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Marc Carlton - Still CD (album) cover


Marc Carlton


Crossover Prog

3.20 | 3 ratings

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The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Released in 2004, 'Still' is Marc Carlton's 4th instrumental album. Having listened to follow up albums 'Reflex Arc' and 'Ovriah' prior; it has been like going back through time, listening to the albums in the opposite way they were intended. However this in turn has given me a different perspective of the albums and has allowed me to witness the progression between albums in a different way.

The biggest difference I noticed from 'Still' and the two follow up albums is that unlike 'Reflex Arc' and 'Ovriah' where the tracks flow neatly into one another and the album's are a complete piece. These tracks stand out more as individuals, each going off in their own directions making it easier for the listener to digest. In hindsight I wish I listened to this album first and then moved on to the more challenging 'Reflex Arc' and 'Ovriah'.

8 minute opener 'Beyond Surprise' starts off with a pure crystal, clear electronic guitar which gently weaves its way into the album gathering other instruments and sounds along the way such as the piano; creating a majestical sound. Track 3 'Vista' sees a much welcome viola which adds to the peacefulness of the track. In a change of direction track 4 'It never happened' sees Carlton going more upbeat with use of the synthesizer to create drumming mixed in with a cool keyboard sound.

At first I thought the album title did not fully reflect the music. When I think of stillness within music, I always think of peace and tranquillity. Music which you can just lie down to and each track will have that calming theme delivering relaxation for the listener. This album feels like it has a little bit of everything from the peacefulness in earlier tracks, to the darker tracks such as 'A future, already a memory', 'Meanwhile' and 'Epos'. With a little more thought however I realised it did make sense. The music in the album to me is like sitting on a bench looking out on a peaceful lake surrounded by mountains with the sun out and everything just seems perfect. But then of course you can be sitting in exactly the same position and everything changes. The sun goes away, clouds form, it starts to rain badly and get dark. It is like forces out with your control are changing the way you feel, just like the music changes the way you feel when listening to this album.

Overall this is a good album, although I would say it is not as good as 'Reflex Arc' and 'Ovriah', purely for the reason there is no real flow to it which is what made the other two albums so challenging and rewarding. However if you have not listened to any of Carlton's stuff before, I would definitely recommend it as an excellent starting point because the album has a good balance to it from dark to light. Another fine effort from Carlton, just relax and let the music take you on a journey.

The Rain Man | 3/5 |


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