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3RDegree - Ones & Zeros - Volume 1 CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.08 | 374 ratings

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Subterranean Android
5 stars This is New Jersey-based band 3RDegree's fifth album, and each of their albums outdoes the previous effort. As it stands, Ones & Zeros: Vol.1 is their crowning achievement to date. On their last album, 2012's The Long Division, 3RDegree created a pseudo-concept album with political themes running throughout. It was apropos for the 2012 election year, and it still holds up as a fantastic album today. However, make no mistake with Ones & Zeros ? this is a full on concept album, dealing with weighty and complex moral issues such as life extension, the Ultra A.I., and the singularity. The band cleverly weaves the storyline by creating Valhalla Biotech, an all-encompassing mega-conglomorate. Think Apple merged with Google, who then merged with Facebook and Microsoft. Valhalla Biotech presents itself through a cheery, if not detached, computerized customer service rep, at times stating "We regret to inform you that your father has been deleted." It's as if the band has taken the inanity of today's ever increasing lack of human interaction, and notched it up a level in this dystopian future. Musically speaking, the band has always straddled the line between melodic, hook laden pop and prog complexity, and it seems as though they are doing it better than they ever have on Ones & Zeros. Now a 6 piece, 3RDegree sound fuller, more complete, and more mature than any of their previous releases. Lead singer George Dobbs is the finest amalgamation of Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Donald Fagan, and a host of other world-class singers. Underneath him are the multilayered vocal harmonies reminiscent of Queen, The Beatles, and Yes, and they have never sounded so good. What makes the rather disturbing scenario on this CD so palatable is that it is all disguised by their characteristic sunny melodies. The band has done a fantastic job telling a cautionaly tale (to quote a song title of theirs) and they do it with their signature tongue-in-cheek wit. And the best part of it is that this is only Volume 1, with Volume 2 set to be released in 2016. Thanks, guys, for finally not making me wait 4 years until your next release ;) Ones & Zeros Vol. 1 is firmly on my "Best of 2015" list. This is an excellent CD and highly recommended.
Subterranean Android | 5/5 |


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