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North Star - Extremes CD (album) cover

EXTREMES

North Star

 

Neo-Prog

3.79 | 22 ratings

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Jon_L_039
4 stars My hat goes off to this band.While they are obviously restricted by financial limitations regarding recording capabilites, they put tremendous thought and musical expression into this production. I figure that this was yet another "home" recording for this band. (all the other albums were as well ,to my knowledge).I appreciate that to the fullest.I agree that it has audio limitations due to this , but if one figures that the recording equipment costs were probably less than the "food and snack" budget of every band North Star is compared with, one must realize the expert technical skills of K. Leonard/producer,keyboardist. Newman's voice never really appealed to me on previous recordings of North Star, except for cuts on "FEEL THE COLD", and a cut called "circle" on Power(1992). I never liked Getty Lee's voice and compared it to Mr. Newnam's nasally sound (which I think is can partially be attributed to less than desirable studio reproduction).BUT....Newnam's voice on EXTREMES is world class. His sincerity, maturity and richness of expression gives me shivers at times.He obviously has been developing his vocal technique!I always enjoyed his bass playing , and was suprised to see that he does not play bass on this one. I imagine this is due, for he might be acting out much of his part when performing this record live.Johnson, however, did a fine job of playing the bass on this one.I am curious who WILL be playing bass on the live shows.Perhaps Newnam? As a theme album , not only does the lyrics and melodies have multi-levels of continuity, the compositions utilize a tremendous sense of artistic flair. The recapitulated themes surfacing throughout the record can only be compared to the best of the European composers of the past several hundred years. The drumming lines up with every aspect of the music in a way that is almost scarey. You can tell these guys have been musical compadres for many years. I tend to think that there are INTENTIONAL references to these guys mentors(Genisis) in select areas of the album. For instance, in the opening tune, it seems the central character is explaining his world of living on the street. Then, out of nowhere a very familiar riff from "watcher of the skies" surfaces several times.There are more hidden goodies like this , but I encourage all progressive rock lovers to seek these out for themselves. Ive only had the record for 3 days and have found several. Musea and Bernard, kudos for grabbing on to this one............
| 4/5 |

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