Header
New England - Explorer Suite CD (album) cover

EXPLORER SUITE

New England

 

Crossover Prog

2.05 | 3 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progpositivity
Prog Reviewer
3 stars If there is an AOR-archives website somewhere, this band should certainly be one of their darlings. After all, Kiss guitarist-songwriter-vocalist Paul Stanley "discovered" the band and even produced their eponymous debut. After denting the top 40 with the anthemic rocker "Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya'", New England branched out to include more art-rock and pop-rock on their sophomore effort "Explorer Suite". They hired Todd Rundgren to impeccably produce their third album "Walking Wild", a (now dated) collection of songs on the forefront of the move to integrate the cutting edge of New Wave influences into the world of AOR pop rock.

In their proggressive-(ish) moments, they combined the art rock leanings of early 1970's ELO and Styx with the catchy rock hooks of Cheap Trick - briefly tagging it all with inspired keyboard solos some of which would not have been at all out of place on a genuine prog album. Most of the time, they walked a fine line between hard rock, arena rock, pop rock, and pomp rock. Think of a unique mix of Europe's "The Final Countdown" with ELO's "Discovery".

One curiosity to me is how their lead vocalist and songwriter John Fannon (from Boston USA) adopted the affectation of a British accent! Like a USA teenager reciting lines from their favorite Monty Python film or skit, one gets the feeling that Fannon so loved the music of the British invation that he adopted their vowel pronunciations as his own. For some reason I'm still oddly amused at how well he flew under the radar doing this "fake British accent" with such a straight face, semi-successfully selling records along the way!

The highlights of this record are "Explorer Suite" and "Hope". The former alternates between mellotron rich prog-lite passages and catchy pop rock choruses. The latter opens with an expressive acoustic guitar passage before settling into an earnestly pensive groove. Both allow ample time for guitar and keyboard solos to transcend normal pop limitations. "Honey Money" and "Livin' in the Eighties" are well crafted rock radio friendly up- tempo tunes with art-rock around the edges. (Think The Cars, Toto, Boston or Loverboy)

Certainly one of the less progressive items you will find here in ProgArchives. But if you like any of the 70's or 80's output of the bands mentioned in this review, New England may turn out to be a semi-obscure AOR band worthy of "exploration"...

progpositivity | 3/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Share this NEW ENGLAND review

>

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.03 seconds