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Transatlantic - SMPT:e (The Roine Stolt Mixes) CD (album) cover



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King of Loss
5 stars I am still surprised this album has not been reviewed or rated. Even though, this is not another studio album from TransAtlantic, this Roine Stolt version of SMPTe is loved by many. Many consider to be a lot better than the original, with the phrases sounding a bit like Bridge Across Forever mix, rather than the original mix, which actually made SMPTe sound like just another Spock's Beard. Tell you no wrong, this mix is no Spock's Beard album, it is beyond the limits of Neal Morse's journey with his old California mates.

The album kicks off with All of the Above. This song is phenomenal, featuring a 7 part, 31 minutes in length (really, its more or less 27-28 minutes because of Morse and Portnoy's conversation on the Beatles. Interesting, but not really part of the song.

The song kicks off with the instrumental beginnings of Full Moon rising. A real treat, perhaps one of the most memorable, epic beginnings in all of Prog. Amazing, just breathless.

Then comes the Morse edition to everything with October Winds, the Prog is mixed with Morse's great vocal stylings and the gentle vocal barrage comes in. Then it transitions to the awesome Camflouged in Blue, perhaps one of the most catchiest parts of this epic.

Half alive and undying love transitions very light parts along with catchy, Spock's Beard like parts mixed in with some The Flower Kings phrases. The mix really makes this part more melodic and a lot more atmospheric.

Then the song concludes with the reprise of the epic Full Moon Rising. Amazing chorus by Morse and co., the old theme is really much back together and the song of course ends with Portnoy and Morse talking about the Beatles.

One of my all-time favorite songs, if not my favorite song of all time.

We All Need some Light is perhaps my favorite ballad with Neal morse, the recording on here is memorable with the catchy phrase, We All need some Light, is sang over and over again. With great emotion and the beautiful little solo played in the middle can be pretty much bone-chilling at worst. The live version on TransAtlantic- Live in Europe is even better, really emotional and even better than this nevertheless amazing studio version.

Mystery Train is a very much Beatles-esque tune with very unique lyrics and its a good song, perfect to sing along to, however, it is not as good as the other short ballad on this album.

My New World is an amzing Beatles-esque song, that begins and ends with perhaps one of the most catchiest phrases in Prog. I could not help singing along about every single time they play it.

My new world was spinning me around And this is all that i've found My new world was spinning me around And time can be my enemy My new world was spinning me ...

In the middle of the song, very beautiful instrumental parts are played, perfectly matching the mood and the lyrics of the tune. Very relaxed and laid back. This Roine Stolt version is more atmospheric and some of the parts are very reminiscent of the catchiness on Space Revolver.

The album really ends here for me, even though there is another track, which is in fact a Procul Harum cover. (One of my favorite 70s Prog songs). It is of course, produced very well and Morse adds his beautiful voice to it. Very good rendition of the classic song.

Overall, this album is one of the best albums of the new millenium and two songs, My New World and All of the Above, in my opinion, has surpassed some of the wonderful epics of the 70s.

Overall rating: 98%

Report this review (#85588)
Posted Thursday, August 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the first album I listened to from this band. I really love the first track. The lyrics 'innocense and undying love will reign' are beautifully sung by Neal Morse. I've noticed that I've been humming those lines over and over again. The track We all need some light is also a great song. This song alone is worth buying the album for. The other songs are great to.

I like the album very much, but I don't think it will go into history as a true masterpiece. I give it four stars.

Report this review (#165209)
Posted Thursday, March 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are so few reviews of this album but should you know that this one is, so far, a better release of the supergroup.

One word...superb! This is far better than the more commercial-oriented mixes released earlier. What really change is the overall sound of the album; A bit less symphonic and a bit more prog rock, if you please. Since it's Stolt's mixes the guitar is getting a little bit upfront and more engaging. No doubt, Roine Stolt is one of the greatest prog guitarist and yet the official release successfully hide that fact behind the wall of keyboard and drums. I'm convinced that this mix is closer to the optimum, if not perfect, sound of this album. This is, evidently, how almost everyone thought that Bridge Across Forever far better than SMPTe, because the latter sounds almost identical to Morse's solo album! However, this mixes has proven otherwise.

This might sound a little bit silly If I would try to convince one who already has the classic version of SMPTe to buy this album because it's better mix. Let me put it this way, if you really wanna know that how mixing influence the overall sound of a certain album. This one if a perfect prove. Better in every aspects. 4.5 Stars. Highly recommend!

Report this review (#243695)
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars this album is absolutely stunning.....its starts off with the epic all of the above...this is one of the best pieces of pro music you will evr here.....the meldies for both vocaland instruments are incredibly memorable, the musicianship is pehnominal....its got all the ingredients.....but the most important thing it has is can tell they arent just trying to mimick their heroes....they pay tribute to the bands of the 70's genesis, yes, rush, pink floyd but while stayin gtire to who they are and what they are all about......we all need some light is a beautiful neal balllad, mystery train is just a very catchy beatles sorta song but still very prog and interesting, my new world is a stolt creation....epic memorable and beautful through and through...the solos and jamming are so memorable...when they solo they arent just showingoff they have such passion and spirit in their solos!!!....the last track is very good as well, but for me the most avoidable....its really just a cover, but they do and awesome version of procal harum....better than the original!!!.- this version of smpt:e is even better cause it has a more interesting feel and roine's guitar is more up front!!
Report this review (#260992)
Posted Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Everybody who read my review on the Transatlantic├??├?┬┤s debut album knows very well that I didn├??├?┬┤t enjoy that album very much because it sounded "too much like a Spock├??├?┬┤s Beard work". Well, it meant a muddy production and the fact that only Neil Morse seemed to appear in the final cut (the remaning of his star colleagues sounded like a backing band, nothing more). Well, I chanced upon this record and I decided to give it a shot, even if I didn├??├?┬┤t believe that a new mix would change my point of view, as most of them usually don├??├?┬┤t. But I felt something and, besides, it is ROINE STOLT├??├?┬┤s remixes, so I guess it was the right guy to do something like that.

The results were amazing, to say the least. SMPTe comes across now like a whole new recording, with a much brighter sound,much more energy and with all members being able to be heard equally. I had to pick up my old original CD to listen to it again to be sure. And now I can say without doubt that the RS mixes gave the record something it lacked badly: the right sound. Several new details, subletities, nuances, even some instruments and vocals can now be heard clearly like it was for the first time. I really don├??├?┬┤t know if there were new recordings regarding this release, but boy, does it look like it!! Compared to this version the original CD pales in all aspects. This is specially true for the two epics All Of The Above and My New World, both of them gained a freshness and power only hinted before. We All Need Some Light became even more beautiful and poignant than it already was and the Procol Harum cover (In held (twas) in I) showed many details that make it really stand out. Just listen to the vocals (more vivid and clear) or the guitar solos (now full of life and emotion). Even the weakest track, Mystery Train, improved a lot with the new mix. Now I feel like listening to this record again and again, something that hasn├?┬┤t happened before.

Finally I can say that this band had something special from the get go and I├??├?┬┤m really glad to have this CD. It├??├?┬┤s only a shame it took so long to finally have a quality recording worth the genius of all members involved, but better later than never. If you├??├?┬┤re a newbie to this supergroup, please be sure to get this version of the album instead of the original one. For I have now to change my rating concerning the songs and perfomances of this album: 4.5 stars.

Brilliant work, Roine!!! Thank you very much!

Report this review (#489739)
Posted Sunday, July 24, 2011 | Review Permalink

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