Album Review: Memories Of Machines ‘Warm Winter’

When I was sent a copy of Memories of Machines ‘Warm Winter’, I was a bit skeptical until I read the guest spots: Steven Wilson, Colin Edwin, Robert Fripp, Jim Matheos, Peter Hammill, and more. Holy prog-rock boner inducing list! Seriously, though, can you think of a guest list that gets your rocks off more than that? So, with a list like that, you can easily understand why I had quite high expectations. But were those expectations met?

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Opening with the gorgeous, albeit short, track, ‘New Memories of Machines’, it is clear that this album is not going to be Porcupine Tree’s ‘In Absentia‘ or King Crimson‘s ‘The Power To Believe‘. Rather, this is something that one would put on during a rainstorm or during a long drive through the night. This is mood music and one has to be in that mood to understand and appreciate it. It took me a bit to realign my thinking to accommodate what I was listening to. But once I clicked into that mindset, I fell in love.

The production of this album can be described in one word: warm. Everything sounds lush, organic, rich and, in the end, warm. It’s an album that embraces you, never shunning you with harsh tones or piercing frequencies. A perfect example is the cello in the beginning of ‘Beautiful Songs You Should Know’: I felt like I was sitting in a concert hall as its tone washed over me, almost seeing the bow slide across the strings.

Tracks such as ‘Lost and Found In The Digital World’ and ‘Lucky You, Lucky Me’ are standout tracks, rich in ambient soundscapes and lush tones.

The Final Word: Warm Winter is a sublime debut from Memories of Machines. It’s not an album for everyone but rather for those who can appreciate the beauty of feeling melancholy and yearning. Enjoy this album while remember times gone by.