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Mr. So & So - The Overlap CD (album) cover

THE OVERLAP

Mr. So & So

 

Neo-Prog

3.33 | 29 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While Mr. So & So seemingly had built a good public profile with good sales, plenty of interviews and strong radio airplay, first few problems appeared in the horizon.The band failed to establish a management first approaching Colin Harvey, then Steve Grady and returned back to self-promotion values.Only when they caught the attention of Marillion's Steve Rothery, they got signed by his short-lived Dorian label, still the members recorded their parts in different studios, while tension during the process was always present.As a result they supported Marillion on their 97' ''This strange engine'' tour without having a new album out, a fact which prooved to be quite harmful for the band.After these delays, ''The overlap'' eventually came out in 1998.

While ''The overlap'' continues from where ''Compendium'' stopped, there is still something missing in a nonetheless very decent album.The problems reflected to a thin production, but the music remains inspired, emotional and often grandiose, well within the standards of the Neo Prog genre.They still sound basically like THIRD QUADRANT, building their ideas on atmospheric soundscapes, deep vocals, spacey synthesizers and laid-back guitar lines.While their material lacks dynamics during most of the album's length, the arrangements are well-performed, memorable and sensitive with good keyboard solos, touching guitar moves and a great lyricism.Charlotte Evans had become a regular member on backing voices, resulting to the more mature Mr. So & So album regarding the vocal depth.The most energetic parts appear in the second half of the album, seeing the band flirting with a style established by ARENA and MARILLION during ''Seasons end' :More expressive vocals, more powerful guitars and plenty of grandieur during the keyboard lines, fully respecting the need of some calmer interludes with piano and synthersizers in evidence.The overall result is an album flirting with a Neo Prog style fully displayed by more recent groups a few years later, atmospheric, smooth but also pompous musicianship with evident balance between melody and atmosphere.

Another goodie by these overlooked British veterans.Impressive music with great, memorable moments, lowered by a mediocre production.Still warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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