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The Tangent - The World That We Drive Through CD (album) cover

THE WORLD THAT WE DRIVE THROUGH

The Tangent

 

Eclectic Prog

3.75 | 277 ratings

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AtLossForWords
Prog Reviewer
5 stars As advertised everywhere, this album is the follow up to The Music That Died Alone, the prog album of the year for 2003. The standards were set quite high for this album. Though this album did not recieve the fame that The Music That Died Alone did, this album has interesting and unique qualities. This album may not be better than The Music That Died Alone, but it certainly isn't worse.

The World That We Drive Through is much more conceptual lyrically than The Tangent's debut. The World That We Drive Through is a pro enviromentalist and socialist concept. Tillison's politics are obvious throughout the album. It's great to see bands/lyricists that are willing to put their beliefs under criticism of their fans in their music.

Andy Tillison does yet another great performance on this album. Tillison's keyboard playing is top notch. The sounds that he gets out of his organs and Moogs are quite unique. He may not be quite the master of the Moog that Keith Emerson was, but Tillison is among today's elite when it comes to the Moog. Tillison's vocals on the album are quite pleasing to the ear that add a great contrast to those of Roine Stolt. Tillison's ability to enunciate and place his vocal parts makes his performance so special. He also sounds even better when he is singing with and in front of the rest of the band. Tillison's composing on this album is extraordinary. No one can make the perfect blend of symphonic, pychodelic, and canterbury influenced prog the way Tillison can. This album's compositions are variant and exteneded, which usually seems to be a recipe for success when it comes to prog albums.

Roine Stolt doesn't take as much of the spotlight in this album as he usually does in The Flower Kings. His guitar playing is immeadiately recognizeable, and his bluesy tones are perfectly produced through the recording studio. Stolt although not the prominent force on this album has great bluesy licks that a listener will not hear from anyone else. Stolt's vocals contrast Tillison's in great ways. When both sing togethor in unison, it's heaven for symphonic prog fans.

Jonas Reingold as all of you know is one of my favorite musicians, so I don't need to talk about him right? Well I'm going to. Reingold takes more of a back seat on this album. It's interesting to hear Reingold focus more on supporting the groove. Reingold gets the opportunity to show of his talents a couple times within the longer tracks (the Winning Game and a Gap In the Night), but for the most parts supports the groove with interesting walks. I love Reingold's walks for well and how long he can use a single phrase to cycle through multiple chord changes. Ok, I've said enough.

Theo Travis replaces the legendary David Jackson on this album. There were some good shoes to fill, and Travis leaves no extra room. Travis' contribution is essential to the success of this album. Travis may have more all around woodwind skills than Jackson, but his sax playing isn't quite to the same level. This becomes a mute point, because of the flute and other woodwind skills that Travis tops Jackson in. Great performance by the man that made his name with Gong.

Zoltan Csosrz also has more of a laid back performance in The Tangent than he does in The Flower Kings. Csosrz has some great fills and some good beats, but it's difficult to pick out any signature style to his playing. A good performance, but not a great one from Zoltan Csosrz.

Sam Baine is another element like Theo Travis that is so essential to the success of this project. Baine and Tillison compliment each other so well on the keyboards. Tillison who takes care of the Moogs and organs has an excellent accomplice in Baine on more synth based keyboards. It's the harmony between Baine and Tillison that makes this album so great. Whenever a band can put togethor to excellent keyboardist with such contrasting styles as these two is something to behold.

Guy Manning makes a solid contribution on acoustic guitars and other assorted strings like mandolins. Manning is an important element to the Canterbury side of this project. The jazzy licks he puts in are a nice listen when alternated with Stolt's bluesy solos.

The production is top quality. The uniqueness of this band is really brought out in the mix. The mix is much darker than that of The Music That Died Alone. That being said, this album has a more serious sound to it. Each instrument and each vocalist is easily identifiable in this mix. Stolt's bluesy guitar tones and Sam Baine synth selection are probably the highlight to this stellar mixing job.

How could I not give this album five stars. It's a conceptual and musical masterpiece devoid of flaw. HIGHLY RECCOMENDED TO ANY PROG FAN!!

AtLossForWords | 5/5 |

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