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Patterson - Eyre - Equations of Meaning CD (album) cover

EQUATIONS OF MEANING

Patterson - Eyre

 

Crossover Prog

3.88 | 82 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars This is a Tony Patterson SOLO album release.

If one was bold enough to imagine what the ideal vessel would be for a 2016 version of a progressive Genesis, well, I would like to propose Tony Patterson as the likeliest candidate. Having a voice that is Part Gabriel and part Collins is obviously a major attribute as well as the fact that Tony cut his teeth on being ReGenesis' lead vocalist, a band that unabashedly reprised the Prog icon in mostly live settings. I also cannot help also to draw parallels to Mike Rutherford's debut (and only truly prog) solo album 'Smallcreep's Day', a personal and much idolized album in my collection. My adulation for this artist really germinated from the recent masterpiece Tony Patterson put together with Riversea and Nine Stones Close keyboardist Brendan Eyre, entitled 'Northlands', to which I allotted a maximum score as it was a truly epic and genial release.

'Equations of Meaning' simply continues the spirit of "Northlands", with a similar feel, artwork and artistic lineup, yet this is a full Patterson solo album, playing most of the instruments himself (guitars, keys, flutes and programming). Guest cameos include keyboardist Nick Magnus, guitarist Adrian Jones and Brendan Eyre, Andy Gray has a solo spot on guitar and Doug Melbourne on synth. Fred Arlington returns on sax and horns. Tony's voice, while obviously capable of imitating his influences, is starting to develop its own hue and dimension, which is the added bonus one gets with sublimely atmospheric material that effectively paints pictures in the mind. The entire album is an utter audio joy, basking in deep clouds of melancholia, supreme wisps of heavenly sounds and possesses the uncanny ability to take the listener to an altered state of mind, in which to bask in. One also gets the sense that this is a very personal effort, deeply rooted in a certain perception of music, decorum and art and thus, highly original in its purpose and raison d'etre.

The spectral splendour of 'Ghosts' serves as the perfect anesthetic, a mellow and sublime carpet of synths and strings, suave and seductive, like melodic morphine seeping into the veins. Ready to get operated on, nicely medicated and comfortably numb. Gorgeous nirvana. In the spirit of the previously mentioned 'Smallcreep's Day' masterpiece, 'The Magdelene Fields' recalls those glory days of reverberating 12 string guitar phrasings, sweepingly sweetened voices (lead and backing) and titanic keyboard swarms. Fred Arlington's sax provides rays of sunshine amid the puffy synthesized clouds, the pulsing rhythms discreet in the background with loads of cymbal work. As the song whispers into silence, I cannot help but to sigh, contented.

Welcome to dreamland with the lighter-tinged 'Each Day a Colour', a simple gem of sunny musical disposition, unpretentious and fragile, stating 'the world begins to smile and a dreamer's dream makes it all worthwhile', a solid guitar foray and a sudden end. 'Cast Away' serves as a perfect segue, a sweeping lullaby of gentle vocal breezes that are barely above a whisper, birds fluttering in the air, clanging guitar flicks and utterly restrained. Achingly beautiful as the synthesized strings build into celestial orgasm.

The first elongated piece is the 7 minute, three-part all-instrumental epic 'The Angel and the Dreamer', initially a platform for Siobhan Magnus to use her mellifluous voice to instill a vaporous mood platform that has a simple backbeat and a spiraling acoustic and electric rant that takes shape for the music to coalesce into a meaningful whole. Arlington's horn work and the rather organic drum programming is quite out of this world as well as Doug Melbourne providing a mopho synth solo that is all sweetness, technique and feel. Church bells tolling, celestial choir and more chirping birds combine to create a cinematographic feel which is hard to castigate. Brilliance!

The solemn mood continues undeterred on the hypnotic 'Beneath a Perfect Sky', as Patterson owns this smooth and unctuous whisper that is entirely addictive to these ears, a swooning infusion that remains whole-hearted to the core. Tony adds his twinkling piano to the mix in fine and elegant fashion, as per his norm. The horn solo provides a welcome jazzy touch to the ethereal sounds.

Surprise! And then out of the blue comes this scintillating piece of inspiration, as 'Sycophant' has some bite, a James Bond-like orchestral theme that titillates and certainly kicks the audition up a notch, the voices all modulated to modern levels and of course, a rather snarly lyrical content , that spits venom in a gentlemanly tone. Andy Gray's twisted electric guitar solo only further conveys the nasty message 'I never liked you, I never will, Just bide my time and then move in for the kill', oh my, that is quite vile, tempered only by the cascading walls of string synthesizers that act like a mellotron in heat. Effing perfection!

A short symphonic and electronic interlude in the shape of 'And the Sky Was Opened' further gentrifies the sensational progression of this opus, heavy on the keyboards and laying the groundwork for the next piece, the 'ber-addictive 'Pilgrim', a modern serenade of pensive discourse, insistent beat, obstinate voice and adamant forward propulsion, leading to some sonic nirvana, fueled by more horn and sax work from mister Arlington. The drum programming is outstanding, though quite unassuming. Stunner!

The obligatory cameo comes in the form of the piano-led 'As the Lights Go Out', an opportunity for Brendan Eyre to reveal once again his lovely technique, fluttering over his ivories with passion and elegance. This will lead to the other extended piece and the lovely finale, 'The Kindest Eyes' is dedicated to Patterson's wife Angela, a gulp- inducing ode to a partner who faithfully influenced his craft, a testimony to this album's generous disposition and highly personal touch. It also happens to be addictive and superlatively beautiful in its relative simplicity. Adrian Jones of Nine Stones Close fame offers a scorching slide and lead guitar solo that will blow your jaw sideways. I mean, I am so totally impressed, feeling this music so deeply even upon first listen.

Imagine 10cc's classic 'I'm Not in Love' styled choir voices and lilt and you will get the drift , though this is way more wistful, creative and progressive. Exactly my kind of personal and personalized progressive rock music, highly evocative, heartfelt and meaningful. I could listen to this forever and I fully intend to do so. You should too!

5 equivalences of significance

tszirmay | 5/5 |

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