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The Tangent - Down And Out In Paris And London CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.73 | 262 ratings

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4 stars There is something very real about the Tangent's music, and something more than credible about its leader, keyboardist/singer Andy Tillison. When you create for a living (or as is often the case in music, for a dying), art that is faithful to a tradition of integrity and intellect is most prized. Or at least it should be. Tillison is slowly but surely emerging as more than just a Prog torchbearer. He is becoming the record keeper, and like the ancient Sephardic Jews carrying and preserving their culture 'til the time was right to reestablish it, he is the face of Rock as Art in Britain, faithful in his restoration and kosher in his treatment of a rare language. An original who also loves the classics, a true musical gastronome able to coax the tough, unappealing or just old-fashioned into something tender, delicious and new. It's little wonder so many in England are lining up to work with him.

Guy Manning's guitar, always a vital presence here, pushes off our main theme for 'Where Are They Now?', Theo Travis's saxes picking it up and the band kicking-in, sounding like twice their five selves. If you haven't acquired your taste for Tillison's voice I don't think this album will make a big difference either way. But the recording is so pure and pristine it barely matters and at the very least we can hear his words (besides, Andy's always got something good to say). This first piece at just under twenty minutes is so packed full of neat stuff that Down and Out in Paris and London, the band's fifth, is a release a veteran listener can just tell will take a while to really get into, to be able to fit into. No matter, it's a lot of fun trying, and that's half the fun of Prog anyway: the journey to get there. The main thematic is stretched, dissected, refitted and fully developed, and is supremely satisfying with subtle influences from Roger Waters to Mark Knopfler to, of course, Dave Stewart. Vintage and slightly monotonous jazzrock sounds in 'Paroxetine-20mg' and melancholic 'Perdu dans Paris' is signature Tillison, taking its time as it ambles through the streets of the City of Light. 'The Company Car' starts slow but has a cherry middle with angular extensions and hot, passionate playing from all. But for many the real treat will be 'The Canterbury Sequence vol. 2, Ethanol Hat Nail', a joyous send-up of that scene with many nods to National Health, the Hatfields and others.

Like them or not, this band is among a tiny handful that holds in its hands the very future of rock that progresses, and for that we owe them a debt of gratitude. Thanks, boys.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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