. Mixing the two and adding his ability to play different instruments and his vocal skills, he has recorded 4 albums from 2013 to today. The latest record release “A World of Great Invention” released on October 26, 2020 contains 8 medium-long duration tracks and is available on CD and Digital. Self-produced, this album takes a musical look at the question “what did the Victorians do for us?” The eight songs consider a selection of inventions and new developments, and the changes these brought about in the day-to-day lives of ordinary people. There are songs about the affordable daily newspaper; the postage stamp; the bicycle; the department store; portrait photography; the demise of the tea clippers due to the advent of steamships; the industrialization of farming; and indoor domestic lighting. The fourth album from the Looking Glass Lantern solo project comes with a beautifully produced twenty-page lyric booklet, the front cover of which symbolizes a world overrun with machinery. From the opener to the final track, the album is very engaging and contains all the elements that a Prog fan wants to hear when listening. The influences of the English Prog masters of the early 70s mix with modern sounds, with a personal touch that characterizes Graham‘s productions. Very attentive to details and musical passages, with constant tempo changes and symphonic openings that alternate with more charged and pompous moments. The structure of the pieces is elaborate but smooth and pleasant with the right alternation between sung parts and instrumental spaces, all performed with a technique and mastery of all the instruments. The Victorian atmospheres envelop us, while we let ourselves be guided by the lyrics and melodic intertwining built around the numerous keyboards played by Graham. One aspect that struck me about the sound of this project is the sound ensemble that is created, where all the instruments collaborate in equal measure, without one prevailing over the other and without excessive virtuosity for their own sake. The voice is also expressive and adapts well to the various situations that the music presents, also taking us back to the golden age of Prog. All the pieces are composed and performed at a high level, but it is on the longer ones that the artist gives his best, in fact in all his productions we always find epic tracks where his sound thought develops perfectly. listening to all lovers of English-style Progressive sounds with a strong reference to the 70s. Another excellent chapter in Looking Glass Lantern‘s discography, which with each publication shows an increasingly mature and refined sound, involving and with a strong impact.

Tracklist

1. The World Came into the Home (6:02)
2. The Letter (4:14)
3. A New Freedom (4:49)
4. Inside a World of Wonder (10:42)
5. A Moment Captured (6:03)
6. The Great Tea Race of 1866 (16:49)
7. The Old Ways and the New Ways (6:43)
8. The Meaning of the Light (5:44)

Lineup

Graham Dunnington / All Instruments, Composer and Producer

Looking Glass Lantern |Official Website|Twitter|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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