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IQ - Frequency CD (album) cover

FREQUENCY

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.13 | 657 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars By now you should have known my musical taste (mostly) because you can see my rating to this IQ's latest album. Yes, IQ has been in my listening pressure since their debut album and I always purchase the new album of the band which unfortunately took a long time to produce. I had been waiting for this new album for approx five years, but it's worth waiting for because its individual album is an excellent one. And I would say that IQ is a king of neoprog that has been consistent with its musical direction especially since their phenomenal album 'Ever'. I would say since then their music has been so solid so that whenever I spin the album I tend to play it in its entirety because it sounds like listening to the whole story of the album.

I actually pre-ordered this album before its official release early Jun 2009. But due to economic consideration in ordering I clicked also the pre-order of Dream Theater's 'Clack Clouds & Silver Linings' which was released three weeks after IQ, June 23 2009. The result was on delivery of the CDs which came quite late to my address. Practically I only received the package two days ago and I had never heard any song of the two bands new albums, with the exception of IQ 'Frequency' which I ever watched its live performance on youtube. When the two reached my address, my first attention was of course to 'Frequency' because I had been too curious on how the album sounds like. I could predict that their style would not change but I was curious about the melody-line. IQ has been so perfect in creating songs with killing melodies especially since their 'Ever' album. After I spun this album, I tried to spin Dream Theater 'BC & SL' but unfortunately I easily dropped it after one spin in its entirety. Nothing new with DT music and unfortunately in this new album DT sounds like not producing songs with catchy melody like Octavarium's 'Sacrificed Sons' or Systematic Chaos's 'Forsaken'. Honestly I am a bit getting bored with DT especially in its sequel on alcohol which lends melodies from previous songs in the sequel. So I spun IQ and temporary stopped DT.

Compositions that kill me ...!

How do you rate composition? For me, there are five components that form a final rating of musical composition. First, is the melody - i.e. the degree to which the main melody of the song is constructed from a combination of notes. Second is the harmonies ie. how each instrument contributes in creating sounds and notes. Third is the complexity of the arrangement i.e. the degree in which the instrument (including vocal) being played by the musicians and how they generate a piece of music stream or segment of the music. Fourth is change of style i.e. how the style changes in a song which includes tempo changes and/ or heavy or soft musical sounds. The last one (fisth) is the structural integrity i.e. the degree to which all musical segments, including changes of style, form a cohesiveness of the music as awhole from start to end. The five components are very fundamental for me to assess my rating towards the music, especially progressive music.

As a matter of 'Frequency' I can tell you that out of five components that I use to analyze the music, I could summarize that the key dominating components of this album are: catchy melody, wonderful harmonies, smooth and excellent changes of style and solid structural integrity in almost all songs this album contains. The composition is actually not complex but complexity does not determine the final rating because for any neoprog and symphonic prog music complexity is only medium. Prog with high complexities are the music of Gentle Giant, canterbury and some progressive metal.

How can I challenge the opening track 'Frequency' (8:29) with complexity? The arrangements are basically simple to medium BUT look at the melody from start to end of the track. And then, look at the harmonies the band creates through its simple riffs at the opening and it moves forward wonderfully to another segment with various styles in great harmonies. The music created can bring me to an imagination of living in other world. It's totally an amazing composition. And .. the structural integrity of the song is really solid from start to end. Unbelievable! It's a master piece of prog music!

The same experience I find in enjoying the otehr tracks like the following 'Life support' (6:28) and 'Stronger than friction' (10:32). All of them have their own melodies and they are all wonderful! So is the case with 'One fatal mistake' (4:54) - in which the lyric page at the album sleeve depicting a man sitting on a hill which reflects me like a muslim pray. It's an excellent artwork, really!

'The Province' (13:43) is a wonderful epic with great overall melody that spans nicely from one segment to another while the keyboard by the new member (Westworth) plays wonderful solo combined with dynamic bass playing by Jowitt and dynamic drumming by Edwards. One thing for sure this song has many style changes but the band maintains the structural integrity of the song in its entirety.

Overall, this is a masterpiece release by IQ. On top of composition, the performance of the new member of the band (Westworth - keyboard) is worth mentioning. His keyboard work is truly killing! Also the production of the CD is great. The package (mine is having 1 CD and 1 DVD) is great and the sonic production is top notch! It's a MUST album to have! Keep on proggin' ..! Because proggin' is really healthy and it's great to cheer your life ...

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 5/5 |

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