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IQ - The Wake CD (album) cover

THE WAKE

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

3.80 | 625 ratings

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Subterranean
4 stars "The Wake" is often viewed as one classical in IQ's discography as well as in the neo-prog foundations of the '80s.

Being an amateur of neo-prog in general and of IQ (amongst others) in particular, it is somewhat difficult for me to go against the massive appraisal of this album...

... However, in my view, the statement that "The Wake" is one of the best albums of the two transition decades (80s-90s) seems to me a bit exagerated.

On one hand, this album arleady holds in it all what makes the sound of IQ specific (lyrics and crispy voice of Peter Nicholls, sonic landscape and theatral music taken from the classical Genesis period while more dynamic, intelligent tracks construction,...), it also came in a period where prog was (nearly) dead. Finally, it brings to the audience some beautiful tracks including the "Magic Roundabout" and the "Widow's Peak", the latest being still today one of the biggest success of IQ. So undoubtly this album shouldn't be overlooked.

On the other hand, some other tracks of this album (as "Corners") are still too standard prog (IQ staying still too close of its masters to express fully), this makes this album sounding a bit outdated when listening to it after a more recent one (Subterranean, Dark Matter,...) even if we already recognise all the talent of IQ group members. Further, the production (at least the original record of 1986) lacks a bit of dynamics and don't pull the songs to their best (for instance, "Widow's Peak" sounds better on the compil "The Lost Attic").

Overall this is not a bad album and, given its place in the prog rock history and the classical song Widow's Peak, I would still recommend it. However, it does not match the latests production of IQ 3rd period (starting with Ever, after return of Nicholls).

Rating : 3.5 (I round it up to 4 for the "historical" context).

Subterranean | 4/5 |

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