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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars More of the same? Well it sure has the Tile's recognition "seal"; a main theme, chorus part and main theme again structure. Early 80's Rush is easily an influence/reference here as well.

Tiles can do much more. It is as if they're limiting themselves to playing without crossing the safety border of acceptable, accessible rock. There's not much variation, not much shift in style or sound, in the sense that it sounds "samey" after a while. There is no standout track, no special moment that makes me glad I listened to this. There's no attempt at making this interesting or challenging. Not challenging in an avant-garde sort of way, but give more life to the songs, introduce interesting and unexpected turns and twists (those can be melodic; nothing weird has to be done). Markers, which is the 5th song, comes close to this, and yet doesn't fully reach it as well. But a song like Dragons, Dreams and Daring Deeds, could be developed into more than it is. Hide and Seek, that last track (I don't have the ninth track that appears on the early release) is also one that shows that they can certainly achieve a more interesting result, but again it is not fulfilled. In addition it ends in a fast fadeout that doesn't add to the song, nor does it serve as a good album closer.

This is not to say the songs are bad or not enjoyable, not at all; it's just that there's nothing new under the Tiles sun. It is the same old story, same pattern, same result. I guess that devoted Tiles fans will find merits to this album and will probably like it. I will not recommend them to not get it, as I feel they'll have a sentiment of reward from listening to it. It is just that I (as someone who likes their previous albums) am somewhat bored by it, not thrilled from listening to it, and prefer to invest my time and money in other albums. Only two songs here did manage to get my attention - Sacred & Mundane and Markers. All the others, are to me uninspired and just don't manage to do what other albums I like do; that is "grab my neurons and make my brain shake".

This is too bad as I had hopes they'll progress and continue with the spark that marked their Presents of Mind album and the experimentation done in Window Dressing. I feel disappointed with this release and would not advise to someone unfamiliar with the band to start with this one. Instead go for Presents Of Mind or Fence The Clear. As for fans of the band, I can't recommend this album. I feel this is a step down, or rather regression from the path they should have chosen, as I see it.

2.5-3 in PA scale.

Report this review (#159883)
Posted Saturday, January 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars You can't always get what you want.

Okay, one of my favorite bands period. Tiles came out in the early 90's, when Rush started on the slippery slide. But their main strenght is to me, to bring back a certain atmosphere and sound of the good Rush era with panache and lots of technique. With Presents of Mind and topped with Window Dressing, they had going on in the heavy-but-not-so-easy-listening-prog, no doubt about it...then 'splat'?!?

Oh yeah, 'splat' indeed. The album feels like a joke that fell flat on it's face.... you look around, nobody's laughing. The crowd waits for a better one, and the pressure's on you to be funnier next time.

It hurts to write about it, but I have to be fair: this album is wishy-washy. Despite the fact that I'm a (big) fan, the songs are 'naked' when comparing to before. The songs lack drum and bass guitar fireworks (Landscrapes...ugh), and the complexity level is not as high; honestly, the whole thing feels rushed...but they tooked their time to do it, so what's the gag?!

Hopefully some tracks hit the spot like Hide in My Shadow with it's good chorus and Markers' middle time changes. Crowed emptiness is a cute song with a summer feeling and Alex Lifeson is doing wonders in Sacred and Mundane, saving the song from beind just there.

Tiles is capable of so much better, I know it!

Report this review (#174124)
Posted Monday, June 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars I've been listening to "Fly Paper" longer than I usually would a cd before reviewing it, hoping it would turn into a 4 star rating for me, but no. I've been trying to put my finger on the reason why without having any success so I put on one of my favourites from them, the amazing "Fence The Clear" to see if that would shed some light. It did. First of all this one isn't nearly as powerful or heavy as "Fence The Clear" but for me the main reason is that the songs just aren't as good. Now I have to say that there are some great songs on here, but there are also some that for me sound either too straight forward or i'm just not that fond of them.

