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The Tangent - Not As Good As The Book CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 369 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is it. My first album by The Tangent, and my favorite. Personally, I think it's better than the book, which is interesting on its own, still. So, Not as Good as the Book. Here we go. I'll try to be brief.

The Tangent capitalizes on their ideas from the previous three albums and brings it to a brilliant climax (hopefully, nothing final though). The songs are strong, unique, adventurous, and plain fun.

A Crisis in Mid-Life kicks it off with a fair bit of cheese-synths and well-driven rock. This song clearly sets the standard for the album, promising something new while at the same time able to look back on prog and stuff. A delicate balance, but so wonderfully held.

Lost in London 25 Years Later plays off the A Place in the Queue song (minus the 25 Years Later, see?), following a good song with a pretty good song. I like them both, though neither really strikes me all that intensely. This is probably my least favorite song on the album, which is a funny thing to say, because I honestly love this whole album, a thing that doesn't happen that terribly often these days. The Ethernet follows, with lovely vocal work and harmonies. Rather mellow but rather swell. I like it a lot but can't really think of much more to say about it.

Celebrity Puree and the title track work together, sharing a common bit or two between them. Celebrity Puree is an instrumental, a hard hitting one, especially by The Tangent standards. The wicked saxophone break towards the end is probably my favorite moment here, and something that just kicks the Van der Graaf Generator fan in me in the rear. Splendid. Not as Good as the Book is a great song in itself, hard hitting like A Crisis in Mid-Life while being carefully witty like Lost in London 25 Years Later.

Speaking of Van der Graaf Generator (well, I was somewhere up there, anyways), A Sale of Two Souls features a wonderful vibe to it that hearkens back to none other than the aforementioned musical act. This one probably took me longest to appreciate of all the tunes, but now it's one of my favorites. Mostly mellow but with a few moments of some neat heat. Bat out of Basildon is a cool song, a good driving tune, but nothing all that remarkable.

Four Egos, One War I've been told was originally from Parallel or 90 Degrees, which is Andy Tillison's other main band. I don't care. This track is awesome, with wonderful vocal melodies and whoever that is singing using his Roger Waters sort of sound to its utmost. As far as an epic 20 minute plus track goes, this one holds together absolutely perfectly. It's like a normal prog song, but longer, and is nicely cohesive. The end result is a powerful sort of feel to the entire thing. Maybe an epic feel? That's what they're supposed to do in the first place. Cool. The second epic on this disc, The Full Gamut, is more generically proggy and less impressive, but it's pretty awesome as well.

In all, not an album to be ignored. It's one of the top rated for this year, if not the top rated so far, and there's a reason for that. This album is a definite five star for me, and I'm terribly glad that I ran across this band.

LiquidEternity | 5/5 |


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