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Syd Arthur - On An On CD (album) cover


Syd Arthur


Crossover Prog

3.96 | 70 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Welcome to a wonderful world which some of us may have thought was lost only to be re-visited through the vinyl recesses of our collections.

From the first bars of First Difference you are transported to and wrapped in the warm optimistic Canterbury Scene of yore. But you are in an altogether modern environment. This has a distinctly contemporary edge. There's an undercurrent of jazz.

Edge of the Earth was a song I'd already come across on youtube. My favourite, this has an impelling rhythm, an edge, but it is the effortless changes of mood, the unstrained vocal which has such an impact. Love the drums. This is a must listen to track.

Ode to Summer I've already reviewed as an EP. The same beautiful synthesis of vocal, violin, bass and drums. Love the bass.

Dorothy: (there's an EP with studio and live). A slow understated jazz with almost lazy vocal style that reminds me of Stina Nordenstam (not the pitch though!).

Truth Seeker has a harder edge. Not typical at the start but again the effortless shifts in mood and rhythm stamp an unmistakable Syd Arthur seal on the track. I suppose that is one of the striking things about this band. Having only listened to 3 EPs and this album their sound is instantly recognisable. Formulaic this isn't.

Night shaped light features a stronger violin part. Again the changes and tight bass + guitar runs. For me there is a bit much. I found the guitar sound too distorted and muddy at the end. But then again I'm pretty sure that's exactly what was being sought.

Promised Me has a similar mix. Again the guitar is muddier as the song drives on. Then there is a break, the quiet melody on a radio.

Black Wave returns to the cleaner more open sound. There is control and balance. One of my favourites.

For a second as Moving World started I thought Michael Buble was about to cut in. That jazzy undertone is to the fore. But there is a folk story telling, a prog shifting of timing and mood. One of my favourites.

Paradise Lost. This has it all. At one point we have a distorted slow heavy beat with bass Geezer might have played. How did we get here? It's like Sabbath! Then a total breakdown, an ethereal passage more reminiscent of spacerock before the clean guitar brings us back. The vocals return with a delayed echo. Then back into an up beat staccato passage. Then break to a smooth rolling. reminiscent of classic yes. Classic prog.

You know you're hooked when you've listened to an album a dozen or so times and yet when it ends you find yourself going "what? no more?" replay and search the web for a few new snippets.

Simply a must have. Many will wait eagerly for the next offering. The worry is in an X-factor world of pop pap it takes proggers to support bands as such as this.

No hesitation: must have.

obiter | 5/5 |


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