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Retroheads - Retrospective CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.36 | 27 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Squire Jaco
3 stars Eh..and this had the potential to be something special.

Certainly derivative of some of the 1970's progressive rock masters, this album started to differentiate itself with its mix of space-prog, the occasional jazzy male/female vocals, some neo-prog touches, and decent melodies.

Yet, too often, I found it irksome.

Similar to the album cover, the music in general conveys a dreaminess or spaciness, both in its generous use of mellotron, and in the lyrics and the electronic "outer space" sounds. While the spacey instrumentals have a kind of cool swing to them, they are too often interrupted with the singing of bland lyrics by group leader Tore Bo Bendixen (who also handles the keys, bass, and some guitars).

Tore sings in a sort of Andy Latimer (Camel) style, but with a Norwegian accent. It's not terrible, but also not a plus. And the lyrics are just awful; corny and predictable, with rhymes that are both forced and clichéd. Mercifully, most of the songs have singing primarily during the first couple of minutes only, at which point you get to enjoy the long, spacey (if not entirely original) instrumental passages that end the songs. These typically feature nice guitar/keyboard interplay.

Along with the spacey keyboard sounds, Tore seems to borrow a lot from the Tony Banks school of synthesizers a la "Cinema Show". (Not a bad source from which to be derivative, I guess.) I also enjoyed the Bruford-ish vocals on "World Reveal", and would like to have heard more of them on this album.

It's a well-produced album, but ultimately suffers from poor lyrics and a general lack of originality. It just doesn't live up to its potential; enjoyable, mid-tempo, space- prog instrumentals just can't save this from the "non-essential" list.

There's too much other great stuff out there for us to listen to.

Squire Jaco | 3/5 |


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