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Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 558 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Symphonic prog fusion with slight hints of disco(?)

What do four veterans of the prog rock and jazz fusion circuits do at the end of the 70's, a time when both genres were looking ''un-cool'' in the eyes of the popular domain? Logically, they make an album that merges prog rock and jazz fusion. For the average prog or fusion lackey, this crossover is splendid. But, there are quite a bit of cheesy vocal spots.

I feel that the lounge singer feel of Wetton's vocals is making me picture disco in the musical fabric. Yes, I'm saying that there's a possibility that one of prog's carcinogens is integrated into the sound, yet the overall fusion sound covers up any obvious traces of disco.

This album is Eddie Jobson's baby as he has a hand in writing every last possible track, and the sound that makes UK slightly disctinct (other than Holdsworth's guitar work) is that CS80 Polyphonic that purges to the forefront of the sound here. It's the main keyboard being used, and I like it's sound because it's ''futuristic'' and it's a break from the Hammonds and mellotrons and Moogs (oh my!). Wetton's bass occasionally is of notice, but it doesn't serve much more than the role of rhythm which is fine by me since it's done well. And I need not comment on Bruford's drumming.

The opening suite takes most of the credit for me liking this album as it's got a poppy, jumpy feel in the beginning and ending with a serene middle. ''Alaska/Time to Kill'' is also of notice for the ELP-esque explosion halfway through the first part and the fusion breakdown on ''Time to Kill''. There's also an amusing fusion dance-fest in the middle of ''Mental Medication''. The two 8-minute numbers are slightly weaker due to length issues, but both feature impressive guitar mechanics with a brilliant acoustic guitar performance at the beginning of ''Nevermore''.

Recommended if you enjoy sleazy jazz fusion, ''futuristic'' sounding keyboards, and/or fans of any of the bands that Jobson/Bruford/Holdsworth/Wetton were a part of before this (possibly excluding mid 70's Crimson).

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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