Drummer Gavin Harrison is one the most prolific and celebrated drummers within the jazz and progressive rock/metal communities. Besides his main gigs in Porcupine Tree and King Crimson he’s in high demand as a session drummer and he likes to keep himself occupied with his own side projects, including a collaboration with multi instrumentalist and vocalist 05Ric. Their third and latest album is called “The Man Who Sold Himself.” Let’s take a closer look.
The main theme explored on this album is sheer corporate greed and the dangers that come with it, something clearly inspired by today’s economic crisis in the European Union and the United States. Musically, “The Man Who Sold Himself” continues in the same vein as its two predecessors, namely accommodating Harrison’s and 05Ric’s wildest and most experimental frolics captured within more or less conventional five minute song frames. Mind you, “conventional” in the best Robert Fripp/King Crimson sense of the word.
What I really like about “The Man Who Sold Himself” is the delicate balance between technicality versus solid songwritng, the sheer sense of musical freedom and who effortlessly jazz and funk elements are incorporated within the musical framework of this album. Compositions like ‘Prize’, ‘OWN’, ‘Body Temple’ and ‘Illusion’ are brought with a sense of finesse and tastefulness only few can muster. Okay, I have to admit this is an album by musicians for musicians, but it’s still has plenty to offer for people who aren’t afraid to face a firm musical challenge.
“The Man Who Sold Himself” by Gavin Harrison & 05Ric may be quite a handful for the uninitiated in terms of technicality and the multitude of ideas and different styles explored on this album. However, for people with a burning passion for experimental, technical and forward-thinking music it doesn’t get much better than this.