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The Tangent - A Place In The Queue CD (album) cover

A PLACE IN THE QUEUE

The Tangent

 

Eclectic Prog

3.80 | 254 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Deadwing12
5 stars The Tangent's third album is easily their most ambitious project to date, being nearly twice as long (!) as The Music that Died Alone. I would have to say that it is my overall favorite album by the band, as the music this time around meshes as a cohesive whole moreso than on past records. The band seems to have taken the best things from both past records to make this one, and it seems like a obvious evolutionary step.

The loss of Roine Stolt and Zoltan Csoraz (or however you spell it) felt to me like a low blow. Zoltan and Jonas Reingold in particular were my favorite bass and drums pairing in progressive rock, so I was both eager and a little skeptical about how the new drummer, Jaime, would turn out. I shouldn't have feared, because he fits in nicely with Jonas and does not hurt the album in any way.

The guitar, too, is less prominant than in early recordings, which is a pro and a con. Andy Tillison's keyboards really are the focus of the album, but Krisster Johnson (spelling? bah!) does an amiable job on what guitar parts ther are. Good work.

Anyways, regardless of length and line-up changes, what really matters is the music. And damn, is the music on this album amazing! More experimental than The Music that Died Alone, and much more energetic than The World That We Drive Through (both 4 star efforts in my book), A Place in the Queue is easily The Tangent's most wholesome and lively album.

'In Earnest' stars things off with a bang, and perhpas shows the album's only fault: that the best song comes first! Starting with an excellent piano riff couresty of Sam Baine (who seems more prominent throughout the record), this 20 minute+ song is a tour de force, with Andy Tillison doing some great keyboard and vocal (!) work. Andy's melodies have always been hit or miss with me on past albums by The Tangent, but this time around most melodic lines are spot on. I really enjoy the verses and instrumental breaks in this song, and is as of now my favorite Tangent song! Awesome work

'Lost in London' is a very Canterbury-esque number, with a great groove and interesting lyrics. On this album, Andy really seems to be able to portray his thoughts very easily, and I get pulled into the stories moreso than on past records. Anyways, great song, with both light and heavy passages, and awesome flute work by Theo Travis, an extremely essential unit to the Tangent now. On "The World...," Theo was pushed to the back more as a guest star than anything. Here, he really shines throughout the album, and his flute and sax flourishes are absolutely essential to the overall sound of the album.

DIY Surgery is a short, fun piece by Theo Travis, very proggy and an interesting listen.

GPS Culture is probably my second favorite song on the album. Awesome vintage keyboard sound! The whole song sounds like it could fit on even the greatest Yes record. The melodies here are infectious, and the slower part in the middle is beautiful. Piano again plays a big role, and vocal harmonies surface in the best way possible.

Follow Your Leaders starts with a somewhat boorish vocal line, but quickly breaks down into a superb instrumental section which saves the song. The song has a driving feel (reminiscient of Up-Hill from Here), but this time it works fully. Great bass work, courtesy of Jonas (to only name one part...his additions throughout the album are priceless). And Theo Travis...again showing off his awesome chops.

The Sun in My Eyes is a great song. 3 and half minutes of disco fun, not to be taken seriously, so other sore reviewers, get over it. Out of an 80 minute album, 4 minutes aren't prog. Whatever, the song works, largely because of the silly, awesome lyrics any prog-lover will eat up.

A Place in the Queue is the other "epic," and though it's not as heavy hitting as the first one, it still has a lot going for it. The beginning section perhaps takes a little long to pick up, but the atmosphere is very calm and collected that the music sounds good anyways. And after a load of fast-paced songs, its nice to catch our breaths. The rest of the song goes through many more moods, melodies, and keyboard solos, culminating in a strong finish to an amzing album.

Well, there you have it, a 5-star masterpiece that has not left my CD player for about two weeks now. This is the Tangent's strongest album to date, and I can only imagine what the next one will sound like.

Deadwing12 | 5/5 |

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