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4 stars The fourth album of Thomas Thielen was written between 2010 and 2012. The songs sound like a mix of modern crossover-prog like Radiohead or Archive and modern neoprog like Marillion. The warm but sometimes also lonesome voice of Thielen leads the listener through the concept of a deep psychological story with pictographic and also associative lyrics. The melodies transporting the lyrics spread these typical doleful atmosphere.

As usual t plays all the instruments by himself. The synthetic elements of his former albums have vanished a bit. Therefore you can listen to a relaxed rock guitar more often than before. Also a strong symphonic character has risen up. Three of four tracks last 20 minutes, which gives the songs the possibility to develop themselves very intensely. "The Aftermath of Silence" and "The Irrelevant Lovesong" veer towards crossover, while "Kryptonite Monologues" and "Psychoanorexia" are more a kind of playground for artpop and (neo) progressive rock. Especially Kryptonite Monologues" is a wild ride through progressive worlds.

The atmosphere of the music is still melancholic and reflective. But there are also rousing outbreaks full of power. All the different aspects of the music are unified by t in a appropriate way. Once again he has managed to combine traditional neo prog with modern crossover in a compelling way. All is well and for sure "psychoanorexia" is a very good additon to any prog collection, but if Thielen could compose even more catchy melodies I would give all the stars.

Report this review (#901812)
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars ... isn't like anything else, but is simply t...

If I had to describe (no, I am not going to do that!) the new album by t in one word, I would simply say: "It's t-approved!"

They should have created a big wooden stamp with a big "T" on it when this album was released. The cd should then have been marked, accompanied by a loud hiss, with it, just like you put a stamp on first class meat by a butcher before it left his shop in the good old times. And, no, the association of food and meat is not that far-fetched. Premium meat has its unquestioned value. It needs time until it is really at its best and doesn't shrink a lot in the frying pan because all the water gets out. But it also has to be well digestible. The cattle offers their life so that we can eat... Just as t - back to topic - spills out his thoughts and lets us plunge into his microcosmos.

This music certainly is no fastfood. The artist produces premium music. This applies to everything, starting from the sound design, the melodic structures, the motifs used. Smart transitions whirl you around to free your gaze for the wide, wide emotional horizons - and to release longings in your own mind that you deemed were lost or entombed.

The album, also, does not make your stomach ache at all although it is so full of nourishment. Its compositions let you feed abundantly upon everything you need as a music afficionado who has lost belief in the times of ringtone refrain popsongs and casting show trash. It warms your blood enough to overcome the freezing resignation of the boredom that the everyday conformity of contemporary music evokes. PSYCHOANOREXIA will enthrall all those who long for more heartfelt passion, more thoughtful intelligence, more uncanny longing in their lives and cd players. t's music will leave you neither hungry nor lonely - this is not bigmouthing, but an easily kept promise.

PSYCHOANOREXIA will become my personal soundtrack for 2013. Maybe yours too?

Report this review (#916413)
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have noticed that their have been mixed reviews for this offering and I understand why. On first listening I found it difficult to sit and listen all the way through and finally gave up after the "Irrelevant love song". The next day I gave the title track a go and enjoyed this epic track. I am a hogarth fan so i am always looking out for heart felt lyrics and melody. I found that with this it was different to anything else I have heard. There is no track that I like from start to finish apart from the "irrelevant love song" which fits the hogarth bill. However, I soon found out that what I didn't like which is mostly a Euro pop sound would come and go quickly (but also the emotional touching parts would do the same) but these special moments would come over in waves again and again. This is a "must listen to" epic that all prog fans should hear and give the time to allow to become familiar. I feel that this familiarity will take a while allowing the music to stay fresh after repeated listens.
Report this review (#937194)
Posted Saturday, March 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars German project T is the creative vehicle of one Thomas Thielen, once a member of the German band Scythe, but now with a solo career that has been ongoing for more than a decade. "Psychoanorexia" is his fourth full length production, and was released at the start of 2013 by the German label Progressive Promotion Records.

"Psychoanorexia" is an album that arguably may be placed within a neo progressive context, albeit at the very borders of that style and even then stretching it quite a bit. Sporting a plethora of themes with great variety in pace, intensity and overall expression, liberal use of electronic effects and an overall modern sound, this is a production that should appeal to the progressive rock explorers of today: people with an interest in sophisticated rock created and delivered with a foundation in the world as it is right now.

