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08 July 2016Timeline Review

Donald MacNeill And Roberto Diana, Timeline. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

To stay and chart the events, the goings on and everyday episodes of your local community takes some doing. In a world of transience, of greater exposure to the wide world, to come across someone who captures the essence of the place where they reside in song, in the lyrical poetry and the demands of Time is to applaud the endeavour and nestle with almost comfortable ease in the songs of the characters and the scenes observed.

For Donald MacNeill and Sardinian composer Roberto Diana, Timeline represents not only a collaboration between two souls who have faith and trust in their musical ability, it also symbolises the character of observation, the need to record the details of the community and the register of details into which songs, poetry and testimony survive and flourish.

Timeline is the result of looking closely at the details, at the way a small section of population have lived, their loves, their hopes and aspirations, their downfalls and the way they cohabit together in either peace or in abandon and it is a resulting craft, an undertaking of marvellous music, that bears witness to how the world has changed, grown and become perhaps more disappointing that this sort of approach is not used more often.

In the same way that The Beatles seemed to capture Life in Liverpool with songs such as Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and Eleanor Rigby, so too do Roberto Diana and Donald MacNeill capture the souls of those they document and put down with imagination touches, but at a more sedate, more homely pace which is both illuminating and life affirming. It is to know that we are remembered with perhaps fondness that makes the inevitability of the passing of our souls such a glorious and treasured moment.

With tracks such as the beautiful My Mother Rode Her Motorbike, a stirring thought of memory of a loved one in her prime during the darkest days of World War Two, Man of the Land, the epitome of feelings of loneliness in Solitary Traveller, Tractor and the sincerity of Home is Where The Dog Is all leaving their mark on the passage of time, space and sometimes upsetting reminisce, Roberto Diana and Donald MacNeill have captured something a little unique and it is haunting and elegant in its delivery.

A cracking display of observation and listening, Timeline is an occasion for the soul to remember all that you have seen.

Ian D. Hall

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