GPS (Guthrie Govan's Trio) - Window to the Soul (2006)

Style: Progressive Rock/fusion
Year: 2006

GPS are a brand new prog-rock supergroup of sorts, consisting of John Payne (Asia), Guthrie Govan (Asia), Jay Schellen (Asia, Hurricane, Badfinger), and Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard).Tagged as a “meeting of musical minds”, the fellows who make up GPS took time out from their main gigs to put together this little side, project, and the result is Window to the Soul on InsideOut Music, a solid melodic rock album with plenty of prog flourishes, mostly thanks to the stellar keyboard work from Okumoto.

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Those familiar with his continued work in Spock’s Beard know what he is capable of on the Hammond organ, Mellotron, and various synths, so expect more of the same here, which really helps propel the music of GPS. Led by John Payne’s powerful vocals and supplemented nicely by Govan’s acrobatic guitar style, songs like “New Jerusalem” and the title track really soar, with extended passages that allow for wild guitar and keyboard solos. The rhythm tandem of Payne on bass and Schellen as would expect keep a solid groove throughout the ten tracks. While many of the songs here have that Asia stamp to them, mostly due to the songwriting of Payne, the band has made effort to inject plenty of instrumental parts to stretch out each piece, so amidst all the catchy hooks and anthem-like choruses, you get to enjoy an assortment of solo spot, again, vehicles mostly for Okumoto and Govan. On “Heaven Can Wait”, a solid and catchy rocker for the most part, about mid-way through the band rips into a blistering instrumental section that could have easily come off an early Spock’s Beard album, complete with stunning Hammond, electric piano,and synth passages from Ryo. Also look for a fantastic lead vocal from Payne on this one, as well as on “Written on the Wind”, a tender number that also features some hot acoustic and electric solos from Govan. Other highlights include the Saga-like rocker “I Believe in Yesterday”, the Mellotron drenched “The Objector” (a must hear for Spock’s Beard fans), the heavy ‘All My Life”, and the rhythmic workout that is “Gold”, which sees drummer Schellen really put in a fine performance. There’s a good chance that “Window to the Soul” will please a lot of prog lovers, and not only those who are already Asia and Spock’s Beard fans. Filled with great melodies and exceptional displays of instrumental virtuosity, GPS have put together a very fine debut here.

Track Listing
1) Window to the Soul
2) New Jerusalem
3) Heaven Can Wait
4) Written on the Wind
5) I Believe in Yesterday
6) The Objector
7) All My Life
8) Gold
9) Since YouÆve Been Gone
10) Taken Dreams … SdEzRmAt==

Guthrie Govan