Report this review (#941294)
Posted Monday, April 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Opening with a synth-derived sample-laden spacey passage reminiscent of the more tripped-out moments of Porcupine Tree circa Up the Downstair, T's Psychoanorexia finds the the talented multi-instrumentalist playing an interesting mashup of neo-prog and space rock. Less theatrical and melodramatic than the Pendragon/Arena tradiition of neo and more placid and tranquil than the IQ tradition, the enigmatic T (AKA Thomas Thielen) shows an exceptional command of all the instruments he sets his hand to over the course of the album. I was honestly surprised to discover that T is a multi-instrumentalist, since here he shows a remarkable ability to evoke a full-band sound, but whilst he's certainly got a flair for long-form compositions they do tend to lean a bit too much on the same ideas.
Report this review (#954368)
Posted Sunday, May 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars I recognise that I am swimming completely against the tide, here. Current average score would suggest that, in its entirety, this is a piece of musical wizardry that has few equals in the annals of prog history. I just don't see this at all, I'm afraid. The first and third tracks are undoubtedly excellent - with the first track in particular being a stunning piece of work. But tracks 2 and 4 amount to an overlong fanfare of mediocrity - altogether too many jagged edges and discordancy, and simply not enough structure. Of course, maybe that is the idea, and maybe I am missing the magic. But listening to this all the way through was, for me, a labour of Herculean proportions. How this CD rates higher than the quite wondrous War and Sean Filkins is one of the world's great mysteries, as far as I am concerned. But then again, if we all liked exactly the same things, and all shared the same opinions, there would be no need for sites such as this at all.
Report this review (#956718)
Posted Thursday, May 9, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've been listening to t's music for quite some time now, and you could definitely call me a humble fanboy by now. The way he always manages to create new spheres in the musical cosmos is simply stunning. By that I mean the compositions as well as the arrangements, and not least his vocal work. I tend not to write many reviews because I think that music is always a matter of opinions and tastes. So what is the point really about reviews? Talking about yourself, it is. No need to do that. In fact, one could rather listen to the music in the time it takes to write one. I write this review here anyway because the opinions about t seem to differ so very much. I get the feeling that many of these "*"-ratings he gets are from people who just don't bother too much about really listening before rating. Come on, people, whatever you like or dislike: A record that is so good even if you only take a technical or a plain analytic perspective cannot ever be worth only "*". This is just polemic nonsense. The music has been described very well in the reviews. I do not want to add anything much about that. Only that t and his music have really changed something in the way I look at life. And that is always great, is it not?
Report this review (#976647)
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my first album review -EVER! Normally I just listen to an album and like it (or most often: not). I don´t preach and I don´t want to impose my taste on others on a highly subjective matter such as music. Well, I will make an exception here! This album is SO good, I JUST HAVE TO tell the world! ;-)

T's newest approach includes references to so many genres that you almost get dizzy while listening. Certainly this is where the negative ratings come from! It takes a while to get a grip in the whirl of what the artist himself describes as "artpostprogressivepopavantgardenewwaverocktriphop " on his facebook page.

On the whole, what makes this album so very special is the way it works on very many levels. First, the innovative potential is incredible. Second, the music itself just keeps going through your head and you find yourself whistling tunes in 9/8 after listening (Gosh!). Third, the emotional impact is also incredible; there were many parts that actually brought me to tears (which leads us to fourth:) or even to bursting laughter because of the blunt black humour in the lyrics and the music (Guys! This is actually funny progrock going on (in parts)!) Fifth: The lyrics are poetry of the most sophisticated kind. Wonderful!

When you get all this together, what you have is nothing short of a masterpiece. Also, the negative ratings speak for this: It simply isn't banal and mainstreamy enough to be liked by everyone.

Report this review (#982671)
Posted Thursday, June 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ambitious. Clever. Creative. Familiar. Mysteriously (dis-)organized and emotionally distant. This album reminds me quite strongly of 2009's The Underfall Yard by BIG BIG TRAIN, 2011's War and Peace and Other Short Stories by SEAN FILKINS as well as a large part of THE FLOWER KINGS discography in that the musicianship is top notch, the songs are very elaborately constructed, the engineering and production is excellent but, ultimately, something is missing--something in the music that fails to connect with the listener. Whether that is melody, repetition and/or recapitulation, or meaningful/comprehensible use of its extreme dynamics I am not sure. While I connected with the album opener, "The Aftermath of Silence" immediately--and continue to enjoy it start to finish?and liked and now love the third song, "The Irrelevant Love Song", repeated listens under many varied conditions (car ride, headphones, at the computer, iPod while working) to the albums other two epics, "Kryptonite Monologues" and "Psychoanorexia" always leave me numb, irritable, or dumbfounded. Sure, there are many impressive quirks, tricks, and instrumental displays, but the short-term and overall effect of the two songs leave me completely disengaged and disappointed. I cannot criticize or fault their ambitiousness and amazingly mature "band"-like feel to the instrumental performances and mixes, but M. Theilen's complex, meandering music seems to serve a purpose known wholly only to him.

