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Year One - Year One CD (album) cover

YEAR ONE

Year One

 

Eclectic Prog

3.14 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Progfan97402
3 stars Year One is basically the Miami band Fantasy without their female vocalist (of course this Fantasy isn't to be confused with the UK group of Paint a Picture fame). This was a double album, apparently United Artists probably had no interest in this (Fantasy recorded for Liberty, by the time Year One came around, Liberty ceased to exist and most of their artists moved to United Artists) so it was released privately, as a double album. This really isn't some lost jewel, as you can often wish for obscure private presses. The big problem is the "double album syndrome". It's the same gripe I level at the far more popular The Wall from Pink Floyd (an album I personally felt was overrated). Brilliant material bogged down by a lot of filler. It's safe to say, unlike The Wall, no one is likely to overrated Year One. Year One works best when they're more adventurous, going a semi-psychedelic or semi-jazz rock direction, but some of the songs, like "As Much as I Know You" are just too plain repetitive with little creativity. The music appears to have Christian overtones, but they didn't seem overly preachy, unlike say, Scottish band Parable and their hyper-rare White Light album from 1974. It seems that Year One avoid direct bible quotes, or your typical "Jesus is my savior" lyrics, although there are references to the Book of Revelations in the lyrics, but still not a direct bible quote. One set of lyrics that really crack me up is "Morning Lights" that goes, "You say you want me to turn the sound down; so no one can see you or hear a sound? Well, If that's what it takes know the truth, then I'll build you a dark room and make it sound proof." What? Building a dark room? I never heard lyrics about building someone a dark room just you they can't hear you. Of course there was Roger Waters building a wall (that is Pink Floyd's The Wall), but at least we sorta get the idea behind the metaphor behind that wall. "The Juggler" is particularly nice, with nice synth parts to go with it. The music can't be really considered progressive rock in the Yes or Genesis manner, probably safer to call this "art rock", probably in a way the Minneapolis group Gypsy is (who are also in Prog Archives), or even Family, not that any of them are just like Year One, clearly Family is a much better band (Prog Archives used to have an Art Rock category, before they felt Heavy Prog, Eclectic Prog, and Crossover Prog could better describe various "art rock" groups, and it happens that Family, Gypsy, and Year One are Eclectic. Despite the rarity of Year One's sole album, it's not all that expensive, so unsurprisingly it's not featured in any of Hans Pokora's Record Collector Dreams series of books. In this case the somewhat low price this double LP asks for just demonstrates this music is hardly what you call life changing, but it does have some really nice material, but also some mediocre material that's plain to see.
Progfan97402 | 3/5 |

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