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Multi-Story - East West CD (album) cover





3.14 | 26 ratings

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The Doctor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is an album that I have been enjoying for well over 10 years now, having almost randomly picked it out in remastered form via one of my favorite prog internet stores, and will probably be enjoying for years to come. It's very well-crafted and well-executed melodic neo-prog. But one thing which sets it apart from most neo-prog of the period is that it seems to take more inspiration from Yes than from Genesis, although there is the occasional Genesis reference. While there is nothing Earth-shattering about this album, it's an album which stands up to repeated listenings and is highly enjoyable. Onto the songs:

East West - This one sounds like they took some inspiration from Marillion around the time of Freaks and Lady Nina, until you realize that this song came out before either of those two songs. Maybe Marillion took some inspiration from them. Paul Ford sounds distinctly like Fish in his latter Marillion days. A great track and for the longest time my favorite off the album, although it has subsequently been replaced by the fantastic Traveller and Ahead of Your Time.

Breaking Ground - A bit of a pop feel here, but that isn't a bad thing at all. This is an energetic song that wouldn't feel too out of place on an 80's Yes album without the heaviness of a 90125 or Big Generator. The accoustic guitar at the beginning is especially nice, as is Rob Wilsher's lush keyboard work.

Traveller - Some very nice piano work along with melancholy vocals start off the song and continue until the end of the second refrain where the whole band finally kicks in. Paul Ford's vocals at the beginning of the song are particularly fragile (pun intended) and moving. During the second half of the song, we have some very nice Wakeman-esque keyboard runs courtesy of Wilsher, along with a very nice guitar solo courtesy of Carney. This has become my favorite song off the album in the last several years.

Ahead of Your Time - The song starts off with a very dirge-like quality, which I find quite interesting, but it soon finds its way back to a more melodic, upbeat quality. Some more great keyboard and lead guitar work here on the song which can only be described as the epic of the album. Here Nasey also shines on bass, doing some great bass lines, although in parts his bass work is mixed too low. The instrumental end of the song, with Carney and Nasey on guitar and bass respectively, with Wilsher providing some background symphonic soundscapes, is quite appealing. This is my second favorite track on the album.

Carrie - Has the same feel as Breaking Ground. A fun, somewhat poppish song, with some really nice keyboard work.

Come Alive - Finally, Nasey comes alive. While his bass work has been great throughout the album, in many places it was mixed far too low. Here, they actually seemed to mix it up a bit and he actually has a bit of a solo in the middle of the song. Aside from the bass work, another upbeat and melodic tune.

The Wire - Another great tune, with some good bass and keyboard work here. The song starts off very upbeat, but about midway through the song kicks down a notch and Wilsher treats us to some very nice symphonic soundscapes, as Ford gives one of his most dramatic (pun not intended) vocal performances on the album, save Traveller, and Carney serves up some more great lead guitar work. And the accoustic guitar outro is quite enjoyable.

Heroes - This song goes back to a bit of a Marillion feel, although this one has more of an early Marillion feel, especially in the keyboard work. The vocals retain a very Yes-inspired quality to them however. Again, Nasey serves up some tasty bass licks, but I wish they'd been mixed a bit louder. Wilsher's keyboard work at the end of the song, reminds me of some of Banks early Genesis work. Another favorite for me.

As much as I enjoy this album is, I do have two complaints about it. It's short, at just under 40 minutes, there was a bit of extra time (even in the days of LPs) to let Wilsher, Carney and Nasey stretch out a bit on their instruments as they did on Ahead of Your Time. They are obviously accomplished on their respective instruments and I do wish they'd been given more room here. Also, on a lot of the album, Nasey is undermixed. As good of a bassist as he is, he should have been a bit louder in the mix.

In spite of these two complaints, this is a solid 3.5 star album and I've been going back and forth as to whether to give it 3 or 4 stars. I've finally decided on 4 stars because this album has had a lot of longevity in my playlist. Over the past 10+ years, this CD has received well over 100 plays, and that's saying something.

The Doctor | 4/5 |


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