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Ezra - Songs From Pennsylvania CD (album) cover





3.30 | 37 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars A little bit more? No thanks!

Songs From Pennsylvania is the third, and to date the most recent, release by Ezra. Ironically, given the album's title, Ezra is a British band hailing from Wales. Whatever the reason was for the title, this album does indeed have something of an American sound. At least it is - in contrast to the very different and much better debut album, Shapes - completely and utterly disconnected from the British Neo-Prog scene. I hear Alternative Rock, Blues Rock and Psychedelic Pop, but little or nothing in the way of progressive Rock here. If it wasn't for the discrete and occasional presence of keyboards and some Pink Floyd-ish guitar lines here and there, I don't think anyone would even dream of associating this music with Prog in any of its many varieties. Almost needless to say, this is not my cup of tea at all.

Ezra is a band that has been around since 1990 and they caught my attention by sporting a guest appearance by the great Rob Reed of Cyan and Magenta fame on keyboards on their 1994 debut album Shapes. Reed is not featured here, but apparently he was the sound engineer for this 2006 recording. While I very much enjoyed the nice mix of Neo-Prog and Crossover Prog on Shapes, I was disappointed with what I found here. The choruses are overly catchy in a way that makes them almost annoying and despite the fact that some songs are quite long there is a distinct lack of interesting arrangements or complex parts. It is the kind of album that you need only a single listen to fully get a hold of and already on the second or third listen you get bored of it. The lyrics are simplistic and na´ve and the whole comes across as a very average Rock record, not bad as such, just average and forgettable.

The band's official website states that Ezra are still together and have recently been joined by Steve Paine of Legend on keyboards. Let's hope that Paine can inject some real progressive attitude into this band and perhaps bring them closer to what we could hear on Shapes (which according to the same website also seems to be Paine's favourite Ezra album).

Songs From Pennsylvania is a very so so release to my ears, only recommended to those with some very special interest in the band

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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