1. "The Aftermath of Silence" begins in outer space (Maybe Major Tom's capsule?) before descending into an eight-minute tribute to THE CURE's 1989 masterpiece, Disintegration. At the 9:50 mark, the song's feel shifts rather dramatically, though continuing in a slow, Cure- ish manner, only with treated drums, arpeggiated electric guitar, higher-register bass play, and background Mirek Gil-like blues guitar soloing in the background. In the fourteenth minute there is a brief presence of Jon Anderson's voice before some "strings" and then piano and "brass" take over (how BB TRAIN-ish!) The collaborative weave builds to a nice crescendo at 14:53 before falling away to piano arppegios and the sound of children's voices on a playground in the background. At 15:38 the now familiar--and quite-well- hooked into our brain--vocal melody returns for a minute before a brief cyber-glitch pause ensues before a searing, if brief, guitar solo breaks loose, only to quickly disappear as the song fades out with only the piano's arppegiated chords slowly fades among the background noises of space and playground children. Excellent song start to finish and not overly clever or complicated, with plenty of recurring themes to help us stay engaged. (10/10)

2. "Kryptonite Monologues" (20:47) begins full blast and continues to deliver music at a volume and urgency that reminds me quite a lot of France's NEMO--rocking on the harder edge with quirky, complicated twists and turns in the music, literally stopping and starting on a dime, changing directions (mystifyingly and often frustratingly, even gratingly). I have to admit that I feel somewhat disappointed and almost cheated with M. Theilen's use of effects to mask his natural voice (which I quite like). The sixth minute is quite reminiscent of some of Gabriel-Era GENESIS' more grating, quirky moments ("Get 'em Out by Friday," "The Battle of Epping Forest"). The song's highlight comes at 8:15 when "full orchestra" accompanies a powerful vocal section in a Broadway moment. Alas! It is all too brief. (The most common theme in this and the album's last song.) The vocal babeling of the eleventh and twelfth minutes is mystifying (Oh! So MARILLION!) The next three-chord rock section is a bit over-the-top but then an interesting SIMPLE MINDS/PSYCHEDELIC FURS sections sneaks in and then a quirky synth solos along with Thomas's Bowie voice! Quite a little NEKTAR feel to this fifteenth minute. Then it, too, is gone, replaced by a kind of 80's FIXX guitar strum sound. Then a ROY BUCHANAN/RANDY BACHMAN-like guitar sound solos while a radio-like voice talks in the background. And here is my complaint: All these changes are just so odd! Too what end--what purpose, what reason? At the 15:48 mark begins another SEAN FILKINS/BIG BIG TRAIN section of delicate floating, horn-supported mujhsic. Another highlight?and this time T actually sustains it for a full two minutes before drums and other instruments begin joining in. The song then floats down and away into the final two minutes' peaceful section with piano gradually joining in as synth washes and a very-background treated voice continues to sing to the end. Unfortunately, the beauty of the last three minutes cannot make up for the confusion of rest of the song. (7/10)

3. "The Irrelevant Love Song" (8:09) is a rather straightforward song that reminds me quite a little of some of the more recent work of PHIDEAUX. Great use of rhythms, more gradual dynamic shifts and the best vocal on the album?such a strong voice in this mid- to low- range--all built over a very insistent low chord progression (anyone else here LED ZEPPELIN guitar chord progression?) Solid song start to finish. (9/10)

4. Like PORCUPINE TREE's Fear of a Blank Planet, T's fourth and final song, the album's title song, "Psychoanorexia" (19:29), I think this will be remembered for being so perfectly exemplary of its day and time. The catch words and colloquialisms (in English) from our current cyber-world as well as the chaotic, high-stress edgi-ness to the music does give it some power. In bursts and segments. (7/10)

Again, though I appreciate the tremendous effort and skill that went into the creation of this album of sophisticated music, there are too many twists, turns, and sections that fail to take me in and keep me engaged. And I miss the blatant David Bowie-like vocals T employed more (and with great effect) on Anti-Matter Poetry. Obviously there is some personal, subjective reasoning for this, but at the same time, not unlike the albums mentioned in my opening paragraph, the flaw of failing to achieve and maintain personal attachment makes this album difficult for me to rate "a masterpiece."

4 stars.

Report this review (#998575)
Posted Sunday, July 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Having seen plenty of strong reviews for this album I thought I'd weigh in with my own opinion.

"The Aftermath of Silence" - Starts off softly with psychadelic voices and sounds before the grand entrance of the instrumentation and a beautiful Peter Green like guitar tone. The vocals are rich and enjoyable. Usually I am nervous when it comes to albums where all of the instrumentation is handled by one individual as I usually find that the artist concerned is good with the instruments but master of none of them. Halfway into this track the music in totality is master though and I'm taken away from listening to the seperate instruments into listening to the music as a whole. I'm reminded a great deal of later Camel albums just over halfway into the track (and that for me is a good thing). I was transported out of my head there for a while - only very, very good music can do that to me. Very nice indeed.

