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

TALES FROM THE LUSH ATTIC

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

3.85 | 423 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars The humble beginnings of IQ

Tales From The Lush Attic was IQ's first studio album release and it is an immature but partly promising affair. Two of the tracks are very long, namely the opening and closing tracks, The Last Human Gateway and The Enemy Smacks, the first of which runs for close to 20 minutes in classic Prog fashion. The shortest cut runs for less than two minutes but has the longest title: My Baby Treats Me Right īCos Iīm A Hard Lovinī Man All Night Long! The best track, however, is Awake And Nervous, which is also the one that most clearly points toward the future of the band. The Genesis influence is very obvious throughout, and Peter Nicholls emulates Peter Gabriel quite well. On Awake And Nervous I feel, however, that IQ took the first trembling steps toward finding their own sound and style. And this song together with (parts of) The Last Human Gateway occur frequently in the band's live set until the present day and are rightly considered IQ classics.

While the epic The Last Human Gateway has some great parts, it comes across as overlong and lacking a clear direction. It seems that the band bit off more than they were able to chew here with a composition on such a grand scale. And the band themselves would evidently agree with me as on several more recent live airings of this piece they played only the middle and sometimes also end sections of it (see, for example, the live album Forever Live recorded on the tour in support of Ever in the early 90's and the live DVD Stage recorded and filmed on the tour in support of Dark Matter in 2005). As I said, there are indeed some great parts in there and it was therefore a very good idea to cut it up and perform only the better parts of it live (even though some fans would certainly disagree with me on this).

The album as a whole shares some aspects of The Last Human Gateway as it tends to drag in some parts. Most of the other songs are not particularly memorable and they do not have the same impact on me. Only the best parts stand out and these can, as I hinted at above, be found in better-sounding versions on several live albums together with other IQ classics. Another problem is the subpar production which makes this album pale in comparison with other Neo-Prog albums from the same period such as the albums by Marillion. The weak production also makes this album sound a bit dated. Sonic quality is not everything, of course. Having great tunes is the most important thing and if there are such a bad sound and production may be forgiven. But as implied, the quality of the compositions is not up for it. The next album would be a bit more focused, but as far as I'm concerned the peak of the band's career was still many years away at this stage. In my opinion, IQ wouldn't really find their own musical direction and identity until later on. What can be found here are only the seeds of what was to be. This can thus only be recommended for fans of the band and collectors of early British Neo-Prog.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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