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Art In America - Art In America CD (album) cover


Art In America


Symphonic Prog

2.21 | 16 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I had wondered about this band for quite some time. With a name like Art in America, featuring a harp player and being produced by the one and only Eddy Offord, one can only imagine big things. The band apparently had some success, played live as an opening act for a number of big artists, and even made it into the MTV rotation during its early years. I was around in 1983, but what on earth was I doing? Dissecting worm gizzards in biology class?? I didn't hear about this group until they had long disappeared from the music industry. And then I find their CD on Ebay for one dollar. Hey, why not, let's take a chance...

Well, it certainly didn't turn out to be some amazing progalicious masterpiece. And I wasn't expecting it to. For heavens sake, it was 1983. Remember 90125? Asia? The Genesis yellow shapes album? But it doesn't really sound like Asia, or Genesis, or Yes. No, I have to give these guys some credit. They did have a rather original sound that showed some prog rock influences, but mostly heavily slanted towards an art rock/pop rock mixture. What they really remind me of... and here's the kicker... ELO Part 2. If you took ELO Part 2 and formed it in 1983 and forgot to include the orchestra, it would sound like this. Maybe a little Alan Parsons and Saga thrown in.

The version I purchased was made in 2008 and features 7 additional tracks. Some of these bonus tracks sound like they were recorded much later, but the CD insert says nothing about them. Here I thought I would be listening to nine tracks, popped it in the CD player, and whoa, 16 of the buggers! I only found the names of the tracks by looking for the album on Amazon. The bonus tracks sort of sound like what one might guess the band would sound like in the 1990s. I haven't the foggiest idea when these were recorded, so 1990s I guess? They couldn't have possibly been from Middle Ages. We can certainly rule that out.

So, some confusion, the odd thought of ELO Part 2 transporting back in time, a harp player that seems to only make her mark in the first 10 seconds or so, and I'm left thinking I just dropped pop tarts in the engine cavity of my van. OK, whatever...

Anyway, an enjoyable listen of pop-art-prog-AOR-art-pop-thing-something or other. If you like early 1980s Saga, or ELO Part 2, or other stuff like that, this might be OK for you. I doubt the rest of the prog community will be clamoring for this, even if you do find it for a dollar.

progaeopteryx | 2/5 |


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