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Horizont - Summer In Town CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 75 ratings

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4 stars Hmmm, a lineup -- I'd better join it! "What are they selling today, comrade?" "I'm not sure. Some say potatoes, some say shoes." "Here comes a lady who has just been served -- ask her." "What did you get, comrade?" "State-approved western music (but made in Mother Russia) known as 'progressive rock.' Now I have to line up for CD player, and still I have no potatoes for my borscht!"

Yes, the old Soviet Union produced more than vodka, antiquated tractors, cheap, unreliable cars, Nobel prize-winning dissidents, and radioactive waste. Unlike the Lada, however, this particular East bloc export, now available to the wider world, is a very high-quality consumer product indeed! Horizont were a Russian prog band who released two albums, and SUMMER IN TOWN, from 1985, is a very enjoyable and accomplished piece of prog music history.

Like previous reviewers, I can hear shades of Yes, ELP and Genesis in this music, but the mostly instrumental SUMMER IN TOWN rises above mere imitation. (There are some vocalizations, but they take the form of Yes-like "dit dit dits," and pseudo-operatic "la la las" in a sort of proggish doo-wop backing section.)

There are three tracks on this relatively short album, but they are each of a consistently high caliber, with no padding. (Better to have thirty-eight minutes of fine music, as here, than eighty of unfocussed, rambling filler, as on many newer prog releases!) I find the music of Horizont to be engaging, original, and uplifting, and somewhat like updated, electronic Tchaikovsky -- very classical/romantic in feel. The keyboards which form the predominant sound are a trifle "Switched On Santa" (i.e., dated) in places, but there is also some lovely piano, some fine Hackett-esque electric guitar, and enough other instruments to keep things interesting.

SUMMER IN TOWN is well worth checking out. A recent acquisition, I listen to it fairly often, and unlike some albums I've reviewed, I plan to keep listening to it. Fans of ELP, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky, in particular, should enjoy it. This is no mere Soviet-era musical curio, but a very worthy, world-class piece of progressive art. Pass the "Stoli," please. Glasnost!

Peter | 4/5 |


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