"Kryptonite Monologues" - Heavy, harsh clamorous beginning. I'm snapped out of my musical reverie brought on by the track before. This is the polar opposite of the previous track to start with but it isn't by any means horrible - it is very interesting, especially where the dramatic "operatic" vocals come into the fray. Once again I'm drawn into the music. A third of the way through this track becomes fragile and gentle (almost soft classical), changing the mood before swinging into the dramatic once again. The music swirls fascinatingly through different moods.

"The Irrelevant Love Song" - Again I'm reminded of later Camel albums in the opening of this track. Very emotive music indeed. It fleshes out into an emotional musical rollercoaster.

"Psychoanorexia" - Very fragile opening before some stunning musical pyrotechnics. I must say that during my listening session with this album I almost had to check that the tobacco in my cigarettes hadn't been tampered with. This is stunning music full of mood changes and it is head music in every sense of the word. Be prepared to be whisked away on a musical adventure if you spool this album up.

It is seldom that at the close of an album I just sit there absorbing the atmosphere and moods of what I just heard. This album is worthy of the praise that I've seen here on PA - Man is it worthy! A very solid 5 stars from me.

Report this review (#1000341)
Posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Psychoanorexia is a beautifully crafted album full of deep-mellow soundscapes that is sure to put the listener into a full state relaxation, enjoyment and make you think as well.'

My first feeling is this, if you decide to create a mellow album it should be in the form of T's Psychoanorexia. I feel this is the new bench mark for calm, easy listening Neo Prog Rock. It is a terrific album filled with deep emotion, lush soundscapes and a vocalist in which if it were possible, sounds like if Peter Gabriel and Steve Hogarth gave birth to a son. Indeed, It's quite remarkable how much T a.k.a Thomas Thielen sounds like Steve Hogarth in particular. At times during the course of listening to Psychoanorexia, I thought it was Hogarth singing away on this album, but in fact it is not. Further connections with T's Psychoanorexia to the Marillion sound can be found all through out this album. I felt Thomas Thielen takes a strong influence from Marillion's Brave album. Psychoanorexia kind of follows the same suite as Brave because they both are conceptual and carry a lot of ambient, emotional sound as well as have the same amount of Heavy-ness with in the overall album(s) respectfully. Actually Psychoanorexia, like Brave, has just enough heavy moments in it to keep you interested and awake for that matter! Also, you can sight a strong connection with T's music to Brian Eno's lush, ambient creations like his work on Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, specifically the track An Ending (Ascent) which you can hear the mellow, electronic moods on the opening track's intro ' The Aftermath of Science.'

Furthermore, the album structure and composition in Psychoanorexia is quite unique. For instance, The band 'T' is a one man show with Thomas Thielen performing and playing all instruments heard on the album. That's right, Thielen is looking like the next big success in one man bands, like the likes of Mike 'Oldfield, who in my opinion still reigns supreme in this awesome artistry format. ' Also, the conceptual album is divided into 4 suites that are all monsters in length, so each track has 3 parts to it, except for the emotionally grieving Irrelevant Love song (track 3) which is the shortest of the four clocking in at just over 8min. To continue, I was quite taken with T's album track format as well as the albums very hard, emotional storyline.'

'The conceptual breakdown of T's Psychoanorexia deals with a lot of anti-matter poetry where by it makes the album as a whole, largely open to one's own interpetation. Thielen is a very good song writer and is well educated in the liberal arts. You can really hear some of his lyrics are built around some of the great poetic minds that this world has to offer in W.H Auden, Ovid, Shakespeare and even some T.S Elliot. Overall, it's very hard to form a concrete or specific answer to what Psychoanorexia is specifically about, but my interpretation of the album is that the subject matter is built around the seedy, political underbelly of our worlds greatly sordid problems and how we are going about to solve them. The world is in a state of 'Psychoanorexia' because the people with in the world are starving, or depriving our world of peace and good. Many time you here T.T refer to the world as if it were a person itself. 'Oh Where are you going to be my sweet child of mine??' But, that's what I think and you the listener may gather something different, and that is the beauty of clever, poetic song writing but at the same time it can be frustrating and egotistical as well because archaic references 99% go way over one's head. I found that to be the case for me a little bit, but I still love what Thomas's has created and it should be respected. Quite simply, the album makes you think.'

Above all, Psychoanorexia is a very well put together both lyrically and musically. The sound production on the album is great as well where by it was mixed and mastered by Juergen Lusky, who in my opinion has made T's Psychoanorexia sound like a very clean and crisp album. I found no fault with the audio at all. Also, Thielen's keyboard synths/piano playing is very accomplished. I guess all those Piano lessons at age 12 really paid off. You can really hear this shinning example of stellar piano playing on, 'kryptonite Monologues.' The bass playing is exceptional as well, which incites Tony Levin like playing where crunchy and fast Bass is the predominate style of choice. Also, I love the clever use of the 'chapman Stick' on Psychoanorexia by T.T because it adds to the percussive diversity. Sometimes just banging the crap out of things can be successful in terms of sound and can be quite fun as well. Great diversity!

