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Paul Cusick - Focal Point CD (album) cover

FOCAL POINT

Paul Cusick

 

Crossover Prog

3.34 | 32 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Fans of Porcupine Tree, listen up- this album has quite a few similar ingredients, and should please those who enjoy Lightbulb Sun or In Absentia. Although a decidedly average album, this has a few surprises in store, and can prove quite good as a progressive pop album. It is definitely worth checking out.

"Focal Point" Recognizable chords (from a certain classical piece) begin the first track, but the stay is brief. I like the subtle Mellotron in the background, and the crunchy guitar tone is a good tone. Although short, it's a good little introduction to give an idea of what Paul Cusick can do.

"Everblue" Harrowing synthesizer and smooth vocals make up this dark track. Overall, and especially during the guitar solo, the music sounds like modern King Crimson.

"Fade Away" A light piano and some strings give a lengthy introduction before the song proper begins. This piece does sound like Pink Floyd a fair bit, like a Roger Waters-led track right off The Wall.

"Soul Words" This more upbeat track is a lot like heavy Porcupine Tree, especially due to the sound and the vocal harmonies.

"Scared To Dream" However, this one sounds more like softer Porcupine Tree, led by a gentle piano and a very good vocal melody and performance. It doesn't stay low-key the whole time though, and takes a heavier approach during the second half.

"Touch" A sparse piano with cavern-like reverb begins this one. The verses are grim and almost whispered. It's quite an interesting track with some really great bass work and drumming. The female operator throughout the track is also a nice "touch."

"Senza Tempo" This is a lovely instrumental interlude, full of Mellotron and electric guitar.

"Big Cars" The gritty guitars and electronic noises are not to my taste, but make for a pretty good rock song once things get cranked up. If anything, it's another Porcupine Tree close cousin.

"Hold On" Not to be confused with the Yes song of the same name, this actually could be, since I feel this piece was written for Rabin-era Yes- it's that good!

"Hello" Unfortunately, I find the final track to be weak, laced with soft piano and dreary vocals. I really think the previous track should have finished the album up- this should have been placed elsewhere or left off altogether. Given my apathy toward it, the latter seems the better choice.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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