If Waitin’ On A Train marked Geoff Gibbons out as a master when blending a range of classic sounds into a smooth and unique sonic signature, then Execution Man not only underlines this skill but does so three times in a thick red crayon. Any song which already sounds as if you have been listening to it all of your life and possibly in at least one previous existence tells you a lot about the prowess of its author. It is this skill which makes Geoff Gibbons stand out from the pack. Or at least position him in a rarefied grouping, one that might see him rubbing shoulders with Neil Young, David Crosby, and, more latterly, the likes of David Grey.
Again, Execution Man is more than the sum of its musical parts. Whilst it is easy to see the input of various sounds and styles, country cool, folk finesse, singer-songwriter troubadourism, soulfulness and even a few deft and delicate pop smarts and slices of gentle rock melodicism, the result is such a clever musical blend that only one word seems to sum the music up. Classic.
That might seem to be over-egging the description, but what other word sums up the blend and balance of such polish and poise, nostalgia and familiarity, accessibility and reassurance? See what I mean; no other word describes what is going on here so succinctly.
The real test can only come with time, but I would put money on the fact that in a few years or perhaps a decade, maybe even two, we will look at Geoff Gibbons and songs such as Execution Man in the same way we do artists such as James Taylor and his iconic creations such as Fire and Rain. Come back to me in a decade and tell me I’m wrong.