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Lisa LaRue - Transformation 2012 CD (album) cover


Lisa LaRue


Crossover Prog

2.90 | 2 ratings

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3 stars As a child female musician Lisa LaRue, born in 1962 in Oklahoma, was taught to play the keyboards and at the start of her career she even collaborated with Gong's Gilli Smyth on the cassette "Dreamscapes".Influenced by the likes of Genesis, Kansas, E.L.P. and Yes, she begun writing her own material and started releasing albums since the early-90's, most of them having limited promotion.As stated by Lisa, she spent a fair amount of her savings on lifting her carrer, beginning with the ''Transformation 2012'', released in 2008 and featuring Asia's singer John Payne, Classical-trained violinist James Sudakow, keyboardist Tommy Zvoncheck and singer Marc Nelson along with Andy Livesay and Kerri Lake on flutes.

This release met a wider recognition, being a concept album around Maya's prophecy around a new world state occuring in 2012, with Payne providing all spoken parts of the album on his own unique voice.Musically the album is strongly influenced by the monsters of keyboard-driven Progressive Rock like E.L.P. and RICK WAKEMAN along with strong KANSAS vibes here and there, while there is a certain similarity in the result with the works of ERIK NORLANDER, GERARD or DON AIREY.The main problem seems to be an evident inconsistency throughout, where excellent symphonic-oriented ideas mostly in an instrumental approach, are blended with questionable parts like long drum solos or even a few chessy synth passages of little interest.Focusing on the bright side of the album, these passages range from simply decent to even masterful.The strong armour of LaRue, including synthesizers, piano and Hammond or church organs, allows here to travel around different moods and soundscapes.From flashy and intense arrangements to vintage, virtuosic runs with a 70's feel and from grandiose church organ intros to light and sensitive piano themes.Combined with the decent work on violin and flutes, the instrumental work as offered is often excellent with lots of variations and tight performances.The overall approach is mostly symphonic, but there are occasional parts resembling more to Neo Prog or A.O.R/Pomp Rock, fortunately even these contain some nice melodic ideas.

I should say Lisa didn't spend her money for nothing.This is a well-crafted work with big time instrumental magic at moments, that deserves a wide spread.Warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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