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Circa - HQ CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.78 | 37 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars They could last!

Circa's second studio album HQ is in my opinion a better album than the debut. In terms of sound, there is not much difference between these albums but the material is stronger this time and I find this album more memorable. Also, the focus has shifted slightly from catchy choruses to more instrumental workouts. As such, there is more substance in HQ compared to the debut.

The line-up has changed slightly with Jay Schellen having replaced Alan White on drums, but the rest of the band remains the same with Billy Sherwood on bass and vocals, Tony Kaye on keyboards, and Jimmy Haun on guitar. Sherwood, Kaye, and Haun all have connections with Yes. Kaye was of course one of the founding members of that band and played on their three first studio albums (and re-joined in the 80's and recorded a further four studio albums with them). Sherwood and Haun both participated in the creation of Yes' Union album in 1991 and Sherwood even co-wrote (and co-produced) one of the songs for that album with Chris Squire. Sherwood toured with Yes in support of Talk before becoming a full member for Open Your Eyes and The Ladder. (After that Sherwood also worked with Chris Squire in Conspiracy.) New guy Jay Schellen played with Sherwood before in World Trade and he has also played with Asia recently, another Yes-related band.

In the light of all this, it is fair to say that Circa is connected to Yes in several ways. It should then not come as a surprise to anyone that Circa sounds a bit like Yes. With a running time of over an hour, I feel that this album is maybe slightly too long for its own good, but there are no weak songs as such so it is indeed hard to say exactly what could have been left out. I feel that there is a bit more energy in this album compared to the debut and I enjoy listening to this one more. The songs are a bit more challenging and take more time to get into which os often true about progressive music.


SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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