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Comedy Of Errors - Fanfare & Fantasy CD (album) cover


Comedy Of Errors



4.05 | 492 ratings

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5 stars This album took me by surprise. I came to prog relatively late in life having a more classically trained background but I have been enjoying immensely the delights of this most varied of genres for several years now. Don't get me wrong, as in every type of music there is the mundane and predictable but this album has surprised me by the level of invention allied to it's emotional impact. Musically I find it to be a more natural extension of classical music, there being a lot more to it than meets the eye; maybe this is why I find it more appealing than usual and why I feel urged to write from that standpoint.  A friend who had seen this band live kept raving about them and insisted I listen to their new album.  I have now been listening to this album constantly for the past week or so. We are firmly into prog territory here but also into what progarchives would describe as crossover and symphonic elements. The influences of the early seventies prog bands are there as they are in every modern day prog band; that is what makes them prog after all.  However what we get here is that, and a lot more besides.  All the songs are very direct, with a strong sense of purpose but more so is the sheer inventiveness of the melodies, a neglected art in recent times. This is where they score heavily . Maybe this is why we are reminded of the seventies prog influences...simply because of their ability to come up with great original tunes. No band should be ashamed of writing good tunes though it seems many bands are, or maybe it's because they can't. Here we have an abundance of them. However it's the way the themes and musical motifs are developed and reprised in different guises that give these 'epic' style songs a strong feeling of unity even in the longer multi sectional ones. This thematic unity and motivic development is used in classical music and here it works to great effect. The longer songs are not just made up of stuck together unrelated sections. This album feels as if it has been thoroughly composed through with a feeling of one part belonging to the other. There are many lines going on at once in a contrapuntal fashion seemingly derived from the same thematic material. All these techniques are usually utilised more in classical music but here are used to marvellous effect in the progressive style. Subliminally, they have the effect of making every note relevant and heightening the listening experience. It is a case of art disguising art. What is very much original is the way they have fused these classical techniques with great tunes which hide a greater complexity underneath. They are never afraid to reduce things at one moment to a bare beautiful simplicity before using the same elements of material to morph into inventive, more complex passages where that complexity is subtly hidden. The production is superb and the arrangements well thought out and appropriate for the variety of song on this album.  This sheer musicality and lyrical depth is what gives this album its powerful emotional impact and raises it above the rest. But you don't need to analyse this musically as I have, or be aware of the techniques which make this album a bit special. It is accessible on the surface but complex underneath and no one really needs to know WHY. Unless one has musical tastes so narrow that only allows you to enjoy one specific type of music, I think that most people, proggers and non-proggers alike will love this album.
Simpho | 5/5 |


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