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Cirkus - Cirkus One CD (album) cover

CIRKUS ONE

Cirkus

 

Eclectic Prog

3.36 | 26 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

bristolstc
5 stars What some people say about this album proves that McCartney was true when he wrote "Some People Never Know." To compare Cirkus and their hugely expensive album to the music of The Beatles may not be wrong, but the group took late 60s influences and melded them together with symphonic keyboards, soaring guitars, and bombastic vocals into something definitely of the prog era, in the context of short songs. When I really listened to this album it took about two seconds for me to love it, but I wondered could anything match that first track "You Are?" Well it does, in fact though that is the best thing on here the group had a formula that worked very much to their benefit and made them sound somewhere between Yes (Paul Robson's voice is so close to Jon Anderson's that it is unearthly) and Fantasy with a little bit of Gabriel era Genesis and a lot of Bowie as well. Every track here is outstanding, the unique vocals and strong melodies augmented by virtuoso musicianship from the guitarist, drummer, keyboard player, and bass guitar player (very good!). A bit of a strange vibe is present on this album in that Cirkus sound like a late 70s pomp rock band without the bad elements of self indulgence and obnoxious posturing that eventually drove even the greatest pomp bands into an unlistenable quagmire (I HATE Kansas and Starcastle so much I won't even review them). "You Are" is really heavy and really loud, but melodic. The rest of the album is melodic progressive rock with lots of string arrangements, where did they get the budget as an unknown group to record this and why wasn't a major label interested? Cirkus have a great singer, that helps, they also have bizarre lyrics that are sometimes unintentionally funny and sometimes intentionally disturbing (anti war track "Brotherly Love"). Cirkus has been one of my very favourite progressive albums for years and yes I would call it a masterpiece of progressive music. The old 80s reissue is good enough, you won't or at least I haven't found an original. The bonus tracks on the CD aren't as good as the album as far as the later ones go, but "The Heaviest Stone" and "Castles" are great if you can get past the execrable sound quality (remember it was only a demo tape). This album is brilliant, I love it and would advise you not listen to your "friends" and make up your mind for yourself. You may be surprised, even delighted by what you will find. A masterwork, that's without question!
| 5/5 |

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