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Nine Stones Close - Traces CD (album) cover


Nine Stones Close



3.93 | 154 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I am always reluctant to believe reviews that date albums as the best of the year. I listen to lots of music of varied genres and can rarely agree on the best albums of any year with myself!

However, this was easily in my top 3 albums of 2010 and has climbed up those charts since then. From the first time I heard it, I was gob-smacked. It is clever music played by accomplished musicians who deliver thought provoking lyrics to a solid backing of layered music. I am not sure what I expected when I ordered it, but it was in another stratesphere. The guitar playing of Ade Jones is almost David Gilmour-esque in places, without being a cheap copy. The singing of Marc Atkinson makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and the keyboards, bass and drums are perfectly played. The production is lush and the whole packaging is beautiful with great artwork throughout. It is an album of the old vinyl days in many ways - about 50 minutes in length and meant to be played in one sitting in the order in which it is presented to you.

Some albums are great when you first hear them, but then quickly fade as you stop to hear anything new from them. Other albums do not hit the spot immediately, but grow with subsequent plays. Traces is something rare - the first time I heard it, I loved it and knew it was a special album. However, it has just improved with each subsequent play. In case anyone wonders, I am not related to any of the band or on their payroll!

This is just such a perfect, multiple-layered, awe-inspiring album. I would recommend anyone who likes independent, prog (with a small "p"), towards the melancholic end of the spectre to take a chance and buy this work of art. the lyrics are thought provoking and dark in places, dealing with death and loss, but ultimately they are positive.

I was lucky enough to buy it with the bonus Retraced CD. If you can get it with that, then you are truly in for a treat. It is not a disc of throwaway outtakes, but completely new workings of songs or parts of them and as good as the original album itself.

amcy | 5/5 |


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