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Quasar - The Loreli  CD (album) cover

THE LORELI

Quasar

 

Neo-Prog

3.25 | 23 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars After the release of their debut album in 1985 the band changed approach bringing in female singer Susan Robinson (Solstice) on lead vocals and hitting the road. They definitely suffered with line-up changes, but in 1985 provided a track for the EMI compilation 'Fire In Harmony'. Dave Wagstaffe had joined on drums by then, and not long afterwards there was yet another major change with Tracy Hitchings joining on vocals, Steve Leigh on keyboards and Uwe D'Rose on guitar (Keith Turner was of course still there at the helm, providing bass). So, it wasn't until 1989 that the band started on this their second album, but during recording both Steve and Uwe left so Toshi Tsuchiya came in on guitar and midi guitar.

I still remember the first time I played this album, something over 20 years ago, as I fell in love with it immediately. It was the first time I had come across Tracy, and this felt like a perfect combination of soaring prog with vocals to match. Unlike the debut, where Keith had provided all of the material, this is much more of a band album although only the title song was co-written by two current members of the band. The keyboards do sound a little uncomplicated, but given that they were being played on a midi as opposed to 'proper' keyboards that probably isn't surprising. The star of the show is Tracy, and the music is designed to show her off in the best light. Here she is full of confidence and the production is spot on, allowing her to be a little 'dry' in places to really show off her quality as opposed to coating everything in reverb.

Although some of the keyboard sounds do appear little dated, since it is the best part of 25 years since it was released that really is a little picky as here is an album that neo-prog fans should investigate. Not long after the album was released and this line-up, like so many others, had disappeared. Dave joined forces with Uwe and Steve to form Landmarq with Steve Gee (Artemis), and Tracy departed to work with Clive Nolan on his Strangers On A Train projects and others, before finally joining Landmarq herself. So Quasar were never really able to maximize the potential of a wonderful piece of work, and as I write this (at the beginning of 2013) they have yet to release another studio album. That is nothing short of criminal as this is a great album and something that belongs in all prog lovers' collections. As with the debut, if you go to the band's website you can play all of the songs, so why not go and discover some prog history? quasar.netne.net/

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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