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4 stars And they are back! I was surprised when I read that they will be another part of Controlling Crowds because their previous album seemed to be a complete masterpiece. But when the time came I rushed to the store and bought this little thing and I can't say that I'm disappotinted.

It starts of with Pills - a dynamic song sung by Maria Q, nex one - Lines is I believe the first time in bands history when Pollard, Rosko and Dave are singing together. The effect is amazing! The Empty Bottle is much calmer and intimate song with only Dave's voice. Remove is a simple yet catchy song by Pollard. Come On Get High is a heart-grabbing ballad again with Polladr's voice. Thought Conditiong is simply a rap song featuring Rosko. The Feeling Of Losing Everything is what I belive one of the most beautiful ballads ever made - pure beauty captured in simple notes. From the other tracks only Pictures is more dynamic than the rest.

4 stars. A very solid follow up to a magnificent album - this is quality music!

Report this review (#265031)
Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars This is the 2nd album to the Controlling Crowds concept. The companion album was released in the previous year before this and it contained the first 3 parts in 13 tracks. Part IV takes up this entire album and it is the concluding section of the concept which is about 50 minutes long compared to over 70 minutes on the previous album.

The format is quite close to the last album in that there are still 4 lead singers (one is a rapper who appears on a few of the tracks here). The vibe still echoes of trip-hop and lite prog with a lot of rock and pop sensibilities but with a lot of variety and quality in the musicianship. To me, this album seems more polished than the last one, but if anything, that actually works to make this one not quite as cohesive as the last album in that each song seems too distinct and not so tied together. These issues are quite minor though.

The music here is still heavy on keyboard and programming, but as I said on the previous album, this actually works well here. The writing on both of the albums is stellar and so is the sound. The album starts off in a faster tempo which is a nice change of pace after the mostly mid to slow tempo previous album. The 2nd track actually uses some interesting prog hooks and some great effects. "To the End" has some very original and beautiful harmonics in the vocals. "Pictures" features some quick percussion backing up an interesting slow and airy vocal and the strings build up nicely to a beautiful, strong dynamic more reminiscent of the first album in the series. Interesting sounds flow throughout the tracks, but also contribute to the somewhat disconnected feeling of the tracks as a whole.

Now, even though the quality and musicianship remain high for the rest of the album, the songs tend to lack a little bit of dynamic that was more present in the last album. I think the idea was to try to prepare the songs for more accessibility for the radio, but I think it makes the album suffer a little bit. In any case, it's still prog in the same vein as The Alan Parsons Project (not the same sound, but the same sub-genre and way of thinking) but with a more mature sound and musicality. In other words, better than the APP for the most part and not as cheesy. Don't get me wrong, it worked for APP in the early days, but Archive is just so much better.

So, where my personal taste for the first album was 5 stars, the PA rating system merited it a 4 star rating. In this case, I am more in agreement with the final rating on this one, personal and PA rating both sit at 4 stars.

Report this review (#1320027)
Posted Thursday, December 4, 2014 | Review Permalink

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