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Carptree - Superhero CD (album) cover

SUPERHERO

Carptree

 

Neo-Prog

3.47 | 51 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An Excellent album that would attract Peter Gabriel's fans .

This second album of Carptree sounds heavier and much better than the debut. It's not truly neo progressive in traditional sound like Marillion or IQ or Arena. There is a strong influence by Peter Gabriel's music but there are bits influences from artists like Rupert Hine, Gary Numan, Johny Warman etc. Carptree sounds like an exploration of powerful vocal with a thin background music nicely composed. The music is far from being complex and almost all tracks are easy to digest. So it qualifies as being a pop song with "different" style. Just call it progressive pop, may be. The mood is dark - well, actually you can see on the way they express themselves for example on calling their orchestra as "No Future". OK, let's have a look in great details rather than muddling around with what sort of box Carptree we should put in. Just enjoy the music.

Superhero (6:34) is a wonderfully composed song that starts off with a soft electric piano with powerful voiceline in a mellow and dark mood. The light rhythm section contains acoustic guitar, backing vocals, drums and orchestration. A short keyboard solo performed in a distant sound augmented by drumming work has enriched the texture of the song. An excellent composition. I only get a bit trouble with repeated "aaahh .." of backing vocals at the end of the song that is a bit boring for me. Luckily, there is an exploration of soft violin sound that reduces my feeling of getting bored with the music.

Father's House (6:29) starts nicely with a Peter Hammill's style of singing - low register notes in mumbling voice, sort of. Wow man . what a great soft piano chords played in increasing notes. The music itself is reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's. The songwriting and arrangements of this track are excellent. It has a strong melody and a dark nuance. I am sure if you enjoy Peter Gabriel's albums, you would definitely love this track!

Calm Sea Of Their Pupils (5:42) starts off with a mumbling voice that reminds me to the opening of Lay Your Hands On Me of Peter Gabriels' album. It's so powerful opening that sets the whole atmosphere of the track. The music moves into a faster tempo, demonstrating lead singer's power vocal with good combination of high and low points. The ending part that contains dynamic drumming and soft keyboard solo combined with light orchestration is really great.

There Like Another (4:04) begins with a soft piano sound in simple repeated notes followed with a vocal line augmented with light orchestra. Even though it's a drum-less part but it is sung energetically. The piano and light orchestra play important role to form an excellent texture of this song's music.

Host vs. Graft (5:26) opens with a musical loop (programming) that brings the vocal enters into the music augmented with light orchestration. Another nice Gabrielish type of music. The inclusion of keyboard solos in transition pieces as well as in the ending part of the song are beautiful. .

Watching The Clock (4:30) has a long instrumental piece that consumes more than first half of the song, demonstrating the melodic sounds of piano augmented with keyboards. The piano work dominates this song with a strong influence from classical music. Voca only enters at the later second half of the song in a dark mood. Excellent song!

Into The Never To Speak Of (6:41) is the only rocking track of this album. It starts with a complex arrangements started with sort of loops followed with drumming, distorted guitar and keyboard effects - overall, the opening project an image of dark situation. The vocal line enters with rhythm section comprising acoustic guitar and light orchestration. The music flows in an ambient style with an interesting vocal. The interlude part comprising the complex music featured at the opening of the track indicates variety of forms the band tries to accomplish. They succeed well with this composition.

Flesh (5:30) starts ambient with a floating piano sounds combined with soft narration in distant voice style. The voice enters energetically accentuated with light orchestra and bell's sound. When drums and other instruments enter the music in full stream the music flows in Gabriel's music style. Again, I admire the quality of vocal and excellent composition the song offers to us. The music reminds me to Growing Up song of Peter Gabriel. The piano work that plays at the back projects wonderful sounds!

Malfunction (6:20) is another excellent track with floating drums / percussion sounds at the back of singing part. It reminds me to the music of Johny Warman even though it's composed differently. The music of Malfunction sounds like discrete in terms of flow with acoustic guitar as connecting pins between parts. This track would be great if we play it VERY loud using decent stereo set. Wow man . what an excellent arrangement!

Lie Down (4:13) uses programmed drumming (loops) at the opening followed with voice line. Right after the first verse of lyrical part the drum has been changed to manual one combined with solid basslines that remind me to the style of John Giblin. Piano sounds - with classical influence - help enrich the musical textures. The music flows nicely in ambient mood.

Sleep (5:44) concludes the album nicely with powerful low register voice of lead singer accompanied with distant music exploring repeated guitar and keyboard effects that form as main rhythm section. It has a tight composition: powerful songwriting, excellent arrangements with excellent vocal melody that dominates the song. The music sounds pretty lightly at the back. It's a well positioned track to close chapter of this excellent album!

SUMMARY

It's a simple music with tight composition: powerful song writing and beautifully crafted composition. The production quality is TOP NOTCH where all sound details - even those inserted at the back with relatively thin mixing techniques - can be heard clearly in low volume power amplifier of your stereo set. As far as musical style, the band has departed from Bowie's style music in their debut album to a closer with Peter Gabriel's music but in a darker mood. Very few tracks that you will find here having an upbeat tempo but they all produce high quality composition and sound production. The quality of lead singer's voice is really excellent. I sometime imagine if this sort of voice quality is brought into early Marillion's music, it would produce wonderful music, I think. I RECOMMEND you to purchase this CD as this is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. Keep on proGGin' .!!!

Yours progressively,

GW

Gatot | 4/5 |

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