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erik neuteboom
3 stars The debut CD Retrospective (2004) by Canadian seven piece band Retroheads got many positive reactions so I was very curious this new effort. After a first listening session I quickly concluded that Retroheads has matured in writing and they sound more original, even a bit wayward. For me this new CD is one big musical adventure, a fascinating blend of several styles with an omnipresent 'vintage keyboard sound' like the powerful Hammond organ, different 'classical' synthesizers and especially the majestic Mellotron. The compositions contain many adventurous musical ideas and lots of interesting moments like great interplay between Hammond and strong vocals along synthesizer flights, slide guitar, Moog Taurus bass pedals and Mellotronin the alternating and intense Living In A Bubble, a slow rhythm with moving wah-wah drenched guitar, Hammond waves and fat synthesizers in Black Hole Eyes and acoustic guitar, sensitive piano and vocals, a mid-tempo piece and lush keyboards in I Turn To You. The other compositions are also very alternating (from spacey and dreamy to fluent and bombastic) and feature lots of good soli on keyboards and guitar and strong vocals. Their sound on this new CD is not always accessible because of the many styles and frequent shifting moods but if you like a special progrock adventure with great vintage keyboards, this one could be yours!

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Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars This is the second album from Retroheads, and the first thing I did was to check among the seven members of the band to see if the lead singer was Damian Wilson (no its' not, it's Mike Mann). The vocals are a key part of this band, with the band not only having a wonderful singer in Mike but also in Ann-Kristin Bendixen and Deborah Girnius (the latter also providing flute) who give the sound a great degree of polish and power. The band also uses 'old' keyboards such as mellotrons and Mini Moogs, Hammond B3s etc along with Taurus bass pedals. This gives the music a very retro feel while at the same time they are playing music that has obviously been influenced by bands like Spock's Beard, Floyd and IQ so they are providing a happy amalgam of 'classic' prog sounds along with some much newer ones.

This gives the music a very warm and welcoming feel, it is all very approachable and definitely enjoyable the very first time that you play it. This gives Mike a background where he can sing soft and gentle or rip up through the range as he is more than capable of doing, while the backing female vocals provide an extremely important supporting role. There may be seven musicians in this band but they are all indeed but the music never feels too over complicated or layered ? the arrangements are very well done indeed. This is music for the proghead to lay back and settle into ? it is warm and comfortable, and very well performed and produced indeed.

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Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | Review Permalink

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