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Balloon Astronomy - Balloon Astronomy CD (album) cover

BALLOON ASTRONOMY

Balloon Astronomy

 

Neo-Prog

3.94 | 42 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Generally speaking, Balloon Astronomy is a showcase of talented and engaging pop songs adorned by progressive rock staple instruments. Many times, I am reminded of post-Gabriel Genesis. While several of the songs are underwhelming and some of the transitions lacking cohesion, there are outstanding moments. The first time I heard it, "One Summer" left me shaken.

"Crows in the Field" Hauntingly beautiful, the peaceful beginning is like someone trying to recall a piece he used to play when a loved one was still alive.

"Even Odds" So it's bizarre to transition from "Crows in the Field" to electronic, Neo-Prog bombast and boisterous vocalizations. While the unruffled movements are agreeable, with crystal clear guitar and uplifting harmonies, the busier moments are an unfitting contrast.

"Roots Run Deep" Adopting a country pop style, "Roots Run Deep" is quite different from the previous track- almost as though a different band had begun performing. All the same, it's a fun, catchy ditty.

"The Odyssey" Following a mystifying bit of distorted vocals, the song proper consists of straight-ahead progressive pop rock, sometimes even breaking away for simple acoustic guitar strums.

"Gentle Day" Returning to serene piano and adding graceful acoustic guitar is this interlude.

"Sourness of Days" Somewhat meditative, this otherwise upbeat song especially reminds me of post-Gabriel Genesis.

"By the Strange Water's Edge" After a menacing series of wails comes a smattering of percussive tones because abandoning that delicate piano. The clarinet pierces through in a plaintive way. As with the transition from the first track to the second, I'm scratching my head regarding the shifts from one section to the other in this instrumental; the individual parts seem to arrive and leave without any sense of cohesiveness.

"Eagle" Darker, organ-led rock with soaring lead vocals makes me think of IQ even though the composition is not as complex. The bass and Mellotron in the coda make for an elevating experience.

"Sigmoid Fletcher" Peppy and peculiar, this short number takes on the atmosphere of a bar tune.

"One Summer" This song does a good job evoking the feeling of spending the evening at a summer fair, when the air is hot but not unpleasantly so. It's easy to just listen and enjoy the lovely instrumentation, gentle vocal presence, and that slide guitar solo. In this particular instance, I had to read the words without the music. Now I know that this is one of the saddest songs I have ever heard.

"For Jackie" A third piano work provides a graceful moment- almost a requiem for "One Summer."

"Summer Afternoon" The final piece begins like a hymn in a church and ends like little girl at her ballet recital.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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