Out Of Sinc (2018)

1 Blue Eyes (6:40)
2 Back With You (5:20)
3 If I Run (6:30)
4 On My Own (4:46)
5 Home Again (17:50)
6 Crazie Blue (5:15)
7 Island Of Dreams (3:40)
8 Our World (5:10)
9 Rings Around The Moon (5:48)
David Sinclair - Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals (tracks 1,2,3,5,6,7,9)
Jim Bashford - Drums (tracks 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9)
Billy Bottle - Acoustic Guitar (tracks 8,9)
Doug Boyle - Electric Guitar (track 8)
Tony Coe - Clarinet (track 3)
Derby Cathedral Choir conducted by Tom Corfield - vocals (track 8)
Larry Fujimoto - Electric Bass, Percussion
Pye Hastings - Acoustic Guitar (track 1)
Fujio Inoue - Alto Saxophone (track 6)
Sho Iwaasa - Flute\Tin Whistle (track 1)
Andrew Latimer - Electric Guitar (track 5)
Marvin Mots - Cello (track 9)
John Murphy - Electric Guitar (track 2)
Akira Nomoto - Congas\Percussion (tracks 1,2,3,4,6,8)
Geoffrey Richardson - Viola (track 5)
Martine Waltier - Violin (track 1)
Takuya Yada - Acoustic Guitar\Electric Guitar (tracks 1,3,5)
Yammy - Lead Vocals (tracks 2,4,5,8), Chorus (track 1)

The former Caravan keyboard tinkler is far from Canterbury these days – he lives in Japan – and pops out a solo album every four or five years. He was sacked from Caravan some time back over musical differences but, quite frankly, his solo material is so similar to what his old bandmate Pye Hastings produces these days you’d be hard-pushed to slip a thinly-sliced piece of sushi in the gap between them.
Out Of Sinc is a collection of pleasant but mostly unremarkable ballads – melodic and well produced but relying upon some hoary old musical and lyrical clichés. Too many clouds in the sky, hearts feeling free and reaching for the stars – lines that really shouldn’t come from the pen of a grown man.
Wisely, Sinclair gives most of the lead vocals to a very tuneful young lady called Yammy as his voice is a bit thin and undistinguished, and he is supported by a large cast of musicians including old bandmates Pye, Doug Boyle and Geoff Richardson.
There are one or two interesting moments. If I Run thunders along quite nicely thanks to some busy drumming from Jim Bashford (appropriate name there), fluid guitar solos from Takuya Yada and an appealing instrumental section featuring Tony Coe’s clarinet. Sadly, however, there is some unfortunate use of a Vocoder on Sinclair’s voice – the only way to properly utilise a Vocoder is to take it into the garden and demolish it with a sledgehammer.
The simple but winsome Island Of Dreams has an honest, waltz-time charm about it and Home Again manages to remain interesting throughout its 18 minutes. But anyone expecting Nine Feet Underground, Pt2 will be bitterly disappointed – it stays firmly in piano ballad territory, lifted by some welcome guitar work from Camel’s Andy Latimer.
The rest is really too mellow, predictable and unimaginative for my tastes and suggests Sinclair is resting a little too comfortably on his laurels. Perhaps this is the work of someone who wants to take things easy these days – he suffers an irregular heartbeat that two operations have failed to correct. So he is out of sync. See what he did there?
Respect to Dave for continuing to make music after 50 years in the business. But Out Of Sinc shows he’s musically, as well as geographically, far from Canterbury.
Kevan Furbank 09.07.2018 (THE PROGRESSIVE ASPECT)