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The Tangent - Auto Reconnaissance CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 115 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars My two favourite albums for this pandemic year which appears to have reduced the available new music in the year so far, are Pendragon's Love Over Fear and The Tangent's Auto Reconnaissance. The two albums couldn't be more different but great melodies are what they both share. The music of The Tangent is always more complex in structure, requiring more listens for full appreciation, but both are enjoyable from first listen. Lyrically they are poles apart. Nick Barrett's are simpler and on Love Over Fear are even na´ve at times whereas Andy Tillison's are sometimes controversial but always intelligent, almost poetic and an essential part of the overall package.

Auto Reconnaissance is the latest in a long line of very high-quality prog albums. It is too early for me to say whether it is their finest, but it is certainly up there. Prog Archives categorises the music of The Tangent as eclectic and the range of musical styles on this album illustrates this. The Tangent's brilliant guitarist, Luke Machin, recently released an album showcasing the different musical styles that can be played on a guitar and, on Auto Reconnaissance, he skilfully supports the musical styles. The overall musicianship is highly accomplished with Theo Travis' contribution on a variety of wind instruments being particularly notable.

Every album by The Tangent has an epic track of considerable length which is complex in structure and always features an exquisite melody which is returned to as the track progresses but is otherwise used sparingly. Auto Reconnaissance is no exception with Lie Back and Think Of England running for over 28 minutes. This is the track I have listened to most despite its length. I've seen others state that the track is too long and certainly, when you first listen to it, the first half appears less coherent than the second but, as get to know the track, you wouldn't want it any other way. The track returns to seeing the world through the eyes of a World War II pilot called Earnest who feels that it is only on Armistice Day that anyone notices him. Earnest first appeared on In Earnest, a wonderful track from the great album A Place In The Queue. He made a further short appearance on Where Are They Now from Down And Out In Paris. On Auto Reconnaissance Earnest comments further on the state of the world and delivers a powerful message.

I believe this is a truly great album and for me is certainly worthy of five stars.

CeeJayGee | 5/5 |


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