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Simon Says - Tardigrade CD (album) cover

TARDIGRADE

Simon Says

 

Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 159 ratings

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Progrussia
5 stars This is a differently-sounding beast from 2002's Paradise Square. It's all retro-prog, but while Paradise was retro in almost every aspect, Tardigrade is an example of prog with modern touches. This one is much more denser and bombastic, as if they suddenly got a hold on equipment from the future (if Paradise is more akin to mid-period Genesis, Tardigrade is closer to Yes) In fact, sometimes there is so much stuff going on that it borders on overkill. Keyboard variety is particularly notable, since as far as I understand neither of the guys is a keyboardist-first.

This is especially true of the two epics - opening 15-minute Suddenly the Rain (maybe just itsy- bitsy repetetive and Yes-inspired) and ending 26-minute Brother where you bound. The latter is one of my favorite epics because there is so much crammed in (no 3-minute spacey intros here, no sir) and yet it still flows naturally, going thru a plethora of crying lead guitar lines, folkish sections, some devilish piano, false endings etc.

But there's also so much variety on this album. Shorter rocker Tardigrade with its frenetic guitar licks and start-stop rhythms, folk-ish Circles End, mesmerising acoustic-electric duet Moon Mountain. Every song is distinct. Another distinctive feature are vocals. Unusual. Theatrical, accented and slightly nasally, yet somehow infectious.

I know that we reviewers must use 5 star ratings sparingly (and we use it here much too often - come one, do you really think this is an essential masterpiece and not just good?). But so much effort and diversity went into Tardigrade, that I don't hesitate here.

Progrussia | 5/5 |

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