Downes Braide Association
Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes and singer Chris Braide (who worked with former Yes vocalist Trevor Horn in The Producers) have returned with their follow-up to 2012's Pictures Of You. Under the Downes Braide Association (DBA) moniker, Suburban Ghosts takes us back to some late 1980s-style soundscapes.
What comes to be repetitive backing of arpeggio keys and drum machine beats pushes the opener “Machinery Of Fate” to some obvious places. Of course, Downes knows how to layer his keys and Braide’s vocal is confident, but it pretty much sets the pace for the rest of the album.
The title track expands over two tracks in three movements, featuring some solid lead guitar, while we enter pop territory with tunes like “North Sea” and “Number One.” There’s Downes’ steady hands on the ivories on the breathy ballad “Live Twice.” The album’s best song, “Dreaming Of England,” evokes chilly scenes with an alluring lyric. There is a sense of foreboding with the melody Downes plays, a catchy chorus, and a few memorable guitar lines.
DBA is a talented duo and the songs of Suburban Ghosts are well written and rendered. If you’re looking for tight, precise sound and production, reminiscent of what you might have heard in your youth, these 12 songs might just be for you.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.