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Fish On Friday - Godspeed CD (album) cover


Fish On Friday


Crossover Prog

3.90 | 41 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Fish on Friday might have totally passed me by if it wasn't for the coincidence of me looking for new bands to purchase soon and a timely review someone posted somewhere (PA? Amazon?) of this album. The review sounded so good and a quick sample of the music told me that I would likely like it. And I did! Do!

The label "crossover" is one that steers me away because I imagine that it means it's a pop or rock band with occasional tendencies to be a little more musically intellectual. I tell myself that I want something more challenging, which makes no sense as many of my favourite albums are crossover, or rock albums with just some progressive tendencies like Rush, Saga or Deep Purple. I also like some pop prog like Alan Parsons Project, The Moody Blues, and Supertramp. So, surprise, surprise, this here is a crossover prog album that I quite like.

From the first listen, I was already of the opinion that this was like "Learning to Fly / Momentary Lapse of Reason / On the Turning Away" Pink Floyd or perhaps eighties Moody Blues. There are these beautiful vocal melodies and harmonies and mature, adult lyrics about life, love, and human relations and human experience. I'm guessing "Tick- Tock" is a song about someone with Alzheimer's disease because the chorus goes "You don't remember" and the lyrics are about someone who forgets everything. For me, much of what is so appealing about the album are the vocal melodies and harmonies.

The music features a lot of piano and acoustic guitar, but also synthesizer and electric guitar. The guitar can get a bit heavy on the rock side but never in a hard rock or metal way. It just adds some nuance of fullness and energy to the music in places. The most successful moments are when the music eases down and gives us simple percussion and bass along with piano and acoustic guitar or a simple lead electric. There are places where the music picks up tempo and volume and it still sounds great; however, I found that listening on my iPhone, these more energized moments don't sound as clear. It's as though the sound becomes a big warm fug, the drums muted a bit and the vocals surrounded by other instruments. The CD sounded much better on my car stereo.

Overall, the general sound of the album is mature contemporary pop rock but with change ups in the songs so that you can never be sure when a song is going to suddenly slow down and ease back or going to pick up in energy. "Sanctuary", for example, begins quietly and then builds with some synthesizer and female vocals, and then rocks out for a stretch before dropping back to a more eased back approach. It goes acoustic and laid back before returning to the charged pop rock sound with the electric guitar and female vocals. The title track also goes through some changes, demonstrating the band's ability to stretch beyond the borders of the standard adult contemporary pop song. In short, Fish on Friday seamlessly blend a simple pop rock approach with the daring spirit of prog. Crossover prog indeed!

The songs to have caught my attention and to have received the most replays are "Tick-Tock", a simple but beautiful song; "Don't Love Me to Death", which adds some different components to the song to go beyond average; and the pretty and sweet ode to a dear friend and family member, "My Dog". It's a short but cute track. The rest of the album includes moments of interest in every song, including beautiful instrumental parts, more catchy melodies and soul-soothing harmonies, and even some flute and sax solos. Not every song captivates me from start to finish but each song has something I like, some more than others.

If you like eighties, post-Waters Floyd or eighties Moody Blues but recorded with a modern sound and approach, then I suggest checking out the album. I played it for my family in the car the other day and my kids and wife were asking about who we were listening to. Of my big batch of new purchases, this stands out as one of the preferred listening experiences so far. Maybe not essential, but certainly a very good album worth having.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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