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Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate - The Confidence Trick CD (album) cover


Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate


Crossover Prog

4.02 | 42 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Steve Conrad
4 stars The Name!


Anything But!

Regarding the name: HATS OFF GENTLEMEN IT'S ADEQUATE evokes mind-pictures of the subtle English habit of self- mockery, the gift of self-deprecation that characterizes one who is paradoxically humbly self-assured enough to be modest about what is "Anything But" simply adequate.

"The Confidence Trick" is much more than "adequate". Rather it is also evocative: it evokes ideas and images from earliest times of hubris and narcissism, until the most recent, timely moments in which we now find ourselves.

Set To Understated Musical Pieces

For these thirteen tracks, threaded with instrumental reveries, but mostly working within artfully expressed and poetic lyrics, convey the dangers and difficulties inherent in maintaining one's bearings amidst great odds of pressure and persuasion.

The music, nor the lyrics, are ever heavy-handed. Rather, subtle, suggesting, waiting gently for the rage and ferocity to be teased out, the disgust and revilement of betrayal by the overlords given the task of caring and protecting those most vulnerable...

...and simply too important and too confident to do those caring, protecting things.

Tastes of Symphony, Jazz, Metal, Rock

The music, in all its variety, is quietly, never flashily, sophisticated, melodic, expressive, and germane to the over-riding theme- "The Confidence Trick" in which the narcissist and the beguiled enter into solemn agreement that the status quo of exploitation and murder shall be oh-so-properly and oh-so-mannerly maintained.


For me, the actual, literal story of Malcolm's great-grandmother Broni Krom set to music in this track, shines the clearest and most poignant light upon the intent of this album. She survived many "toils and snares" because of her faith and came through threats of death and also great hardship, with courage, optimism, and hope.

The best, and the worst, of human behaviors are shown in this story of surviving and thriving in and through the "Confidence Trick" as it then was slithering through the zeitgeist, revealing that "all empires fall", regardless of how mighty and impregnable they may appear.

Great-grandmother Broni THRIVED and SURVIVED, and she was given aid and comfort by other bright souls, in the face of hatred, prejudice, and murder.

COVID, SMO, Elon Musk Escaping Earth

How many people have died- been murdered- by over-confident/immoral/incompetent people doing or refusing to do simple, straight-forward, scientifically sound things- providing masks. Admitting one is ill-informed. Sharing scientific evidence even with 'enemies'. Working for the greater good. Refusing 'sanctions' that mostly destroy the vulnerable, the poor, and the humble of the earth. Contributing money for heath-care rather than inter-planetary travel so Mars can be colonized...

For Me

The album is thought-provoking, stirring, lovely, troublesome, maddening, literate, suggesting, provoking. It seems to me to be a collection of thoughts and sounds designed to push humans into action based on caring rather than on cashing-in or lording-over.

My rating

4.0 stars, "Excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection".

Steve Conrad | 4/5 |


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