Midge Ure             Orchestrated           BMG

Midge Ure is pretty fantastic. From his work with later years Ultravox to his solo material, the man has always had a golden voice. The kind of voice that Peter Gabriel has. Or Johnny Cash. Or Jerome Wincek. Or Paul Carrack. Or Aloe Blacc. The kind of voice that sucks you in and demands your attention. This time around, Ure puts his voice in a different context though. Orchestrated is exactly as it sounds, a collection of Ultravox and solo songs as viewed through the lens of composer Ty Unwin.

I’m not normally one to go for orchestrated re-imaginings (especially a full album’s worth), but even I have to admit that these are completely excellent. Ure’s voice is so much more powerful when surrounded by such dynamic instrumentation. The lush sound you expect is here, but there is so much more depth to it all.

“Breathe” is one of many highlights here. The lyrics come to the forefront immediately, whereas the original version didn’t capture them as eloquently as they are here. By the time Ure hits that unmistakeable chorus you are already melted. This song is even more relevant in 2018 than it was in 1996. “Death in the Afternoon” is like a Rock Opera here, starting out as completely haunting piece and building to a dark carnival of a crescendo that takes it to new heights. I love the original version, but this is an altogether different beast. Of course, “Fragile” is a highlight as well. The song builds on the original quite well, this one just soars so much more. You literally feel like you are taking flight during this one and it’s wonderful.

This isn’t all re-imagined though. Unwin and Ure offer us a new collaboration as well in “Ordinary Man.” It’s got a commercial-era Genesis appeal, yet it doesn’t feel quite as musically complex. Piano, gentle strings, and Ure’s unique voice push everything along and the rise and fall throughout is just gorgeous. Such a great song.

Overall, I enjoyed this so much more than I anticipated I would. I have always been a fan of Ure’s music and hearing it like this is so enjoyable. It really gives you a better feel for how textured, complex, and intelligent his work is, both musically and lyrically.  It’d be a shame if you missed this.

#MidgeUre #BMG #Ultravox #Orchestral #TyUnwin #OutHereAllNight


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