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Earth and Fire - To the World of the Future CD (album) cover

TO THE WORLD OF THE FUTURE

Earth and Fire

 

Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 50 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

HolyMoly
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams
5 stars Song for song, this is probably Earth and Fire's most consistent album. While still keeping one foot in the progressive rock style, here the band starts to branch out into funk, which could have been an awkward fit for a band like this, if the songwriting wasn't so unfailingly strong. Gone is the Mellotron for the most part, replaced by some really tasteful electric piano and some string synths.

On the pop side, this album sports two very strong singles, "Only Time Will Tell", which reminds me a little of Kayak, and "Love of Life", one of their earliest disco-ish tracks, but with a soaringly triumphant chorus that will win over all but the most cynical listener. The wah-wah guitar playing by Chris Koerts is oodles of fun, and Jerney Kaagman (vocals) belts out the chorus with gusto. As McCartney once said, "Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs... what's wrong with that?"

Three lengthy tracks explore the band's prog inclinations. The 10-minute title track uses group vocals and a funky rhythm to establish the paranoid main theme, merging into a slow middle section with an emotional guitar solo, before returning to the main theme. The excellent instrumental "The Last Seagull" is unlike anything they'd tried to this point, and reminds me of something off of Stevie Wonder's "Secret Life of Plants" album (though this was released before Wonder's album) - atmospheric electric piano-fueled jazz fusion, really really cool. And lastly, "Voice From Yonder" is a frantic piece that begins with a really hot electric piano cadenza, a fast vocal section with Koerts and Jerney Kaagman trading lead vocals. Again, there's a slow, dramatic middle section, followed by a reprise of the opening section.

Seven tracks, and really not a dud in the bunch. I think this album best represents their range - straddled halfway between the prog-styled past and the pop-styled future, with some elements we wouldn't see again (e.g. the electric piano). Excellent!

HolyMoly | 5/5 |

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