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

DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON

The Tangent

 

Eclectic Prog

3.74 | 203 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Eapo_q42
4 stars Recommended.

The Tangent's latest album begins with a beautiful melody played delicately on guitar, immediately grabbing your attention, and never looks back. Yes, the signature line of melody from opener "Where are they now?" is an absolute winner. I was humming it all day after having heard the song just once! The rest of the song is equally enticing, coming together cohesively despite the variety inherent to Andy Tillison's ecelctic style. We are treated to jazzy sections, neo synth solos, and slower more delicate sections that exude the sort of "britishness" you expect from a band like Jethro Tull or Genesis. There's also a section which sounds pleasingly like early Camel, and I love early Camel. A pleasure.

Though some might disagree, I think "Paroxetine 20mg" is even better still. The main section sounds ominous, and mean as hell. A terrifically KC inspired riff blasts away, with an abosolute air-siren of a synth riff to accompany it. The electronic percussion works surprisingly well, combined with a real kit. Sounds awesome. The lyrics are great, and you immediately understand that Tillison has had real-life experience with this substance, and to be honest, it's quite affecting. After a bridge, and a new section, the song unleashes a captiviating piece of synth work that sounds proggy and positively modern at once.

"Perdue dans Paris" is great again, but I actually like it slightly less than the first two tracks. The verse and chorus sections at first sounded a little unexciting to me, but grew on me quite quickly. The middle section, however, has what is probably my favourite instrumental section on the album. Can I just say that Andy Tillison is a wizard with his keyboards? He's certainly not the most technically profficient player on the scene, but in terms of tones and effects and atmosphere, it's probably my favourite keyboard performance of 2009. Probably....

Anyway, a lot of people seem to point out "The Company Car" as the album's weakest track. If that's true, it's only by virtue of the other tracks being amazing, because this is another winner. The lazy saxophone and excellent bass line during the first couple of minutes are pure joy for me, and this song probably has my favourite of Tillison's vocal performances on the album. Once the synths kick in, it's all crazy drumming and pyrotechnics. And i'm sure we all agree that usually makes for a fun ending!

Finally, "The Canterbury Sequence Volume 2 - Ethanol Hat Nail" is a good closer. I see it as almost having 2 halves, even though its not really constructed that way. To me, the first half and the very end are Canterbury Scene in the style of National Health, or Caravan or that sort of band, while most of the second half is firmly in Gong territory. More specifcally, Gong in the "You" period. The first half is enjoyable enough but the second half is an absolute treat and provides a very exciting conclusion for the album that will likely have you heading straight back to track 1.

It was tough to assign a star rating. On the strength of the music alone, it probably deserves a 5. However, I'm docking one star for Tillison's refusal to accept his weakness as a vocalist and hire a proper singer, and also because the sound of the production is not quite to my liking.

Eapo_q42 | 4/5 |

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