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Man On Fire - Habitat CD (album) cover


Man On Fire


Eclectic Prog

3.66 | 38 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars With Habitat, Man On Fire have produced a very melodic and easy to listen to album that should at least garner some interest from the fans of many different sub-genres of prog. This is actually the first album that Man On Fire has produced with a full band, spearheaded by Jeff Hodges (keyboards, vocals) and Eric Sands (fretted and fretless basses, 7 string guitar) and features Adrian Belew, of King Crimson fame, on guitars and David Ragsdale of Kansas on violin along with Rob Sindon on drums. Habitat is a concept album, of sorts, that, rather than have an underlying story behind it, follows 11 different characters (1 per song) that all live in the same city, their habitat.

The term "prog light" is probably a very good way to describe this band as the music they play gets very close to being pop on this album. Most of the songs here are fairly short (being generally in the 5-6 minute region) and short on complexity, but not lacking in providing interesting music. You wont, for instance, find many complex time signatures, or many changes mid-song of time signature either, but what you will find is a very well thought out, concise and coherent album that makes for very easy, and pleasant, listening.

As previously mentioned, this is a concept album that tells the stories of several people that inhabit a city. The lyrics convey the lives, thoughts and feelings of numerous characters thoughtfully without ever being, what you might call, deep, but being more observant of the people here. This is probably a good thing as it keeps it in tune with the style of the music, not overly complex, but not too simple either. The music is, as you would imagine with some of the members involved, extremely well executed to support the story of the album, were everything works together very well. There are few solos here with the music preferring to keep to a strong, sometimes shifting melody, allowing to keep the songs short and coherent.

However, this album does nothing that can be remotely called spectacular. In the same way that I find it hard to believe that there is going to be many people that find this album bad, I find it hard to believe that many people would consider this an excellent album. The mood of the album stays pretty much consistent throughout and the musicianship, though consistent, doesn't really grab your attention. I suppose that its fitting, then, that the singer is best described as competent. He can certainly sing but, as with everything else on this album, he doesn't really inspire any fervour.

Habitat is a competent album, something that just about anyone can enjoy when listening to it, but, like pop music, it can quite easily slip into the background unnoticed. An album that hasn't really got anything going for it but neither does it have any major problems. A distinctly average album that is probably worth listening too, but will probably be easily forgotten.

sleeper | 3/5 |


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