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Try - Just A Try CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 6 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A bit of Ant Phillips, a bit of Middle Earth

I'm so happy to see the obscure German band "Try" finally added to the Archives. This Berlin duo recorded their lone minor opus in the summer of 1980, hardly a time frame celebrated by progressive rock fans. But this is one lost gem that can and should proudly adorn the shelves of fans of softer, bucolic, pastoral progressive rock.

"Just a Try" is a wonderful album, a blend of electronic sound and acoustic instrumentation with very little percussion and almost no vocals. It has elements of symphonic and folk and electronic music. While the segments are tracked in relatively short 2-6 minutes pieces, the album for me is one long piece of music. Ranging from purely acoustic guitar shorts to piano/keyboard scenes to occasional soaring electric guitar leads, the album feels like Ant Phillips met Oldfield and talked him into making a Tolkien soundtrack. There are also ambient sounds used for effect: waves, birds, etc. The music feels much more Shire than Mordor. It's an uplifting piece of music that will give you relaxing moments and inspiring ones. While it may not break new ground the compositions and sound quality are very good, the latter likely because both men have pretty extensive experience in studio work and sound engineering.

The best track is the longest in "Wreck on the Wire" which makes one wonder what Try could have accomplished had they pushed the whole album in a harder rocking direction. This track employs lovely vocals from Carolyn McCombs (the album's only vocal) and the most aggressive electric guitar parts, which still are quite mellow and melodic. While this is the most "prog rock" track it still has a different feel because of the choice to not use a drummer. In my opinion it doesn't suffer at all from it. The album has a different feel (different is good!) than many bands because of the lighter touch, the contemplative writing, and the great melodies. The album also boasts an aura that is very difficult to describe, somewhat mysterious, perhaps even spiritual. It also sounds like it could have come out a decade earlier and been right at home in 1970. By 1980 it certainly breaks no new ground and may be too mellow for many classic prog rock fans, but if you are an Ant Phillips fan, do take a chance on hearing it.

The very cool "Garden of Delights" label remastered and released this album on CD with a very nice booklet containing photos and bio. It is still available as of this writing, check Syn-phonic Music or the Garden website for vendors.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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