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Ines - Hunting the Fox CD (album) cover





3.13 | 25 ratings

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3 stars It is unusual in itself to encounter a female keyboard player in prog. To have her front a band that takes her name is even rarer. Most shocking is that, although she looks like she possesses a lovely voice, she does not sing even once, preferring to hire an array of guest male vocalists to fulfill these mundane duties. Finally, although the music is in general keyboard oriented, plenty of latitude is left for guitar fills, so this does sound much more like a band than a solo artist.

What of their sound? It's pretty much a descendant of Phil Collins-dominated GENESIS circa 1980, with aspects of the Gabriel Era (the opening cut appears to be watching the skies quite closely for instance). More aggressive guitars reflecting the more modern neo prog movement are also in abundance, but I can't help noticing how drummer Thomas Schaufler dominates frequently, and how much he seems to like Phil Collins. Ines herself possesses a fat "Eleventh Earl of Mar" Banksian phenotype that completes the picture while making embryonic efforts at her own identity.

The array of singers acquit themselves well, passing as English language practitioners regardless of mother tongue. My interest was initially piqued by the presence of Harald Bareth of ANYONE's DAUGHTER, and indeed his performances on "Mother Moon", itself possessing a superior melodic progression, and "Earth Sun and Moon", an ALAN PARSONS styled light mystery, are among the highlights. So are both parts of "Union", the first a delicate acoustic guitar instrumental and the second an equally sweet synthesizer oriented ballad reminiscent of GROBSCHNITT's mellower work, although I suspect I am missing the prime reference.

The keystone cut is the 10 minute "In the Dark of Night" which, by virtue of its length, permits more development, remaining within a loosely song oriented structure, but complexity is clearly not Ines' strong suit. As impressive as the album's high points may be, much of the material is mundane, particularly in the latter half. "Inner Fight", "Hold the Dreams", and "Meet me on the Mountain" suffer from a lack of dynamism and a sense that the song is secondary to the musicians, ambling along with a lackluster gait like a fox with a bum knee.

This debut by Ines might not be the main prize, but if caught incidentally in your quest for something gamier, I daresay you will keep it around.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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