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Brand X - Masques CD (album) cover


Brand X


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.08 | 191 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars By the their fourth album, the inspiration was starting to fail or at least to wane and the first line-up changes arrive, but the new guys were bringing not many new ideas either. Gone are Collins (apparently not a permanent thing) and Lumley although aptly replaced respectively by Bergi (ex-Al DiMeola and Hall & Oates) and Robinson (ex-Quartemass), even if it obvious the former doesn't match Phil. Another exotic (shall we say Saharian) artwork graces the album's cover, but it's not indicative of the music's direction.

Apart from Collins' temporary absence, (thus handing over the group's direction to Goodsall and Jones), the Corea/RTF influence (courtesy of the departed Lumley) are also gone, We're still in the line of the usual BX compositions, but one gets the feeling that the band meanders in between ideas (ranging from ECM Jazz albums to Weather Report), afraid (or unable) to expand on them other than by excessive virtuosity/dexterity/showmanship (select two out of three and scrap the remaining one) at the expense of the musical interest. Morris pert gets the lion's share of the composition credits. The first side I find particularly boring, if not irritatingly boring, Pertt not being able to hide Bergi's neutral drumming (the latter will go on to rainbow, BOC and Meatloaf). The flipside does fare better as Goodsall's closing track Mayfield Lodge is the better one along with the to-die-for Access To Data.

What I mean by this is that I really must be concentrate on listening to this album (to stop my mind from wandering around), something that did not happen with the previous three albums but this will occur more often with each successive albums. While Masques is still considered a good classic album?. I personally can't wait for the next album and the "return to normal".

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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