All in all, I have nothing bad to say about this album except that the lyrics are written in an elitist-like fashion, that will probably leave listeners a bit cross-eyed upon the first few listens but from a musical perspective Psychoanorexia is pure gold and a terrific listen, especially those who love the Neo prog genre. I also found that T.T's guitar playing sounds a lot like Steve Rothery's(Marillion) so that has to entice you (the prog listener) 'at least a little bit.' Have a great time listening to this album everyone. It really is a masterpiece and don't be afraid of the title cause it's not about someone with an eating disorder figuratively speaking of course.'


Report this review (#1009362)
Posted Thursday, August 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Known simply as "t", German multi-instrumentalist Thomas Thielen has been recording music as a one-man act since his time with the short-lived progressive rock act Scythe ended, and 2013's Psychoanorexia marks the project's fourth full-length album since its 2002 debut. It's my experience that one-man bands often feature a weak link in the instrumentation, but Thomas Thielen is a deeply talented musician across the board; no instrument here outshines another, the arrangements are remarkably textured, and there is an attention to detail on Psychoanorexia that makes it easily stand out from the crowd. When the stunning vocal harmonies are also factored into the equation, it becomes clear that we are really dealing with something special here.

Thielen's music can best be described as neo-progressive rock, albeit a rather unconventional approach to the style. Imagine a more experimental version of Brave-era Marillion, and you're halfway there - Psychoanorexia is a very atmospheric and ambient listen, but it still is 'busy' enough to scratch that prog itch. Although it only contains four tracks, Psychoanorexia clocks in at over an hour, as three of the songs here are around the twenty minute mark. The shortest track is entitled "The Irrelevant Love Song", and is actually one of the album's highlights. This is an example of a prog ballad done right! Of all the more extended pieces, the title track is my favorite (if only by a small margin); its ending segment sends chills up my spine every time.

Psychoanorexia is a near-flawless effort in my eyes, and anyone that enjoys melancholic progressive rock music with a bit of an edge is bound to love it. The only real knock I can give the album is the sound of the drum machine, which (in spite of how well-programmed it is) sounds a bit artificial to these ears. I'll admit that it's nitpicky complaint, though, and it hardly detracts from the overall experience of Psychoanorexia. This is a strikingly beautiful observation that stands tall as one of 2013's finest recordings!

Report this review (#1011393)
Posted Monday, August 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
2 stars Grandiose dad-prog

The prog world is currently overflowing with one man acts, and with all the modern technologies available, it now is possible to achieve something akin to a full band sound without having to deal with superfluous banter and discrepancies between members. The search for full control seems to be right there on the horizon.

The question beckons though - do we, as simple fans of music, want our patterned sound to be as concise as that, or do we want that irreplaceable shading of something crooked and out of sync present? To each his own I guess, and while I was, and am, very impressed by the musicianship of Thomas Thielen, I still miss something audacious and raw from this album. Something that rips me by my hair and throws me on the bed and..........hold on a minute, I may be talking about something different here - and I'm not even a girl...

The previous gibberish may come across a little harsh, especially when you count in the fact, that there are heaps upon heaps of current prog bands doing the exact same thing. The Flower Kings spring to mind. For my tastes the music becomes far too safe and predictable. Inside of 5 minutes with this kind of music, I get restless and start looking around my apartment for mice, lice and thrice as much dice as I'll ever find on here. I played this album to one of my friends the other day who also happens to be very much into progressive rock, and he said it sounded like "dad-prog". I laughed a little first, but I completely understand where he's coming from.

Take a dash of Camel flavoured vocals tinged with an ability to reach highs that Latimer can only dream of. Mix this with lush piano driven melodies, synthesizer leads, sky soaring guitar solos, a metronomically tight rhythm section, all kinds of keyboards, and out on the other side comes this melody based prog that feels as docile and friendly as a fluffy hug from a care bear.

My favourite parts of this album are to be found in the ambiances. At times I swear I can hear hints of The Cure in the ambient keys oozing up from the back, and that is a big compliment coming from yours truly. More than once I found myself thinking of the opening cut on their 1989 album Disintegration, I'd just wish there was more of this, and that it wasn't diluted by what genuinely sounds like latter day Marillion.

