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3 stars Not prog as we know it, really. You'd have to wait for their 'You all Look the Same to me' for that. But the proggy influences are heard in the textures here, in music that has more in common with Massive Attack and the trip-hop scene. Some of the Pink Floydy elements that were apparent on teh keyboard work on 'Londinium' and were to be ashamedly to the fore on 'YALTSTM' are less apparent here, but the rock/dance crossover is only just creeping in. Nothing really like Porcupine Tree in ambition, but if you like that stuff circa Stairway, you might dig this.
Report this review (#27326)
Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
Tristan Mulders
3 stars Archive - Take my Head

"Take my Head" shows Archive entering lesser electronic grounds. Whereas debut album "Londinium" definitely has similarities with Massive Attack, this album is more based on rock composition, without the rock though, but just to give you a bit of an impression. The hip-hop vocals have completely vanished and this is. well. simply excellent!

Although most of the songs are nothing but progressive, there's still a few excellent soundscapes included here. First of all the opening track You make me feel with its eerie sounding instrumentation and beautiful vocals (all vocals are female on this record). What's a nice thing to notice is that the recurring melody in the song You make me feel is reprised at the end of the album during the titletrack of the album Take my Head. Coincidentally this is also perhaps the most experimental and dark song on the album.

Although most of the songs still have their origins in the trip-hop scene, there's already a sign for Archive's future more successful blend of electronic soundscapes and rock music.

Report this review (#83827)
Posted Saturday, July 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars The first "Archive" album was a total hip-hop disaster that shared absolutely nothing with the prog music we all love.

I am not going to say say that their sophomore work is more proggy, but at least the female vocals, a more rocking angle at times, the melodies of some songs ("You Make Feel") and some fine ballads ("Brother" or "Pain Gets Worse" although the latter sounds childish and mellowish) are much more pleasant than what was available on their debut.

At times, the sound is a bit "garage oriented like during the weak ("Way You Love Me"). There are also some similarities with the band "Garbage" (which I liked very much) during "Well Known Sinner". Their characteristic heavy sound combined with lighter passages is quite well imitated.

Some cold melancholic mood with "Cloud In The Sky". The mellotron provides some Scandinavian flavour which I like very much. But so far, most of the songs are ballad-oriented and a bit more dynamism would have been welcome.

The last three numbers of this album are quite average (especially the instrumental "Love In Summer"). Globally I rate this album with two stars. But this is a serious improvement in comparison with their debut. If you like a softer version of "Garbage", you might well give a try.

Report this review (#267171)
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Archive, a Crossover Prog band has been around for a while now, but they had quite a rocky start. Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths started out the band and got a rapper, Roski John, and a female vocalist Roya Arab and put together their first album, a complete trip-hop album called "Londinium" in 1996. It was a decent album considering it was trip-hop, but it was centered around a heavy electronic sound, quite mellow and atmospheric. They broke up soon after, but reformed with two new musicians, Suzanne Wooder as vocalist and Matt Martin on drums. This 2nd album was called "Take My Head" and featured a more pop sound, both upbeat songs and ballads, but with a nice textured sound.

That's what this album is about. Released in 1999, it would prove to be another one-off before the band reformed again and moved to a more progressive sound. But all along, they kept aspects of trip-hop in their sound. "Take My Head" has some very nice tracks on it, especially the beautiful ballads. Suzanne's vocals were top-notch and fit the music perfectly, adding to the texture of the album. There were a few tracks that were a bit corny (like "Woman" and the repetitive, robotic "Take My Head"), but most of them were a nice and fresh sounding pop, for the most part.

There is nothing prog about this album, but it does hint at some of the sounds that the band would explore in years to come. There is a nice upbeat and danceable sound in "You Make Me Feel", an almost rave sounding "Well Known Sinner" that takes a sudden left turn in the middle moving to a slower and darker sound. There is the beautiful and heart-felt ballad "The Pain Gets Worse" that has some amazing layered harmonies and symphonic textures later in the song. "Rest My Head on You" is also a lovely ballad.

Overall, it is an okay album that merits playing once in a while, but it is not progressive in any sense. In fact, the previous album was probably more progressive, even though it is complete trip hop. The turn to progressive music would come with the next album, but this still achieves a 3 star status nevertheless.

Report this review (#2220411)
Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2019 | Review Permalink

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