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Perfect Beings - Perfect Beings CD (album) cover


Perfect Beings


Crossover Prog

3.86 | 418 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars . . . In my not so humble opinion . . .

This is an outstanding first effort and is one of my three candidates for album of the year.

Perfect Beings self-titled debut represents the perfect blend of songwriting hooks and superb musicianship. The songs are varied from the poppy "The Canyon Hill" and "Helicopter" to the complex, symphonic "One of Your Kind". With good production and atmosphere, this is an album not to be missed.

"The Canyon Hill" immediately brings memories of "Solisbury Hill", though the similarities are fleeting as the song doesn't quite capture the majesty of the Peter Gabriel tune. Once we get through the jangly intro, we get into something a little heavier to take us out of the song. It's an improvement, but sadly, the intro is probably the weakest track on the album.

"Helicopter" continues in the same vein with a non-descript poppy intro. Once we get through the first half of the song, the beauty of the album starts to show itself as we slip away from the pop and into a more melodic, emotive structure. The first appearance of the 'Perfect Beings' lick can be heard towards the end.

"Bees and Wasps" continues in the trend of more complex song structures and is the first song to really highlight the musicianship. The middle section shows off Dicki Fliszar's drumming with a tasty fill full of the complexities and intricacies that you would expect out of Gavin Harrison. The pipe organs towards the end of the song provide a majestic moment that is almost a requirement of any great prog release.

My favorite song on the album is "Removal of the Identity Chip". While the beginning of the song is mostly a funky little bit with Ryan Hurtgen warbling over a funky Keyboard / Bass bit. The majesty hits at about the minute twenty mark when the band gets into a wonderful groove in thirteen. Keyboard Player, Jason Nason provides a lush, rolling base for the passage reminiscent of Tony Banks circa "Squonk". On top of the keys, guitarist Johannes Luley does his best Steve Howe inspired noodling. The two sounds mesh beautifully and is the best passage on the album in my mind.

"Program Kid" continues on the previous trend of a poppier intro followed by something much more complex, the last half of the song being the most chaotic bit on the album as Chris Tristram on bass shines, driving the music forwards.

Everyone has their own musical preferences and one of my greatest joys is a good hook. "Remnants of Shields" has that hook that I need. While I'm not going to try and tell you this song is a masterpiece of prog, it's one of my favorites from the album and gives Ryan Hurtgren's vocals a chance to really shine.

"Fictions" has some very nice, almost Spock's Beard, vocal arrangements throughout the beginning of the song, this transitions into a soft Nason piano passage which quickly slams into a hard hitting moment of majesty as the band clicks, firing on all cylinders.

"Primary Colors" is just a great song that is always moving from one place to the next. Again, the complex songwriting structure is shown here as the band continues to play off of each other from one passage to the next. I really like the feel that the crowd noise gives to the song, adding an extra layer of emotion. This is another of my favorites from this album.

The big finish, "One of Your Kind" is the 'epic' of the album clocking in at a little more than eight minutes and, as you'd expect from the rest of the album, they don't stick on one particular passage instead choosing to move from section to section. The songs starts off with a rock ballad feel with Lulay wearing his Steve Howe influences on his sleeve. At the two and a half minute mark Lulay presents us with a beautiful acoustic passage. The acoustic bit is exited jarringly with the band grooving in six under a lovely solo by Nason. The big finale features a wonderful vocal hook, "Act and react, act and react", to sum up the album before the outro recalls the 'Perfect Beings' hook one last time followed by a mellow piano to finish it all up.

If you like hooks and complex song writing, this is a great album. With lots of Yes sounding guitar and bass over Genesis sounding keys, Radiohead-esque vocals and Porcupine Tree style drumming this album is something fans of those bands should enjoy on some level. Easy five star rating from me.

Roland113 | 5/5 |


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