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Ain Soph - 5 Or 9 - Five Evolved From Nine CD (album) cover


Ain Soph

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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2 stars A more appropriate title would've been "2 or 3" - that's the dilemma I faced when rating this album. On one hand, although I've never really been a fan of the laid-back, cheery sound of the band, this is a dramatic improvement over the two turds they had put out the previous year, as this time, there are actually some worthy musical ideas present, as well as more variety. Yet, on the other hand, it suffers from the same problems as practically all of their works, with a cloud of inherent boredom hovering over the album throughout it's duration - which is perhaps the main issue here. Why do these guys have to make a 10 minute track out of a 5 minute one? I understand that the jazz/fushion factor obliges them to embark on extensive soloing excursions, but, as even John Mclaughlin usually managed to fit his wank-offs with Mahavishnu into the space of 5-7 minutes, I don't see why Ain Soph shouldn't at least try to follow suit, even if their instrumental abilities are certainly admirable.As a result, whenever a good melody, riff or chord sequence arises, it's quickly drowned by filler material or speedy scalar runs. Still, worthy ideas do surface frequently - the closing track, "Stonehenge" , is quite impressive even for a track of it's length, with plenty of strong moments, and the short, but effectively intricate jazz guitar interlude "Little Wind" is another standout. The rest of the album, unfortunately, is less anout qulaity and more about filler: "The Two Orders of Image " could've actually been something if it weren't for it's unbearably cheesy themes, while "Shadow Picture" revolves almost entirely around a few simplistic guitar figures which drown some promising interludes; the other tracks are basically throw-away material. Had the album been trimmed by about 20 minutes of useless filler, it would've been decent; unfortunately, that's not the case, so "3 evolved into 2".
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Posted Monday, January 2, 2006 | Review Permalink

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