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Happy The Man - Happy the Man CD (album) cover


Happy The Man


Eclectic Prog

3.86 | 228 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars With such a name, one could have thought of a Genesis clone or tribute band. But there is nothing as such here.

I very much like the opening number : aerial, melodious, fully ambient. Not the kind of song that impacts the memories, but a nice and spacey moment which goes nicely crescendo. A good start.

This good impression is totally ruined by the following song : "Stumpy Meets the Firecracker in Stencil Forest" is fully jazz oriented. Hectic, direction less, weird and finally . useless. Press next. "Happy The Man" 's music is difficult to compare to. I have read similarities with Genesis, Yes or GG. I can hardly see any of these in this debut album.

A song as Upon the Rainbow is closer to Camel (Rain Dances period) than any of the other references IMO. It is one of the very few songs with lyrics available on this album. This band was first categorized in the Symphonic genre which was probably not the best place. Eclectic is probably more appropriate.

Their sound is substantially jazz-oriented. Nonetheless, a piece of music as Mr. Mirror's Reflection on Dreams combines brilliantly this musical style with some pleasant and symphonic keyboards. My fave out of this offering. Several theme changes, subtle and skilled piano play, complex passages. A rather diversified song. The highlight IMO.

I even can feel some Crimson or VDDG influences during a track as Carousel. Very powerful sax , hypnotic riff, repetitive theme and scary atmosphere. Brrrrr. not to listen to if you are depressed.

While I listened to Knee Bitten Nymphs in Limbo for the very first time, my impression was that I was hearing to a kind of mix between Genesis (for a few seconds only) and VDGG. Except that the main theme sounds pretty bad and chaotic. Not too good I'm afraid.

Vocal parts during On Time as a Helix of Precious Laughs are not bad at all. Again, this song has a complex structure, great beat and the use of marimba adds a nice and exotic flavor to this track. Still, this is far from being a masterpiece. Just a good song, like there are several in here.

The symphonic-jazzy mood is again to be noticed with Hidden Moods. Another good instrumental track but don't expect anything from the other world. The closing number being just like most of this album. Pleasant, spacey at times, jazzy during others.

This album is not bad, but rating it higher than three stars is beyond appreciation. As I have said, this album is closer to VDDG, Crimson and the jazzy side of "Camel" than any other references. I am thinking hard, but a link with Yes is out of purpose IMO. And the only relation with the Canterbury scene is probably their proclivity towards using long titles.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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