Space Elevator - Persona Nongrata (CD)

Space Elevator - Persona Non Grata (CD)


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Eight years after their debut album, Space Elevator has released a remarkable third album, Persona Non Grata. The album features eleven standout tracks written by lead singer The Duchess and guitarist David Young. The songwriting is based on the musical influences of the biggest and best bands in history, but with a modern twist that creates a sound unique to Space Elevator. The songs are in the classic rock genre, but also contain elements of pop, prog and even funk like "Love You Better".
After the cinematic intro “Persona Non Grata, Part 1” with its mixture of acoustic guitars and strings, the elevator starts moving in Part 2, which follows immediately. Heavy guitars and heavy drums along with The Duchess' aggressive vocals blend into a listenable complex and dynamic sound that showcases the band's instrumental prowess. The progressive interplay of vocals, which in some sequences would find place in an opera, only to change into a rock voice shortly thereafter, and guitar playing that sometimes reaches into hard rock, with the support of the strong rhythm section, ensure a compact, fat sound, with stylistic and tempo changes. However, the band manages to interweave these changes in the pieces in such a way that there are no breaks.
The musical proximity to Queen's early work is obvious, but there are also echoes of Kate Bush, Genesis and even modern icons like Pink. The Duchess' strong vocals are supported in some songs by choral backing voices, some of which he sang himself, for example in "Duchess Of This Town", which Queen also used as a stylistic device. The core band, consisting of drummer Brian Greene, bassist Chas Maguire and guitarist David Young, is complemented by piano and keyboards by Michael Bramwell, who along with producer Adam Vanryne contributes to a bombastic and theatrical style that is often found in the grooves of Alice Cooper, Jellyfish or Led Zeppelin can be found. However, Space Elevator remain true to their own unique sound, which stands out from the mainstream through their songwriting and collective sound.
The closing "Reverie and Souvenirs" morphs from power ballad to sixteen-bar music-hall jazz halfway through, with The Duchess providing exquisite harmonies. The listener will be surprised by the variety of rhythm and style changes that flow seamlessly into each other and show off some clever compositions and arrangements.
It's interesting that when listening, some things are only really perceived after the second or third playback, the album doesn't lose its appeal and thus invites you to listen to it again.
In this form, Space Elevator can fill a gap with fans of classic and progressive rock music, which the veteran bands have left and bring a breath of fresh air into this scene.

01 Persona Non Grata, Part 1
02 Persona Non Grata, Part 2
03 Duchess Of This Town
04 Passive aggression
05 Stevie Nick's smile
06 First Girl On The Moon
07 Ritchie
08 Cheeful Frank
09 Love You Better
10 I Will Hold On To You
11 Reverie And Souvenirs