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Tinyfish - The Big Red Spark CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.72 | 113 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars If Tinyfish's 2010 album "The Big Red Spark" doesn't rekindle the flame of at least one or two wonderous science fiction moments from your childhood, quickly have someone check your pulse! Schedule diagnostic tests! Better yet, call an ambulance for immediate medical attention. On second thought, forget it. If this album didn't move you, you're probably already dead.

From the earliest moments of the spoken word sequence from the album's opening song "The Loose Ends", willing prog travelers are immediately swept into a musical tale as amazing as it is mysterious. For it is in this very first song that we meet a tired, wistful professor, a man haunted by impending horrors of his own creation. What is this single wish that he's granted to everyone? What is the foreboding significance of his allusion to Nietzsche's morbid musings about all living things, once perfected, culminating in death wishes? (I won't spoil the story for you. Buy thealbum and enjoy the ride! If at first, the dreamlike fantasy eludes you, enjoy a second listen. Allow the subtlety, the flow and the intricacy of the design to make itself known. Then cheat like I did and read up on the back-story at tinyfish dot org!)

I honestly don't believe I am overstating matters in the least when I say that the thespian spoken word elements of this album rival those of the greatest concept albums of all time and simply are not to be missed. Listen and see if you don't agree.

Strictly speaking, this isn't the most progressive album on the block. Saga's 1980's appropriation of Rush-like progginess is a good reference point. The songwriting, musicianship, editing and production, however, are consistently excellent throughout. Arrangements are effectively varied. The albums songs are sonically interesting even as they remain safely tethered to hummable and memorable melodies. Simon Godfrey's vocals are impeccable.

Concept albums tend to fail miserably whenever bands wander from singular devotion to the story they are trying to tell. Tinyfish wisely avoids the temptation to integrate superfluous, distracting or disjointed compositions into the narrative. It may be their party, but Tinyfish is clearly disciplined enough to refrain from crashing the festivities for all the rest of us.

"The Big Red Spark" was three years in the making, and it was worth every moment of the wait. If, however, we are granted the one wish, let's tell the band we hope it won't take another three years for them to complete their next masterpiece!

progpositivity | 5/5 |


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