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IQ - Tales From The Lush Attic CD (album) cover





3.84 | 454 ratings

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3 stars By 1983, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull had either sold out, lost considerable prog motivation or simply broken up. From any perspective, there wasn't much hope for symphonic prog. But then along comes IQ (and of course here is the obligatory Marillion mention, although I'm more aligned with the IQ camp) and we have a fairly decent epic and some clear symphonic flair. I was too caught up in whatever was being marketed at the time to notice. Perhaps if I'd spoken with my wallet, in addition to many other proggers, this album would have larger status today.

Or perhaps not, because while their heart was in the right place, this is far from a perfect, or even revolutionary album. But I have to give some historical credit for going against the grain--even if it had been done 10 years earlier, few were doing it then.

The Last Human Gateway is a very solid epic, probably in my top 100 epics, if that provides any perspective. In fact, if most of the song was as good as the first 8 minutes, we may have had one of the all time greats, because this segment features an inspired buildup, mostly in 7/4 time no less! There are a few sloppy moments, but they are quite tight during this sequence--impressive for a debut album! Unfortunately, we are then faced with a hit-and-miss march to the largely satisfying finale (along the way is an absolutely wince-inducing synth).

The Enemy Smacks is less a cohesive song as opposed to a collection of only sometimes interesting musical ideas. I do enjoy the 17/8 time guitar/bass unison playing near the beginning, but that's counterbalanced by some fairly poor vocals by Peter near the end. A fun song, but the band would tighten up their compositions considerably in the following decades.

I like this band, and by extension it's just fun to hear their roots. They made a definitive prog statement and largely held to that, with largely the same musicians, for nearly 30 years. Thanks for sticking with it, IQ!

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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