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Patrick Moraz - The Story of I CD (album) cover

THE STORY OF I

Patrick Moraz

 

Crossover Prog

3.36 | 83 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Chicapah
Prog Reviewer
1 stars Okay, here's the concept. "I" is a hotel controlled by a sphere hovering above it. People are drawn to the hotel because it promises to fulfill their dreams as they advance and climb slowly but surely floor by floor to the top where they dive off, hit the ground and are reduced to atoms. Somewhere in this hotel two people fall in love and become the first to reach the roof as a couple. Instead of diving off they are carried by their love upward into the skies where they vanish. (I'm not making this up, the story is written out in detail inside the LP cover and it's much, much weirder than that.) All I can say is that the only thing amazing about this project is that Patrick Moraz was able to cajole the execs at Atlantic into financing this fiasco. Not only that but he was able to make them contract top of the line musicians like bassist Jeff Berlin and drummers Alphonse Mouzon and Andy Newmark to play on it. He also coerced the label into flying his entourage to Brazil and Switzerland for sessions. On top of all that he got them to spring for a fancy art design and a full page green picture of himself (where he looks uncannily like the wicked witch of the west) on the inside of the expensive fold-out packaging. I guess being the keyboard man for Yes gave him emperor status in the mid 70s and he got whatever he asked for without condition or questions asked.

The music is flying all over the place and it never stays in one style long enough to make an impression. There are 14 tracks but they sound like a different amateur composed each one. There is absolutely no continuity to be found. "Impact," the first cut, starts with some intriguing rhythms but you just keep waiting and waiting for something to happen while Pat makes all kinds of strange synthesized sounds. "Warmer Hands" has some group vocals but it comes off like a really bad Broadway tune. I mean REALLY bad, too. "Cachaca" presents you with the first decent melody layered over a peppy Brazilian groove but there's no depth to the production and it comes off flat as a paper plate. "Intermezzo" is a neo-baroque piece that features 2 separate female voices singing in stereo. Except one is singing in English and the other in French. At the same time. It's asinine. "The Best Years of our Lives" is a pitiful attempt at creating a pop ballad, "Descent" is described as electronic progressive but it's a mess and "Incantation" is something Pat calls ethnic funk. Right. "Dancing Now" actually has some cool percussion and a rumbling rock and roll riff to stir things up but the vocal by John McBurnie is appalling as he tries to inject soul into lyrics like "There's nothing new except what has been forgotten." By now it's painfully obvious that Pat can't write a good song but he's definitely a virtuoso as he readily demonstrates on "Impressions," a solo piano piece. "Like a Child in Disguise" is another pop ballad that doesn't come close to working and then the rest of the album is a mish mash of jagged instrumental shards thrown together and some sappy synthesized strings. It's only been about 46 minutes since the first note but it feels like hours have passed.

If you are tempted to buy this because you are impressed by Moraz's fine work on Yes' "Relayer," please save your money. This is a great example of someone being loaded with talent but very limited in composing ability. You might also say it's yet another case of an emperor having no clothes.

Chicapah | 1/5 |

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