If you're into the current line of prog acts such as Nine Stones Close, The Flower Kings, Karmakanic, Sylvan, Arena and Pendragon, then I guarantee you'll love this baby! Without a doubt! I have to be honest though, and I find very little that tickles my fancy on Psychoanorexia. To me this feels like prog by the numbers, no matter how talented and refined Thomas is behind the instruments. Sorry, but this just isn't my bag.

Report this review (#1025558)
Posted Friday, August 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have to agree with David (Guldbamsen). The good side of this album is the ambiences. T is Thomas Thielen. Yeah. It's another one-man band. When you are alone to write, play and record all the instruments you are free, able to make what you really feel. Sometimes is good, but sometimes what makes sense in your mind is hard listening to the others. It doesn't mean it's bad. But sometimes you should recalculate the lenghty and short parts, or replace some passages. When I decided to record with a band, I showed them one of my suites, and the guys said: "This is amazing, but... it's progressive ENOUGH! I can't feel a good riff because there's a lot of them." I mean, you know your music, but if you want to share your music to the masses or friends without an individualist feeling, you need think about the music structure. I think the problem with Psychoanorexia is: lenghty boring passages overlaps the short goods.

What I really like from the album is the self-titled track Psychoanorexia (the last track), that reminds me of a David Sylvian atmospheric track, both vocals and background. But the song suffers from a sudden heavy synth attack, like the industrial ones. It's not a bad idea, but I expected more atmospherics. Although, is a great track. The first track, The Aftermath of Silence , is very Disintegration (The Cure) in the beginning, just like Plainsong, with the keys background and the robert smith-like guitar. I can't skip a track like this, since The Cure is one of my favorite non-prog bands, and every time I listen to some bands, like Katatonia, using robert smitish-riffs I feel very glad to see his influences on later and modern music. But the track is something like a chameleon, and I didn't like the song after the vocals at first, but the same song has a good and deep feeling later, but too neo-prog for me. Another point - I like the cover art. Really.

Thom's vocals sometimes sounds like The Killers, but the melody lines are just like Marillion. I already said that I like the vocals in the last track, but honestly, it wasn't catchy enough for me at all. The second track, Kryptonite Monologue, is boring at the beggining, and gets better with the organ introduction, but the good part is too short, and after 8:00"~~ it gets boring again. After 14:00" the song quickly changes the tune, and an indie rock guitar riff begins, with a neo-prog crescendo behind it. So the song falls into a slow sad mood. The Irrelevant Lovesong is the third track, and the only track under 18 minutes. The track title reminds me of Disintegration again, you know, Lovesong, but this time, the music reminds me of Radiohead. Actually, this song is VEERY radiohead oriented. This track do not have the best parts of the album, but it's the only track that I like as a whole, from start til end.

As I said before in other reviews, I'm not a huge fan of neo-prog, of course the genre has some great bands, but I can compare it with power metal bands like Hammerfall. I can listen to a whole album having fun, but I don't care and never bought anything from them, since the whole album sounds the same and you can summarize it with two tracks. But if you are into neo-prog, I will reccomend this album. It's depressive music. Has some good vibes and nice passages. 4 tracks, each one during between 18 and 21 minutes, with the exception of The Irrelevant Lovesong (8 minutes). And thank you Thomas for sharing your music at "t-factor" soundcloud.

Report this review (#1025664)
Posted Friday, August 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Some months ago I was chatting with a musician in Facebook, and we were chatting about musicians being in bands or being full time soloists. I said to him that, in my opinion, being in a band is very hard for some musicians because in bands there are a lot of 'politics' and 'egos' about who is going to be the 'leader' or the 'main star', and that in bands there are one or two musicians who like to dominate the others and that with the passing of time this situation makes the bands split (this has happened a lot of times in a lot of bands, as their histories say). So, in my opinion, sometimes the best solution for a musician to develop and enjoy the freedom to create his own music (or her own music, if it is the case) is to be a full time soloist, to have his own home recording studio (which now is easier with the use of computers) and to do what he wants with total freedom. It is also easier to have total control of the final product (and the potential monetary earnings of his own very hard work ) because now the so-called major record labels are really not very much needed thanks to the existence of the Internet and some websites on which the musicians can share or sell their albums or songs. So, this album is another example of a 'one man band'. I don`t have any objections about it.

