Balloon Astronomy is Jim Ledger (vocals, bass, guitars) and Glenn Little (keyboards, flute) plus guest contributors, Nick D'Virgilio and Jason Smith, (drums), Mike Keneally (acoustic guitar) and Max Werner (clarinet). They released their self titled debut in 2012. For the most part Balloon Astronomy’s music harkens back to post Gabriel Genesis before they became more of a pop making machine.
If you ever wondered how Genesis (Collins, Banks, Hackett, Rutherford) would have sounded beyond 1977, the closet I can of recently is the music of Balloon Astronomy. Everything you fans loved of that Genesis line-up are ever present and so much more.
The tracks on this album segue into each other making it almost like one long track. Each are very catchy and sometimes quite epic in content. And as I said previously, they have a positive vibe about them. I end of feeling very good after listening to the album.
Some highlights for me are the first three tracks “Crows In The Field”, “Even Odds” & “Roots Run Deep”. Also I’d add the longest track on the album, “The Odyssey”, but to limit the highlights are criminal because the whole album is simply amazing.
Jim Ledger vocals reminds me a lot of both Gabriel and Collins but doesn’t sound forced like others. He also sounds a little like the somber vocals that Fish gave on early Marillion albums. Glenn’s keyboard playing are spot on to Banks’ output of the late 70s. The guitar interaction of Jim Ledger and Mike Keneally pretty much touches the same way that Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford did with their tenure together.
On whole this self titled debut album by Balloon Astronomy is one of the more essential new progressive rock albums of the decade and is highly recommended to fans of Genesis.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on October 28th, 2013