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October Project - October Project CD (album) cover


October Project


Prog Folk

3.09 | 13 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I personally love this album and this band. I grew up listening to ELP, YES, Zappa, jazz, ELO, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Renaissance, as well as Americana country rock and Laurel Canyon California music, with added Grateful Dead. This is some of the most beautiful, expressive, creative, unique music I've heard since the days of Renaissance and 1970's Prog Rock. Even though both of their albums are devoid of pyrotechnical instrumental virtuosic solos, I consider them Prog Rock. Mary Fahl has been compared to Annie Haslem (who is a fan by the way of both Mary Fahl and seperately October Project) and Grace Slick. As a vocal music major, I can say that she has one of the best voices I've ever heard in this genre or any for that matter. Linda Ronstadt also comes to mind. Some of their songs tend to be longer than average, have "sections", have etheral or fantasy lyrics, and have a floating and flowing feel to timing and chord movement. This is NOT typical of Pop-Rock. Many are orchestrated--even if done with electronic keyboard orchestra instruments (hey we didn't hold that against YES did we) and much more lush and complex than what passes for pop or other "alternative" rock of the time. The melodies, harmonies, and chord movements while flowing when performed, seemed to have been well constructed and meticulously thought out in the manner of a Classical music composition. Having seen them live many times, what they evoke on the albums is recreated very well and very powerfully in their live performances. That in itself is an admirable feat. How many bands, especially in Prog Rock, are as competant LIVE as they are in the studio? Remember! 1993. NO Internet ! No TV adds. Largely played on college radio. But loved by WXPN 88.5FM in Philadelphia who have set the tone for all college radio in this country as well as some professional radio. Their 1/2 million units sold was done ON THEIR OWN !!! Sony dropped them because they didn't know what to do with them (typical of Prog Rockers-how many times have we heard that) and with the downturn of the music selling industry, they only wanted artists that were a sure-fire mega-bucks maker. Of course, Sony did hardly any promotion or advertising for them to facilitate that outcome. I truly respect the members of October Project as singers, musicians, and writers. They, themselves, might not even like being labled as Prog. But they are Prog...out of respect for their skill, talent, creativity, and spirit. It's not fair to compare them to YES or the MOODY BLUES or even Renaissance as far as their limited financial and fame goes either. Those of us old enough to remember understand that in the late 60's and early 70's, MOST young artists were for a short time writing their own tickets in the recording studios. The old cigar-chomping (Ed Asner as LOu Grant comes to mind) producers and studi managers didn't know what to do with the "kids" with their wierd loud long-haired music so many times let them produce themselves, even though someone else's name took credit on many albums. For a good 8-10 years, bands like YES had free reign over what they did and how they did it. It would be nearly if not practically impossible to follow in their footsteps today. You don't get to do 25 minute song compositions and get signed to a major label with it's accompanying financial support and industry influence. Where You Are, A LOnely Voice, and Take Me As I Am are among the most beautiful music I've ever heard in any form. As an aside, the percussion was performed very much "live" by Urbano Sanchez and not by electronic keyboard, not that it would be a negative if electronic sound patches were used. After all, look at YES and ELO.
phair | 5/5 |


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