"Hide In My Shadow" is a fantastic opener with the guitar grinding away as drums and bass pound away. It settles before a minute then vocals join in.The contrast continues. I just love the way this song sounds. Gotta love the bass as the guitar rips it up. "Sacred & Mundane" opens with mandolin followed by a heavy soundscape courtesy of Alex Lifeson. Apparently he spent 8-9 hours or so working on this guitar soundscape with Terry Brown. It comes and goes throughout.This is the first time they (Brown & Lifeson) worked together in about 20 years ! Something about the actual sound of this song doesn't seem right. I mean the vocals with the guitar soundscape. Maybe it's just me but right from the first listen i've felt that. Anyway you can tell it's Lifeson here. Check out the guitar before 2 1/2 minutes as the bass throbs, the drumming that follows is incredible. Good song. "Back & Forth" is fairly straight forward. Best part is the drum solo before 4 1/2 minutes followed by a guitar solo. Not a fan of the song though.

"Landscrape" still doesn't work for me. I like the heaviness, but the song itself i'm not a fan of. "Markers" is a top three track for me. Love the mellotron early (thanks to Matthew Parmenter) with the percussion. Reserved vocals come in.I like the guitar that comes in it reminds me of the sound on the OPETH album "Damnation". Check it out ! The song kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. Nice. The guitar grinds away and the vocals are passionate. Amazing sound. This is more like it. The guitar lights it up before 6 1/2 minutes. "Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds" opens with riffs and chunky bass, I like the vocal melodies that come and go. Drums really shine too.The guitar comes in around 2 minutes.The chorus is much fuller than the verses. Kim Mitchell offers up a guitar solo before 6 minutes and proceeds to set the soundscape on fire.

"Crowded Emptiness" is again a fairly straight forward and positive sounding track. It's ok. It does features some keyboards, orchestration and choir from Hugh Syme who of course did the excellent cover art on this album. "Hide & Seek" is a nice heavy and aggressive tune.There is a calm with mellotron courtesy of Matthew Parmenter again 3 1/2 minutes in. Love the sound a minute later as it gets quite heavy. A nice guitar solo as the bass goes deep and then they seem to jam.

Better than "Window Dressing" overall in my opinion, but it doesn't touch the glory of "Fence The Clear" or "Presents Of Mind".

Report this review (#195294)
Posted Saturday, December 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's unusual for me, but I found myself in similar situation as sinkadotentree, where I didn't get "into" it for the first time, so I've tried it again. Then various tracks, one at time (not two, of course) and then again whole album.

I have to say that I still have creeps from this track: 6. Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds (8:08) (completely with tracknumber and time, hehe), purely from rattling sound (snakes ? dragons are supposed to be evolved from them, but are these snakes just rattlesnakes ?) which is here. First to be heard at 2:36 and then continuously (weird word, but hell, these are weird thoughts). I don't know why, but I can't stay calm while listening this song. And this all thanks to this song. It's good thing sometimes. I suppose I'll just gather some friends and we'll make brave stand together. Hehe, imagine ten people standing in a row (or circle, triangle or even something wild, line square. Yep, let's stick with square, it's absolutely crazy. Or maybe it is not), listening this song, waiting for first snake rattling sound. It always comes and you can't prepare for it so much.

Oh, and music is good, Marty out.

4(-), this story I just written (upper paragraph, or what is it) helped me to understand this album better. Remember, when someone can give album 5 star and different person 2- star rating, it's all in your head). Oh, I had this album in my collection for some time and todays thread reminded me it. It really reminds me late Rush (Snakes & Arrows,

Report this review (#258508)
Posted Wednesday, December 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Latest album to date of this intrsting heavy prog band from USA, issued in 2008 and named Fly pare is another winner in their catalogue. At first listning was almost the same as on previous albums, musicaly speaking, but nevertheless good, this album has Tiles trade mark for sure but again like on Window dresing they are stuck in some lacking moments in their career when they are not able to surpass this period. Not a bad album , Sacred & Mundane is a killer piece , the guitar works are excellent featuring as guest Alex Lifson, if all the pieces were sounded like this one then the album were from my side almost 5 stars, but unfortunatly is diffrent..... Matthew Parmenter is again on the album doing some vocal parts and keybords, the result is more then ok. So overall , good, nothing groundbreaking here like on Presents of mind or Fence the clear but is a pleasent album that worth to be heared. 3 stars for sure, great cover art again. I'm waiting now for a new release from this great band , is no 3 years since this album was released.
Report this review (#540681)
Posted Monday, October 3, 2011 | Review Permalink

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