I guess it should come as no surprise that Bill Mumy, child star on the ancient Lost in Space TV series cherished by many and the guy who appeared in at least one chilling Twilight Zone episode, would turn out to be a spaceface! Speechless is an exercise in guitar-driven ambientalism, a completely instrumental collection of pieces crafted solely by the famous gent and worthy of serious appraisal.
Though the overriding genre is prog, there's an appreciable blend of diverse player-echoes present. The first cut opens with a Frippian buzzline while Pardon Me Asking sounds as though executed by Blonker with Gandalf (the musician, not the Tolkien character) sitting in, the entire vibe possessing the gentle imagery that both were so exemplary in. Even Where the Wind Won't Blow possesses a David Borden-y chamber classicalism…albeit on the same kinda cheesy keyboards Borden used in several of his private releases, yet also with quite respectable magisterial airs in a stately waltz. Barns continues the keyboard influence in a Vangelistic air, sparkling high above, terrene below, almost like a cut excised from a pastorale in Blade Runner.
There are no pyrotechnics here, rather the entire CD is a mellifluous series of adventures, some of which echo his bluesy Carnival Sky (here) in Gilmourian riffs and lines (Mumy's no dilettante, he knows how to play and compose), others more Sensations Fix-y with elements of pastoral 70s krautrock, occasionally tangs of SFF and Roedelius. Don't think of this as yet another Hollywood actor trying to break into music, Speechless comes from that inexplicable center that every creative has, and it's obvious Mumy has been working at this craft for some time now. A little more effort could have been spent at the mixing board to achieve more copacetic timbres, not to mention an effect or two to broaden the sound field here and there, but that's a minor criticism. Speechless provides the soundtrack to a late afternoon shading into evening, stars beginning to emerge as a bustling humanity settles down to regain its composure and balance.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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