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IQ - Frequency CD (album) cover

FREQUENCY

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.13 | 650 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I've been putting off reviewing this one for some time. Although I've listened to it many times, and in fact enjoyed it, I've been hard pressed to find a rating for this album that felt fair to me, so I've been listening to it again in the hopes of feeling some sort of certainty about what rating it deserves.

The music on this album is quite good. It is your typical prog line-up of keys, guitar, bass, singer, drums. Nothing about these guys is really new to the prog scene; this type of neo/symphonic prog has existed for decades. But IQ has been doing it for decades themselves, and are quite good at it. They deftly move from quieter tracks to tracks that rock harder, from acoustic guitars to electric. The music flows together quite nicely from song to song on the album, and "Closer" closes the album quite nicely.

I am still on the edge about Peter Nicholls voice. On initial listening, it always seems to be the weak point of this band, yet it never feels out of place. If I had to describe his vocal delivery, it would be very deliberate, and a little harsh. Of the IQ albums I have heard so far, his voice sounds the smoothest on this one. It has less of the harshness that he has had on previous albums, and I have to admit that it makes his voice sound more appealing to my ears, especially during the softer parts of the album. Yet the abrasive-ness of his voice had it's charm; I can't imagine listening to 'Harvest of Souls' (off of Dark Matter) without it, for it is part of the music. Luckily, his voice still works with the more aggressive bits on this album.

I can't comment too much on the transition from Martin Orford on keys to Mark Westworth, for I haven't heard a lot of IQ's older stuff yet. It doesn't seem to have done the band any damage, the songwriting on this album is as good as it was on anything else I've heard by them. If anything, I would say that Mark has helped IQ gain a stronger identity, for I hear a bit less Genesis in them than I did previously.

The album has few high points (the opening and closing of the title track, the chorus of Ryker skies, etc.), but other than that it is actually remarkably even. There aren't any low points at all, really. I think that's what makes this album so hard to judge. While it is definitely an enjoyable listen, there's really nothing exciting about it to expound upon, nor anything dragging it down to complain about. For that reason, I give it a three star rating.

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |

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