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The Tangent - Down And Out In Paris And London CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.73 | 262 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars On a prog evening reunion over here someone told me this latest by The Tangent was probably a masterpiece. Well, I own all previous albums so I would check it out anyway. For The Tangent has always been one of those bands I will automatically buy every new studio album of and there are not that many bands that achieve this so that means they are pretty special to me. All 4 earlier albums easily reached a 4 star rating and they were all pretty equal where the sheer quality is concerned.

After some 4 listening sessions by now a familiar pattern appeared to occur also with this album. Often when I play a new album I'm pretty enthusiastic at first (assuming we're talking about good or excellent albums that is) but second time the whole thing suddenly sounds disappointing. By now I know I shouldn't get put off by this phenomenon because next few listens turn it around again and the album starts growing on me steadily. And that was also the case here.

Opening epic Where are they now ? is a tricky one in this respect because it works on me as a track with many great but also some disappointing moments. The great parts are all to be found in the middle part with the instrumental passage from 7th till 9th minute as absolute highlight. But when we get to the guitar solo towards the end I'm afraid I will keep shutting the ears each time because it's simply ugly. I still wonder if it's done deliberately or that Andy simply has a bad moment there but it's a disappointing effort for me. 4* all in all.

Paroxetine 20mg seems a funny title at first but I happen to know it's medication against depression so that's not funny at all of course. Somehow it's a typical Tilison-kind-of-title, don't know why but he's the kind of guy to invent something like this. The song sounds totally different than the opener, darker for sure (not surprising with such a title) but I can't say it's really better or worse all things considered. So 4* also here.

Perdus dans Paris starts as a ballad but gets harder halfway the song. Could be my statement about Tilison's guitar play is correct (about the bad moment) because here he proves he can play very well. The song is about the two faces of Paris (I presume he means it's a beautiful city with a cold harsh side as well, probably as a clochard ?) and it's very accessible with many great aspects. Even the fading out works well. My 2nd favourite track of the album. 4,25*.

The Company Car as well as the bonus track Everyman's forgotten Monday are both equally fine efforts but still these two are slightly less impressive than first three. Company Car features some excellent keyboardplay by Tilison where the bonus track's finest moment is the sax play by Travis. Both tracks score almost 4* to me.

Ethanol Hat Nail is my absolute favourite track of this album. Finally The Tangent is living up to the subgenre they represent: eclectic prog. It's already showing in first minute with interesting tones that don't quite seem to make sense but in fact they are brilliant if you listen carefully. Rest of the song shines in alternation, what a great variegated track and this goes on for the entire 13 minutes. Masterpiece material: 4,75*.

So in the end this 5th studio album by The Tangent appears not quite a masterpiece but it's a truly excellent album still. It's what they have in common with slightly similar Flower Kings: both bands are unable to produce a really poor studio work. The musical quality of the band members is simply too high and the compositional talent is too obvious. I'm already looking forward to the next performance by The Tangent ! Four+ stars for this.

progrules | 4/5 |


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