The beginning of the journey. When life leads to change. The world that we know becomes toxic, and time has come to move on. Part of the journey is looking for the new 'light' which can be happiness, peace, truth, or a new home. Looking back at a world of pain and regret, we strive to move forward.
Kenny and Patric provided all of the music and vocals on the album, but the lead guitars were guested out to good friends who they wanted to be on the album. So Chris Benjamin and David Peña were invited to do leads throughout the album. David would leave a mark that was not easily forgotten...that would lead to more involvement in the future.
ARRIVE starts the album out with a very Beatle-like piano and vocal. Kenny wrote the melody and it immediately catches you. The song is sort of a Band on the Run shape, the intro, the bridge middle piece...and then it blows up to a rock level of declaration. Features David's first appearance as he flavors the arrangement with guitar colors.
RADIOWAVE is the song that started the collaboration. Put aside from the AROUND THE SUN sessions, it was a song liked too much to discard, but had its own new feel, somewhere between Rush and The Beatles. So the vocals sailed the Fab Seas. Driving song that opened the live shows. A McCartney bass line, choral verses, Rush-like chorus, and a moog to flavor.
LIGHTCHASER is the 'title track' so to speak. It also is the tone setting lyric for the whole journey. Anthemic and meloncholy, it has become a great live song, as well as a favorite across the fan base. Mellotron washes over the sentiments of a world beginning to fall apart. And the time has come...to chase light.
SPEED OF THE CLIMB was written by Kenny when he was in his band FELT NUN. There is a distinctly different version out there. But when Kenny suggested Patric do his thing on a song of his, this song was the first selection. Firey, driving, groove oriented song that picks up 'speed' as the three parts play out. The theme is about breaking apart, how fast we can get to the end. The last section introduces David's lead work as he adds the Frippish drone lead and then the distorted energy to the climax. This part of the song is among the most exciting on the album.
BUILD FOR THE FUTURE is clearly a play on the bands moniker. But now the verb is in present tense. Time to build. The song has been called 'funeral and anthemic' and those are good descriptors. Placed after the fierce SPEED. The moment is now to reflect and look at reality. It is time to let go, move on, give up the past. Time is killing us. So move forward. This song almost was cut, as the chorus was different and not working, so at the very last hour a new chorus was written and suddenly a somber anthem was finished.
BURNING DAYLIGHT has a version that was mixed by Billy Sherwood/YES. He did a great job and was a great fellow. But his mix was different than the rest of the album so the band went with the original mix. Written to be a single, with 'short' being important, and with energy also being important. BD was the first band video and released single. Special note of the glorious lead guitar melody that was provided and played by Chris Benjamin. The song cannot stand without that melody.
WALLS began as two songs, one written by Patric that begat verses, and the other that was in Kenny's archive(another FELT NUN song) that became the chorus. Kenny and Patric decided to blend the two and they seemed to gel and create the very accessible WALLS. Gentle acoustic guitars and moog swirls introduce the song, and the piece builds to a nice climax of freeing yourself, moving on, breaking down obstacles.
RUNNING MAN is where the album begins to grow in to a more progressive direction. The song was written with the verses and that pulse, and it continued to feel very Genesis-y, so a brief 'saw 5th' homage to Abacab is in there to nod to the influence. The song has an immense middle section where David just let's loose with such energy and power, this would be the lead that inspired his work continuing on the new album.
Kenny developed the chants and the overlaps at the end, and the song captures a sort of dystopian run-for-your-life energy.
THE SIREN WILL is about persistence. Fighting through. Getting to the mind frame that you need to move forward. Kenny came up with the title and the idea that you hear the siren, and it doesn't stop, it's driven. David again adds a very emotional lead to the climax which adds the perfect feeling. The song was written with The Fixx in mind as Patric appreciated that Kenny loved The Fixx, so as a gesture of homage, Patric let that be the muse for this song.
STARING AT THE SUN was another troubled song. The mix would not work out, it was important as a statement, the glory of optimism. Truly an anthem for looking forward. So much work was done to save the song. Finally Kenny added some really special counter-vocals that just made it all work. A true Tears/Fears moment, just loading the vocal tracks up to feel like it is a world of voices. Kenny added his take on a Yessy moment in the middle section, adding vocal to what was to be an instrumental break. Mellotrons emote, voices soar, the counter-chorus ending just hits the mark the song was intending.
SAMSARA is another Kenny penned song from his FELT NUN days. There is a different version of this song out there as well. But Patric flavored the arrangement with 12 string guitars, moog runs, and then added the third section, with the huge mellotron climax. Kenny's words to Patric were..."prog it out"! So the song is defined by three disctinct sections. The spry and almost folky first section, with the odd-time moog runs, and then in to a very Beatle-like chant section, riding an open A-major chording, then finally the 'big decision' section that really stomps in with Yes-like glory as it shouts and declares as it marches toward the huge mellotron ending. Suprisingly to the band, this song became a very popular and incredible song when played live.
THE GREAT ESCAPE was always going to be the epic. The final word in the story. This song is in three sections, and each define the emotional stages of separation. The middle section is Patric's favorite verse melody, bouncing from 5/4 to the 4/4 chorus that stomps in as a heavy Beatle/Tears-Fears tinged message of just getting through.
David provides his final emotional lead guitar and captures the desperation of the music beautifully. The last section, FLIGHT, signifies the final letting go, departure, release, what ever the listener translates this to be. The piece is simple, two chords cycling in to a crescendo. Adding flavors of David's guitar, the bouncing bass and 5/4 drumming create an energy that feels like taking flight. The climax of the song features Patric's daughter IMAYA on real strings(violin/viola/cello), and she adds to the soaring emotion as she builds swelling sounds to the final explosive break through. This song has been noted many times in reviews as a favorite of prog critics. And is often surfacing on prog radio shows. Sets the story for the next chapter...getting to a new world.
The album is crossover, alternative, and focuses on strong melodies and hopefully inspiring lyrical messages. Influences that surface show the love of Rush(80's), Yes(Rabin era), Genesis(80's), Tears for Fears and a The Fixx.