This album by German multi-instrumentalist and singer T (Thomas Thielen) is not a very easy to listen to, and the lyrics and the concept of the album are not very easy to understand without visiting his personal website to read them. It has four songs, with three of them almost reaching the 20 minutes of duration and one of them the eight minutes of duration. So, for this reason it is a bit hard to listen as the listener becomes a bit tired by the end of the album. The kind of music in this album, in my opinion, is very Progressive Rock, with a lot of contrasts in the intensity of the music, sometimes being very heavy, sometimes being quiet, sometimes being very 'dark' and dramatic. I think that this music has a lot of influence by bands like Marillion (with both Fish and Steve Hogarth as lead singers, but maybe with more influence by Hogarth, a period of that band which is not very attractive for my taste), Arena, IQ, and Genesis with Peter Gabriel, more in the dramatic and sometimes 'dark' elements. As T explains in his personal website, the lyrics are very personal, very related to a period of his personal life, and the lyrics (as I understood them) have as central theme the loss and grief of significant personal relationships, and how to survive them, and the other theme is a political and sociological criticism towards the lack of psychological and intellectual ambition by some people in the 'modern' world (I think that this is the meaning he gives to the word 'Psychoanorexia', which also is the title of the album). So, as a whole this album requires some 'concentrated listening' by the listener, and to be listened to several times to appreciate it. It is a bit 'excessive' in some things, and hard to listen to sometimes. It really is not the kind of music that I like to listen to very much in the present, but for the fans of this kind of music it really could be a very interesting listening. It also has a lot of work. Maybe it took to T a lot of time how to plan, to compose, to record and to mix the album. The lyrics were written in a two year period. So, because this album really took him a lot of time to create it, in my opinion it deserves a four star ratting even if this is not the kind of music that I listen to very much often in the present. The recording and mixing is very good. The same is for the playing of the instruments, and he is also a good lead and backing singer. Some lead guitars are very good in playing and sound, and there are also some very good atmospheres created with the use of keyboards. The drums sound a bit programmed, but they sound good anyway. The cover art is also good, very much related to the content of the music and lyrics of the album.

Report this review (#1026375)
Posted Saturday, August 31, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars To those new to this artist page (like I was only recently), this is mostly slow-moving, atmospheric music, led by delicate synths and somber vocals, and only occasionally punctuated by some instrumental noise and Genesis-like theatricality. Somehow, it is immediately clear that this is a one-member project, you can just feel him sitting at his computer, listening to his work and wondering what other detail to add, if anything at all.

Three 20-minute songs and a 8 minute song. Original stuff. But requires patient, dedicated listens to uncover various synth and instrumental layering hovering in behind the music, as there is little conventional hooks or readily identifiable song structure to speak of. Just various atmospheric segments slowly drifting into one another.

Report this review (#1033797)
Posted Thursday, September 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I received a message of Thomas Thielen (T) asking me for a review of his album "PSYCHOANOREXIA". First, I was surprised because I didn't know this project and to receive a personal message grew my total interest. I looked for the album and finally could get it, and believe me, I could not believe what my ears where listening to, an amazing album from beginning to end with a lot of variations within the same songs, and the flow from one moment to the next is perfectly timed and arranged. The album is made up of four epic songs, more than 18 minutes each, and one of almost 10. And as I mentioned, the songs contain minisongs within the song and they match really well between one and another, and between one song and the next. Believe me, this is a wonderful album, it reminded me many prog classics but I don't want to mention any because I saw T with a particular style of composing and singing that makes it enjoyable. Unknown for many, I really recommend you to listen to it, you won't regret at all, it's 100% worthy!
Report this review (#1040764)
Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am writing this review for the second time as my first one vanished with all the other reviews I did. Server crash?

This is to me still the album of 2013 so far. The eclectic approach simply adds so much to our beloved genre that I have been missing before. There are guitars reminiscent of The Cure or U2's The Edge without ever actually copying the style of any of them. The vocal lines are indeed quite catchy, and the voice production is simply stunning: Ever so often, Thomas' voice is pure and direct in its emotional grandesse, but there are all kinds of filters and panning tricks involved to underline certain perspectives that appear on the album, as it seems. The same goes for the rest of the mix: With so much love to detail, this seems to be a kind of acoustic movie rather than just an album. You should use your headphones definitely when listening to this.

The compositions remind me of a new kind of supergroup featuring people as disparate as Steve Rothery, Trent Raznor, Thom Yorke, Jon Anderson and Tony Banks. Again, these are only mild guidelines! There is not really a moment when the album sounds like any of their bands. So go and have a listen. This is certainly, as all great art, not for everyone, but make sure you won't miss the album. This is different and extremely interesting at least!

Report this review (#1048415)
Posted Monday, September 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars As there seem to be problems on the site, I write my lines on Psychoanorexia once more:

Lyrically as well as musically, t sets new standards in the prog world. Yes, I am serious. This is a new horizon in melodic prog, namely that its melodies are less pathetic and sugary, but more sophisticated and complex, thus holding a clever and emotionally assessible balance that still is not mainstream, but also not too avantgarde to attract listeners. Very rarely is it that this kind of project actually is successful: Being different and fresh, but not TOO different and fresh to be recognized as emotional...

t's lyrics enhance this impression. Postmodern approaches not little akin to the greatest of American and English poets and dramatists like Beckett or Pinter appear all over the place. Direct quotes from E.E. Cummings and William Butler Yeats are cleverly set up to create instant atmospheres for those well-read enough without actually leaving those behind too much who cannot understand the "code" or "puzzle". The lines make sense well enough without us recognizing the references, but it is wonderful how much is gained by actually tracing them back to their "homelands". There is, e.g., the line about "wish by spirit in the garden" in Psychoanorexia. The first part at least goes back to Cummings' famous "Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town" poem and thereby expresses within only three small words the whole of the wonderfully naive longing for individuality and intimacy that Cummings' Lyrical I stands for. This is only one example among very many. Whatever you think about the actual compositions, t is a master of poetry, and his lyrics are among the best I ever came across in the musical world. Yes, and that includes Fish.

