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Haddad - Orion CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.70 | 16 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars In an era where progressive rock groups have to keep their day jobs and rarely get past a second album, Brazil's Haddad has produced 5 CDs of keyboard dominated neo prog since the mid 1990s. Their trump card is that they are aware that their music is not complex, and they don't try to pretend it is, which places them a rung or two above the average British neo act, but this still isn't exactly stirring music.

While almost everything here is good, little is especially memorable. For instance, the lengthy opener flits from one theme to another on likable fat synthesizers like a person trying so hard to be pleasant that they forget to be interesting too. Very little here beyond the sparsely used vocals seems to belie the Brazilian origins of the band, and this is unfortunate as well. An exception is "Sweet, a folha seca", which conveys some tropical sensuality, especially in the vocal sections. "Far from Home" is an exception to the generally tranquil approach, featuring tasty lead guitars and, while it is somewhat out of place, it works fairly well thanks to some fine playing and singing.

As the album rolls on, the formula of alternating pace of various keyboard themes gets tired even by Haddad's own mellow standards, although the closing suite finds some redemption. But Haddad's style on Orion depends too much on new age themes that, while appealing enough, seem to dwell in the realm of the superficial even after multiple listens. Hence my decision to round down to two stars, since good prog should be a little more imposing.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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