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Circus - Circus CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.55 | 27 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars An interesting and rare album from an under-represented country, progwise. "Circus" contains a handful of great ideas sadly stranded by musical pussyfooting and perhaps too much reverence for the classic bands.

"Stormsplinter" opens, and this reviewer was immediately reminded of Aqualung-era Jethro Tull, not only because of the flauty flourish but also thanks to Mr. Frei's voice, which falls halfway between that of the legendary Ian Anderson and Mr. Goldring from Gnidrolog - I noticed the previous, greatly prolific reviewer also drew parallels with that short-lived band. This puts Circus in good company! "Nowadays" follows and is more expansive, linking fun moments with fragile landscapes, and it has to be said that not all of these segments can hope to keep your attention unless you really like happy prog.

Side A's closer "Sundays" has a little muted Genesis about it, thanks to the sensitive guitar play and arrangement of chords. It's pleasant and gentle if not challenging - perfect lazy summer symph-rock.

The fourth song threatens to be more grandiose, what with rolls of timpani and cymbals and such beautiful melodic twiddling, but thanks to its slow pace and short running time, it never amounts to the crescendo you hope for. Still, it is very unpredictable and rewarding via its individual elements - much more of a composition than a rock "song", and it can be said that it introduces the final, feature-length track well enough...

"Room for Sale" is curious, a song this reviewer found disappointing on some passes and entertaining on others. The lengthy introduction is built on two very familiar chords, has a bit of a jam feel and all in all can be considered a little boring. Heresy, I know, but it gets better from there, with a lovely Tull circa "A Passion Play" feel, all acoustic with traditional but pleasing variations. It may be fulfilling to pay attention to the lyrical story, split into musical chapters.

Despite my misgivings, this is the sort of album that's perfect for fans of Genesis, Camel, Tull et al who are looking for something a little more out of the way. In the end, this is a good collection of positive and refreshing songs that remain upbeat even during their minor or sardonic moments.

laplace | 3/5 |


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