The music sets out to underline t's poetic vision. It is therefore, as the theme is evolved in a rather collage-like fashion, eclectic and at times jumpy, at times deeply introvert and emotionally dense. Even sarcastic humour and tragic irony occur, which is very rare in progressive rock. Judging musical compositions is always a matter very much depending on your tastes, so I leave that out here, only stating two things that should be enough to underline the masterpiece status of this record. Firstly, the music is always perfectly meaningful in a way that the compositions mirror the story and in themselves are interesting, very well played and produced, and innovative in their sonic approach. Secondly, as a whole, the album is marked by brilliant dramaturgy. This is not very often the case with concept albums...

So it should have become obvious why I consider Psychoanorexia one of the best albums ever created. You should get your hands on a copy and give it some time. At first sight, this seems a lot like neoprog, but as with all brilliant pieces, the edges and innovative potentials are so clevery introduced that you need some time to actually spot them... before that you only "feel" a certain amount of strangeness to the otherwise so coherent piece of work. Great!

Report this review (#1049778)
Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a classic piece of modern progressive rock and no questions asked. Well, alright, there be questions asked. Hopefully also answered. In this review.

Thielen's latest work is something like an "all of the above" of what is, on the one hand, typical of *good* progrock: Versatility in compositions and performances, a certain avantgardeness, structural integrity (yes, also in the Star Trek sense of the term), a certain amount of pathos and, not least, the will to use the musical equivalent of a lot of subclauses to differentiate and be a counterpart of the typical simplifications of rock and pop. Psychoanorexia fulfills all this, and the sky is the limit.

On the other hand, Psychoanorexia is also in a great sense a modern album in that it does not sound dusted at all. The production is first rate in any way, the mix is full of ideas and novelty, the instrumentation develops many unexpected ideas and twists and turns. It includes contemporary sound ideas without actually copying them or sounding opportunistic. Thielen manages to simply include all these puzzle pieces organically. But what makes Psychoanorexia an absolute classic is the way in which music and lyrics interact. The lyrics themselves are worthy of being published as a piece of poetry, but the music and the lyrics together bring it to its optimum.

So this is why I think this is the great work of this year. A classic. 5 stars.

Report this review (#1073284)
Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars Both in the press release and on his website, Thomas Thielen has a mission statement about this album which is well worth reproducing here. 'This is the time when ringtone applicability equals musical quality. This is the place where the greed of being a popstar has replaced the sublime experience of creativity. This is the era in which democracy means mass phenomena, not choices. When we have become too lazy even for subterfuges. And too busy to feel the loss. This is the age when equality means mediocrity, fame defames excellence, education encourages despondency. We excel in conformity, we celebrate our empty hands. We may not burn books, but we skim them. We may not slaughter heretics', but we overshout them. We strive, long, hunger for nothing, thus nobody strive, long, hunger. Fascistic, yet aimless aposiopetic selves. Timetabled freedom. Death in Bologna. Psychoanorexia.'

Yes, this is an album that wants, in fact demands, that we think. Thomas wrote, performed, recorded, engineered and produced the album but it doesn't come across as a one-man band, as it is so carefully constructed and layered. The piano may well be the bedrock of all that he does, but this is more than just a pianist attempting to bring in some other instrumentation to pad it out, but instead this is all about the right instrument for the right emotional feel and approach. When he brings in electric guitar it fairly blasts out of the speakers, with 'Kryptonite Monologues' actually managing to have more than just a hint of Rammstein about it. There are times when this is crunching stadium-filling anthem rock with blistering guitar solos, while at others it is Muse on steroids, Floyd for the masses, Porcupine Tree for the many.

It is not an album that will make its' full presence felt on just one or two plays, this does need some work but rewards the listener for their patience. Apparently Thomas states that he is a 'strictly under-average musician on quite a few instruments, none of which he is capable of playing properly'. Somehow I think he is a master of understatement, as certainly that doesn't come across on the album. Complex, complicated, majestic and soaring, this is quite a piece of work. There are only four songs, but it is still well over an hour long, and well worth investigating.

Report this review (#1074244)
Posted Friday, November 8, 2013 | Review Permalink

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