Steve Howe

Skyline

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For those expecting epic prog riff rockers à la "Heart of the Sunrise," Steve Howe's 2002 solo release, Skyline, may come as a surprise. Instead, Howe has constructed an album that proves to be quite a serene and calming listen from front to back -- a far cry from Yes' over the top tour de forces that used to take up entire sides of albums. Also throughout, the songs tend to be quite stark -- bringing additional focus to Howe's guitar talents (with sometimes only a synth or piano joining in). Most of the selections contain an unmistakable new age-ish element, especially on such tracks as "Moon Song," while new age meets jazz and flamenco guitar elsewhere (on "Meridian" and "Avenue de Bel Air," respectively). And veteran prog heads are afforded a small taste of their main musical preference on the soaring album opener, "Small Acts of Human Kindness."

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