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Isotope - Deep End CD (album) cover

DEEP END

Isotope

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.44 | 41 ratings

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Philo
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Third album in and finally Isotope look to be putting some sort of shape and form to their music, but by no means does this actually mean they are pulling together and creating sublime magic! Far from it. But I will say this. The tunes on the album have structure, so rather than just jam out an albums worth of worthless music it looks as if Gary Boyle and company actually plundered some formation together for some of the pieces, but again, the production values are rather dubious to say the least. Like the previous Isotope efforts there is a lacking of a convicting group dynamic due to the muted and extremely dull production, and if Deep End had gotten a tight cohesive production this truly could have been a fine piece of jazz rock fusion. But still, despite the cheap production, from the off Deep End is a better release than previous Isotope efforts. "Mr. M's Picture" is a good tune with a quirky title while and rocking "Crunch Cake" sounds as if guitarist Gary Boyle was listening and borrowing ideas from Miles Davis Jack Johnson album, and where I thought John McLaughlin was lacking inspiration on that album, Boyle actually sounds impressive here! But comparing both these guys is not my aim here and never would be. Though I would suggest that Boyle took inspiration from McLaughlin and at least some of his work on that album, but hey, prove me wrong! Former Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hooper had departed by the time this album was released to be replaced by the less inventive - Dan K. Brown, but he, Hopper, left his mark behind big time in the shape of the silky cool and raw "Fonebone" one of Deep End's highlights. The rest of this album is typical jazz rock fusion, good musicianship all round but the ideas needed top be stretched out here and there. A little like this review.
Philo | 3/5 |

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