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Beggars Opera - Suddenly Ahead Ahead CD (album) cover

SUDDENLY AHEAD AHEAD

Beggars Opera

 

Symphonic Prog

3.50 | 2 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Cranberry jam

The third album since the Beggars' Opera name was resurrected in 2007, "Suddenly ahead ahead" (sic) is a natural progression from the two albums which precede it. Once again, there is really no connection here with the pioneering symphonic prog of the 1970's Beggar's Opera, indeed the tendency here is even more towards melodic electronic pop. The line up remains unchanged, the trio being joined by a fourth member of the Gardiner family when Leonora Gardiner sings backing vocals on "Sad songs".

The opening title track has a nice lead guitar motif, the track being driven along by an upbeat pop rhythm. Only the imaginative arrangement stops this from being a simple pop song though. This template is followed on most of the following tracks. There is generally less experimentation here than on the comeback album "Close to my heart", the results being a sort of blend of The Cranberries, Blondie and Hazel O'Connor.

"Towers Falling" is a bit different in that it is based on a rockabilly rhythm while featuring some nice guitar interludes. The track develops superbly, the drama of the piece being revealed with subtlety. The aforementioned "Sad songs" is a highlight of the album. The track is slightly slower, with a generally more relaxed feel. The drifting lead guitar and multi-part vocal arrangement contribute to the appeal.

With every track being within a few seconds of five minutes in length, it is clear that Ricky Gardiner was working to a well planned template here. While the arrangement of the tracks takes them beyond simple pop statements, each is kept well reigned in, and not allowed to develop beyond its strict boundaries. Overall, and enjoyable album, but one which fails to move things on and as such is simply more of the same.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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