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3RDegree - The Long Division CD (album) cover

THE LONG DIVISION

3RDegree

 

Crossover Prog

4.11 | 151 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AyRon
4 stars 3rDegree's latest album, The Long Division, is their 4th studio album and I think it's their best. I've always liked the songwriting, but I haven't always liked the recording quality, particularly the guitars, which I felt sounded too "synthey" (yes, that's a word). On this album, though, I think they nailed it. The sound is vastly improved and the song-writing is at its best.

You're Fooling Yourself is an anthemic song that hits the nail on the head regarding the current U.S. political system. Favorite line without a doubt is "You're fooling yourself if you don't look across the aisle and see humanity." We've gotten to this point in our national discourse where disagreement means a person is fundamentally flawed. The all or nothing brigade are ruining this country and, as this song says, "I can see the mountain" (of debt, that is).

There's not really a weak track on the album, but here are some comments on the stand- outs:

The Socio-Economic Petri dish sounds like what would happen if you dropped Stevie Wonder into a prog band. Seriously, it works!

One of my favorite tracks is Incoherent Ramblings which takes on the pundits and talking heads (the bad kind, not the band). This is a song that gets stuck in my head every time I listen to it.

The Ones to Follow has a really nice Marillion-esque guitar part in it starting at about 0:22.

A Work of Art is a nice song, but I actually prefer the stripped down version that can be heard on their earlier acoustic live albums ("the reunion concert at home" and "Among Friends").

The Millions of Last Moments is a very nice acoustic guitar piece that belongs up there with Steve Howe's interludes.

The final track, "A Nihilist's Love Song" is a perfect closing song: "All that is and all that was is meaningless" repeating and building towards the end. Love the verses, too. Even a nihilist wants love! This is 3rDegree's "Eclipse" (bear in mind, when I compare their songs to others, it's not because the songs are rip-offs. 3rDegree are HIGHLY original. But like most music, there are moments that remind you of other great moments).

This album is the closest 3rDegree has come to a perfect album, which is saying something because their prior albums are pretty good ( in fact, each album improves over the prior by leaps and bounds. Makes you wonder how they'll top this one!). They often get accused of not being prog enough, but I think they fall under Steve Hackett's superior term "Permissive Rock." They are not afraid to take the best of various types of genres and mash them up into something new and exciting. If you think prog should only sound like it did 40 years ago, then this album is probably not for you. If you like your music adventurous and original, then enjoy.

AyRon | 4/5 |

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