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3RDegree - Human Interest Story CD (album) cover

HUMAN INTEREST STORY

3RDegree

 

Crossover Prog

3.54 | 16 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AyRon
4 stars I'm amongst those who typically get irked that there's yet another remaster of an album that I previously bought, sometimes in multiple formats. To be worth buying, it needs to be so radically different from the original (at least in sonic quality) that it makes listening to the original pale in comparison.

Well, here's a perfect example. Listening to the remaster of Human Interest Story is like really hearing it for the first time. In fact, it makes the original sound like a poorly recorded demo in comparison. Some major comments on the upgrades:

1) One of the things I disliked about the original was the guitar sounds. I always felt they lacked definition and sounded overly processed. This is not a comment on the guitar playing...Pat Kliesch writes and plays extremely interesting guitar lines. But listening to the remaster reveals just how good the playing is...in particular, I'm hearing many things I never heard before, thinking WOW that's brilliant!

2) George Dobbs' vocals are much more defined and pick up more of the dynamism you hear from him live. I felt that was not captured in the original version.

3) The drumming is much more distinct in this version.

The bottom line is that you haven't truly heard this album until you've heard the 2013 remastered version.

Now to comment about the actual music. Human Interest Story was originally released in 1996. However, the biggest compliment I can pay this remastered version is that if you didn't know this wasn't a "new" album, you'd think it's a welcome follow up to 2012's The Long Division. It doesn't sound "dated" in the least, and that's a testament to the well done writing and execution. If you enjoyed The Long Division, you're bound to enjoy this album as well. As always, 3rdegree combine strong progressive elements with more straightforward rock. As a result, it likely will not be everyone's cup of tea (the only reason I don't feel right giving it 5 stars - I know there are plenty of prog purists that will complain they're not "prog enough." I'm not one who agrees with that statement).

Essentially, I'd say TLD is the band's definitive statement to date, but I'd put this remastered version right up there with it. Considering that it predates TLD by 16 years, that's pretty impressive.

High points:

Human Interest Story (a staple in their live show - hard hitting and still lyrically applicable - they beat Peter Gabriel's "Barry Williams Show" by 6 years!)

Ladder - One of their best songs and one that particularly benefited from remastering.

Stardust - Practically an anthem.

Black Orchid - Beautiful guitar piece - goes hand in hand with the Millions of Last Moments from TLD.

Other great moments: Locked Inside, Misfortune on Main Street (particularly the last part - We Must Wake Now - great ending to the album with elements of Yes harmonies).

Bottom line - Highly recommended, particularly if you liked their 2012 outing.

AyRon | 4/5 |

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