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Articles Home » 2017 Articles » Hornal - 2017 The Game Begins With The Lights Out
Hornal - 2017 The Game Begins With The Lights Out


ARTIST: Hornal
ALBUM: The Game Begins With The Lights Out
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2017


LINEUP: Iain Hornal - lead vocals, guitar

Guests: Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Billington & Quinn, Anna Krantz, Dan Gillespie Sells, Ciaran Jeremiah, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley

TRACK LISTING: 01 Staring At The Sky * 02 Running Away (with Sophie Ellis-Bextor) * 03 Jennifer (with Billington & Quinn) * 04 Caledone * 05 She Doesn't Have Anyone * 06 Quit You * 07 Dangerous Men (with Sophie Ellis-Bextor) * 08 Different Places (with Anna Krantz) * 09 Pictures Of Past (with Dan Gillespie Sells & Ciaran Jeremiah) * 10 Any Other Way * 11 Say The Word (with Graham Gouldman & Kevin Godley)

WEBLINKS: Official Website | FB Page

A name that may not be familiar to many as was the case with myself, but Iain Hornal who goes by only his surname 'Hornal's professionally, has had an amazing couple of years, first as a 'sideman' to both 10cc and Jeff Lynne's ELO, and now on this quite remarkable first solo release.

The Songs
This is an album that features exquisitely detailed arrangements with precise musicianship and dexterous harmonies, all guaranteed to please the palette of any fan of sophisticated rock and pop music. Even in his catchiest moments (and there are hooks, upon hooks here), his deft use of melody and structure is bound to grab the listener and make them want more. This is an album that hit me immediately upon my first hearing it and I suspect it will continue to have that effect upon everyone who hears Hornal on this truly amazing maiden effort. Featuring a dazzling array of guest performers such as Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and comedian Matt Berry (who comes complete with his Stephen Toast character) and many more who help Hornal flesh out his very particular vision. Songs such as 'Staring At The Sky' and 'She Doesn't Have Anyone 'positively sparkle but in very different ways, and there's a beautiful lushness about the whole album too, with its layered harmonies which evoke the likes of Lennon, McCartney and ELO. The album closer 'Say The Word' is as good as anything that 10cc produced, although that might have something to do with half of that iconic band featuring on it. Crisply produced too, to bring out the very best in both the songs themselves and the individual performances, what's not to like here eh?

In Summary
This is the sort of release that makes GDM special, as without a shout out from Chris a.k.a 'Jefflynnefan' this album would more than likely have passed me by and probably others too, and I hope it encourages more people to pick it up. This album really does hark back to a time when 'Pop Music' wasn't such a dirty word, and had a true heart and soul which is so in evidence here. This is intelligent music without being 'po faced' about it all. This album has a certain innocence and a very English charm running through it which makes it all the more attractive. Hornal is a name I will be most definitely following very closely from now on. A lovely album that comes highly recommended.

Hornal - 2017 Any Other Way

Hornal - 2017 Staring At The Sky

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#1 | jefflynnefan on January 24 2018 18:05:25
Wow, what an awesome review! And I couldn't agree more with you. I've been listening to it for 3 months now. It hasn't been on cd until just recently. I'm really glad to see a music site give this album a proper review.
#2 | Explorer on January 24 2018 18:20:06
...and thanks to you Chris for pointing me in the direction of this fine album.
#3 | gdazegod on January 24 2018 18:36:31
And me too. It is on Streaming sites (including the Deezer link above). Giving it a good listen this week.
#4 | Carl Noonan on January 24 2018 19:24:23
Really wanted to like this after hearing good things but apart from "She Doesn't Have Anyone" and "Any Other Way" it's just too limp and directionless. "Say The Word" would have been the best track till Matt Berry ruined it being very like 10CC as mentioned in the review due to Godley and Creme's involvement. Not close to 10CC's best though IMHO. Hornal is a talented guy no doubt and this is well played and produced but just doesn't float my boat.
The cover has to be one of the worst I've ever seen too. I'm afraid it's a thumbs down from me.
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