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Farpoint - Paint The Dark CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.83 | 15 ratings

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4 stars "Paint The Dark" by Farpoint is freaking excellent. The production is the best I've ever heard from this band. There are nine pieces totaling about one hour of very soulful, passionate music. The thing that makes Farpoint hard to pinpoint (did you like that? Farpoint, pinpoint ... but I digress) is that they are out there in a place by themselves melding prog folk, prog rock and prog pop. There is one almost chamber-music idea in the opener "Up to You" that really captivated me, and that song really does rock. Paint the Dark has some elements of almost clubby jazz in it too. Some of the songs have a more formula kind of structure (not TOO typical, mind you) and some are just in a category all their own. The stuff that you want to say is cliche is in fact not, which is almost maddening because I am winding up loving this in spite of itself. In other words, it's like, I've heard that before, been there, done that, but ... not really. So in that respect it's like seeing a familiar place in a foreign land. The playing is just great. Kevin is really a guitarist, quite good especially on the acoustic, but he has almost a Joe Walsh-y "Tend My Garden" approach to the keyboards with a little Wakeman sprinkled atop it. His electric guitar parts are quite intense but in a melodic rather than riffing or shredding sense. Vocalist Abby Thompson is vocalist who brings Annie Haslam to mind, which is of course a very good thing, she is clear as crystal, pitch accurate, and can turn little interpretations as she goes that you are going to really like. Frank Tyson's bass playing is I guess what one might describe as melodically solid. He can use the high register for seasoning but he is best when sitting in the pocket, and some of these pockets are very unusual indeed. The singing is excellent too although Dean Hallal's voice is just slightly too low-pitched for this music IMHO, yet there are spots where he brings tears to my eyes because the songs themselves really penetrate to the heart and there, his voice is very captivating. I am still digesting this disc. It has a uniqueness to it and deserves a serious listen. They can alternate between high energy rock and very subtle acoustic based passages with ease, and every tune takes you to a different place. The lyrics are very spiritual and draw the listener close to God without doing what many dislike, which is to say if you are Christian you will see it, if you are not you will still get that Yes-ish vibe of attempted exploration of ideas that lie just beyond the five senses. Drummer Rick Walker does not overwhelm us with Neal Peartish virtuosity, but he absolutely fits this music and has a number of moments where he shows us what he's capable of in terms of intensity. I wish Farpoint would turn him loose a little bit more. I give this record a solid four stars, really more like 4.5, and only hold back from giving it five because I know a lot of progheads want more complex material than Farpoint gives us here. Let's say if Caravan can get four stars and higher, so can Farpoint. I may come back and revise this review a bit after a couple more listens. One bit of lyrics I would like to share, the last part of Up To You, particularly moved me, dealing with blessing others with our lives, the thing we were made to do. : "One life, made for living, one heart made for giving, All that is true. One choice, a transformation. One voice can change a nation. It's up to you." And so it is up to you, dear reader. Go buy this record. You'll be a happy camper. Oh, and a word to 10t Records: Please do some promoting for this band!!
miketheorganist | 4/5 |


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