In his Career Damian Wilson has sang with Threshold, Landmarq, Jeronimo Road,
Ayreon and Rick Wakeman. I wasn’t keen on him in Jeronimo Road and I have reservations
about his voice in some parts of Wakeman’s catalogue but I found him OK overall
and he is a really nice bloke personally.
Damian has also sung in Les Miserables so it is unclear what Damian prefers
to sing. On the basis of this album it seems he likes quieter more introspective
When I heard of this album I heard it was very soft but quite good. I decided
to give it a go but wasn’t really expecting a lot from it. As it happens I really
enjoy the album. This in fact is a special edition package with a 5 track EP
"Grow Old With Me" included. Altogether the running time is only 55minutes
so it is a reasonable combination.
The package’s artwork is made up of children’s drawings. Given the personal
nature of the album’s subject matter I will assume they are Damian’s children
although no surname is given.
Disciple CD: –
Disciple – Damian uses The City Of Sheffield Youth Orchestra on this album
and they open this track. I was listening to a bootleg of Jeronimo Road this
morning to find out my early thought of Damian’s voice. I have got used to him
over the years so I don’t mind it as much as I used too and I thought him OK.
I do find some of the louder singing doesn’t really agree with me though. It
is OK just less to my taste. On this track Damian sings quietly and gently and
I think it suits his voice a lot more. The Orchestra are not used to make a
big noise. They often get solo phrases on a single instrument with the strings
being used for chords
Brightest Way – This starts with keyboards and percussion. Then the drums kick
in and this one is a bit more upbeat than the previous song. The orchestra is
again chord-like. There is a nice use of Organ. I liked the previous track but
like this more.
Heavenly Mine – Violin starts this one. Hand drums are in use too. This is
not as noisy as the previous song but it is still upbeat. It reminds me of Sonja
Kristina’s solo work. Piano is used and gets a minor break near the end. The
track is only 3mins so everything is short but it is a good song.
Beating Inside – Damian starts this almost alone. There is acoustic guitar
but relatively low in the mix. As the song progresses it gets stronger and other
instruments join in. This track is long for this album at 5 minutes and at 3mins
or so there is a bass section (It can’t be described as a solo as it is too
slow) with the sound of children. There are some strings and then piano then
the heartbeat drumming slowly fades out. Again a nice sing.
What a Man Can Dream – A Xylophone starts this one. And the orchestra is used
in full again. I really do like Damian’s voice on this album. I guess this a
rather simple song compared to some of the others.
Never Close The Door – Again this starts with a loud Damian and quiet guitar.
A violin joins in and then a harp type sound. This song is also a fairly simple
song. There is less instrumentation but again I like it.
Nothing Without You – This is a more upbeat song again. The orchestra is used
in full and there are drums on the track. I guess Damian is more in his Rock
voice mode on this one but only just. Again it is a remarkably short track less
than three minutes. There is no intro prior to Damian singing.
Part Of Me – Damian and the guitar start this one and then there is an orchestral
backing again. This song feels like it could get big but while it builds a bit
it never grows that much. The whole album is really about the lyrics I think.
Adam’s child – Keyboards introduce this one. It is then Damian and guitar again.
Having seen Damian singing in the pub after a Rick Wakeman gig I can imagine
him singing these songs to himself very well. This track has a good use of instruments
again with bits of flute and violin. Then there is some more Piano and just
prior to the last verse there are some Ah’s. Again a nice song.
Quietly Spoken – This song starts with the guitar. Then Damian sings with just
his guitar as accompaniment. On the previous song I was considering saying I
liked the songs that have busier arrangements and intros to the verses etc but
I like this song as much as any other on the album. It’s a very low key way
to end an album though.
Grow Old With Me EP: –
Grow Old With Me – This one repulsed me the first time I heard it. It is far
too slushy and syrupy for me. It is the only cover Damian has done and is by
John Lennon. The arrangement feels very Stage Musical and there are female vocals
by Alex Sharpe seems very Sarah Brightman like given my lack of knowledge in
this area. The track starts with Piano and Damian has more reverb or something
on his voice. Violin comes in at the end of the first verse. Then Alex sings
a verse and the orchestra joins her. The orchestra then gets a section and it
is then Damian and Alex together. It was Damian’s ambition to record this song
so I pleased he could do it in such a big way. I suspect Musical fans would
In A word – Piano starts this and then drums that I am not keen on. Again the
orchestra is a lot bigger on this EP than the main album. It much fuller I guess
more symphonic. I don’t like this EP anywhere near as much as the main album.
Damian is quite powerful on this song. I think there is a stronger stage musical
direction in the arrangements.
Just The Way It Goes ‘ A quiet piano starts this one. Then Damian sings gently
along with it. Damian is definitely singing stronger and more rock like on this
EP. I like this song there is a good combination of quiet and loud and the orchestra
provide good backing. The songs on this EP are fuller in length and therefore
feel more satisfying to me. I wonder of the main album is underwritten and yet
I prefer it overall.
A Monday Night In March – Piano starts this one. Again Damian’s voice has got
reverb or something on it. We have drums on this track and the piano playing
chords. The orchestra is also present and actually gets a loudish break between
Damian’s soft vocals. I expected him to break into rock voice but he remains
gentle thought the song.
Nothing Left In Me – It’s straight in with Damian and his guitar. This is probably
my favourite on the EP. It definitely shows the direction he was to go on Disciple’s
main disc. It is also seems to be about missing his children.
So there we have it. It seems I am not that struck on the Grow Old With Me
EP but I really like the Disciple album. I find it hard to get excited about
any particular song but I enjoy the album overall. I think the arrangements
are very good in there quiet understated ways. I do wonder what the songs would
be like he they were expanded and given a fuller treatment but I like the results
all the same.
I will be seeing Damian Live this weekend for a solo gig in Rotherham and it
will be most curious to see what sort of show he puts on.