The Reasoning – Adventures in Neverland

TR_logoFor those of you that know me, or have read my stuff here, it is fairly common knowledge that I would be quite happily be pigeon-holed as a lover of big-haired, be-spandexed (is that even a word?) AOR. I am so much of an AOR stereo type that when I received a press release which started “UK progressive rockers….” my little pop/rock-tastic world was sent into spasms of “oh my God, how am I going to review this?”. So much so that, 10 months after first hearing the album I am finally letting my fingers run over the keyboard as I review “Adventures in Neverland”, the fourth full length sudio album from  The Reasoning.

This is a band, who have garnered worldwide critical acclaim with theirprevious albums with guest appearances from the likes of Marillion’s Steve Rothery, plus they have enjoyed an impressive worldwide touring schedule to date that has seen them play at major festivals in the UK, USA and Europe and also play supports with Marillion’s Fish, Airbag, Pagan’s Mind and more. So, you may well ask, “why has it taken you so long to review the record, Wilson?”. And that, dear reader, is a very difficult question to answer because it is fantastic. However, it does require a depth of understanding that my beloved pop-rock never needed. However, after seeing the group play live twice, on their tour late last year with Touchstone (at the fabulous, you guessed it, Railway Venue in Bolton) and during their appearance at Hard Rock Hell Prog in April, I think the answer for me lay in seeing the full effect of the songs and the band in a live setting.


Rachel Cohen’s voice gives the tracks an ethereal spiritual quality that gives a quite intense listening experience. The textures from new guitarist Keith Hawkins, Tony Turrell on Keyboards, Matthew Cohen’s bass and the sublime drumming from Jake Bradford-Sharp lend this band the elements that made this the stunningly difficult thing of beauty it was to review. The thing is, I don’t believe that The Reasoning are a prog rock band. This is quite simply a rock band (most clearly demonstrated by the two storming live shows that I have witnessed). For sure there is more than a hint of prog but does complexity of music make you a prog band? What the songs made by the band are not is throw away pop song material. You need to listen to the lyrics, hear the soundscapes and fully immerse yourself in the whole experience. Do not let the prog label confuse you – intelligent…. yes; interesting…most certainly and more importantly full of passion and fun (which, I have to admit, only hit me after the live shows – but that is a problem with me, not The Reasoning. Bassist Matt Cohen’s own comments about the release reveal a great deal: “The past couple of years have been an extraordinary journey with all of us being tested to the absolute limit. Nevertheless, we’ve found the strength to get up off the floor and to write and record what we believe to be our most adventurous, exciting and dynamic album to date.”

I for one can’t wait for their next live appearances – be a leader, not a follower and join the party.


Track List:
The Omega Point
The Glass Half
Stop The Clock
End Of Days
No Friend Of Mine
The Forest Of Hands and Teeth
Adventures In Neverland

CD Artwork by Dan Powell.

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