Marty Willson-Piper

In Reflection

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For those unfamiliar with his work, a solo album -- his first -- from a man best known as the guitar player for Australia's the Church might sound like an occasion for wankery on an unbridled scale, but nothing could be further from the truth. In Reflection, an Australian import, is, on the contrary, a collection of three and four-track home recordings featuring gentle, minor-key compositions that sound more like Syd Barrett or Beatles outtakes than Pink Floyd or Byrds rockers (to name a couple of bands to which the psychedelic pop quartet has been compared). A mellow, melodious listen, the recording is marred to some extent by the use of a drum machine rather than a live drummer (mixed down, fortunately, so as to let the hazy vocals and lovely string work -- guitar, bass, violin -- come to the fore). Also, the songs aren't quite as memorable as those associated with the Church; as such, In Reflection works best as an album -- in the 1970s sense of the word -- than as a set of singles. Originally recorded between 1983 and 1985 and released in 1987, it would not appear on CD (in Australia) until 1999. Six tracks do, however, appear on the CD version of Willson-Piper's first U.S. release, Art Attack, and a 24-track version of "Volumes" -- the most Church-sounding song on the collection -- can be found on the band's Persia and Remote Luxury releases.

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