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Patrick Moraz - Timecode CD (album) cover


Patrick Moraz


Crossover Prog

1.93 | 16 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I've seen two reviews of this album on ProgArchives, both rating it one out of five stars. Me, I've got precious few single-star arrows in my quiver, as I feel that dismissing any work of art (musical or otherwise) diminishes us, the audience. So first order of business: Timecode isn't a bad album at all. Secondly, a frame of reference by which to admire it: Thomas Dolby, Tony Banks, the Peter Baumann of "Repeat Repeat." Moraz and vocalist John McBurnie plied similar terrain on Out In The Sun, only this time they're blinded by the science of DIY (do it yourself) synthesizer pop. (McBurnie even references the Dolby hit on "Beyond The Pleasure"). I'm not particularly fond of synthesizer pop music, cautious as I am of the thin line that separates guilty pleasure from gullet-choking tripe. Yes, you'll find both on Timecode, sometimes in the same song. For example, the first run-through of "Life In The Underworld" is a hoot, the repetition of it a bore. And the cleverness of "I Want U" is canceled out by a lame entry like "Shakin' With The Passion." McBurnie has a good voice, warmer than a lot of the synthesizer clones (Peter Schilling, Dolby, etc.), and Moraz again makes sound choices with his synthesizers. If you found Bankstatement an unprofitable exercise, then Timecode might be a waste of it. The only progressive moment is the instrumental "Black Brains of Positronic Africa," which sounds uncannily like Chick Corea. The rest of the album is less catchy than The Fugitive, more catchy than Dolby's The Flat Earth, and otherwise a pretty good example of what happens when progressive keyboard players try to cross over into the global pop market. The lyrics are ESeLementary, and a theme of love over the airwaves seems to run through the album, but I don't believe this is a concept album. (The absence of a two-page insert with mad notes and drawings squeezed into the margins would confirm that belief.) I don't believe this is a one-star album either, but rather an average album of synthesizer pop from a fertile mind. And my world feels a little larger for it.
daveconn | 3/5 |


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