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City Boy - Dinner At The Ritz CD (album) cover

DINNER AT THE RITZ

City Boy

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4 stars I just love those UK bands....in the art rock branch (10 cc,Charlie)prog pop rock rolled into one delicious music... ahem....i almost called it cabaret. But these guys are really "up" there with the genius of 10 cc....wonderfull themes,interessting ....even funny and bizarre lyrics. With 2 lead vocalists (Mason & Broughton)and the ever present leadguitarist Mike Slamer,Keyboardplayer Max Thomas (founder of the group) & gentlemen Dunn / Kent on Bass and drums respectively.Song after song unfold with its own "soul". And there are serious vocals arrangements to be heard. Beatles might also be mentioned as there are reminscence of them too. Great album...greatly performed. Special mention to track:"Dinner at the Ritz" and "The Violin". OOohh and by the way i think that Swedish progband A.C.T just might have heard City boy...sometime!! Like your pop/prog... spicey/funny/competent??? Yeah? GET THIS!!
Report this review (#29732)
Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great album. The band's style is somewhat like Supertramp, but much much better. For one thing, the vocals are much stronger and less wimpy. Mike Slamer belts out some heavy guitar, though you wouldn't call this heavy metal. Good mix of vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums. Too bad this group was so obscure. They definitely deserved more attention.

I'd consider Dinner At the Ritz to be the band's best album. All of the songs are good. Even though some of the album may be slightly pop, there is enough loud guitar crunch to make the album sound good loud.

Report this review (#59721)
Posted Thursday, December 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars My first City Boy album and still the best. This shot my into the City Boy arena and i never got back out!!

Try listening to "The Violin" on some good headphones, its unbelieveable!

The can never be labeled as pop with a song like "State Secrets" which was absolutly astonishing!!!

Need i say more? Yes i do.

Narcissus? another masterpiece that you can listen to over and over and over ect.

And just a fun rock song "Mama's Boy" like it should be.

Dave Splendorio

Report this review (#100933)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Maybe not real prog music, but very good pop music which I appreciate very much. It is a pitty their music is so hard to find in stores. They deserve more public attention. All their CD's are good, but this one is their best in my opinion. Good vocals, fine musicianship. No ordinary couplet - refrain music, but nice twists and turns.
Report this review (#179330)
Posted Sunday, August 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars It didn't take City Boy long to create their first masterpiece and most importantly their first and only progressive rock album.

Dinner At The Ritz is a huge step up from the debut album, released that same year. Not only are there no weak/weaker songs but the album can actually be seen as a minor conceptual masterpiece. I was really not a fan of the funk and reggae explorations on the debut so the absence of these styles is a complete bliss to my ears. The overall sound of the record makes me think of Supertramp around the Even in the Quietest Moments...-era, released a year after Dinner At The Ritz. The record is smooth, subtile and featuring that magical sound that can only be found on a '70s studio album.

There is really no reason to talk about the individual tracks because I can never listen to just one of these great compositions without hearing the rest of the album. These songs just don't sound as great when taken out of their context, I'm sure that you know exactly what I mean and can probably mention a few other records that has that same distinction. The only composition-wise thing worth mentioning is the fact that tracks get longer as we progress though the album. The last two tracks are 7+ compositions that might take some time to get into, but trust me when I say that they're totally worth the effort!

Dinner At The Ritz is one of those classic '70s records that most fans of rock music should consider having in their collection, prog or otherwise. The final rating can't be anything less than an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection and it wouldn't surprise me if many of you would rate it even higher!

***** star songs: Dinner At The Ritz (6:41) State Secrets - A Thriller (7:33)

**** star songs: Momma's Boy (3:43) Walk On The Water (3:42) Narcissus (5:26) Goodbye Blue Monday (5:01) The Violin (7:20)

Report this review (#437282)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Dinner at the ritz is one of the best art rock albums ever..

After a good debut album city boy manages to write a set of songs sounding tighter and more focused than before. this would be their most complete progressive album ever. The band is featuring some heavy guitars but still manages to have a light feel to their music due to their great vocals which are never dark but always positive and uplifting , that's why it is so easy to get into . the music always sounds professional and complex because of how all instruments blend with each other creating a complete mould. There are no fillers here , every song has something to offer , and i'm glad they had a good production and recording to support their music. The music contains some super great breaks stating of the high standard music delievered , it can remind you of 'crack the sky' , 'supertramp' and some 'queen' maybe , fusing some cabaret , funk and a good dose of humor. songs have that bright vibe to them , featuring some great vocal harmonies , beautiful blistering guitars with great riffs and some sharp accurate solos , top that with their fine rhythms carried out with very good drums and bass.

The music ranges from short effective rocky songs with heavy guitars and some intricate rhythm to long more progressive songs. the highlight for me is 'dinner at the ritz' featuring some very good singing , suiting the song perfectly , before a change of music occur , showing their exquisite humor with those funny vocals , adding some great saxophone to the mix , leaving me with only applause , another one is ' state secrets' starting as a rocky tune and in a second turns to funk rock creating a main funky theme out of vocals , guitar , noises and a couple of piano notes , you should really hear this to believe , it then continuing to rock , closing this album with a bang. 'the violin' features another side of the band focusing on a beautiful ballad with ( of course ) very good violins arrangements , acoustic guitar and a lead beautiful violin touches.

The good rating certainly is appropriate. City boy manages to create a wonderful and diverse album with a lot for prog fans to appreciate. If you are interested with the prog related genre you shouldn't miss out on this. my 4 star rating is gonna put the album down a bit and i wish it wouldn't happen but i would give this a 4.2 on a prog related scale. Super excellent addition to your prog collection. Nice cover too...

Report this review (#642891)
Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars So another album requested for review. This is for the album Dinner At The Ritz by City Boy, a progressive pop rock band. They are a rather more obscure band, but they are fairly known in the Prog sphere as a band similar to those like ELO and Supertramp. They have a bit of a cult following from what I've seen, so with that, I figured to check them out and see what they were all about.

The first song that starts this album is Momma's Boy. This is a really neat song, lots of ebb and flow from a more standard pop rock sound to a more hard rock sound, it even goes to a nice little guitar solo. You can definitely hear the influence these guys got from the pop music of the 70s, but this also leads into a specific issue I have with this album and that is you can tell they wear their inspiration on their sleeves. Normally I don't mind it, but as a big ELO fan, when I first heard this song it made me feel like I am just hearing a B-side on albums like Famous Last Words and or Face The Music. While I do like this song, it doesn't leave me impressed since I have heard way better interpretations of this exact sound.

The next song is Walk on the Water. Similar in vain to the last track, different sound though, less artsy and more straight forward, yet has the same problems as the former.

After that, we got Narcissus. This song is actually really different from the former 2 songs, being a lot more eclectic and progressive. This feels like they are trying a cooler more hard rock approach to their music and straying away from the ELO based Prog pop they have done. It's honestly super cool, and pretty refreshing to hear a more original sound not based on influence. This is what I want more on this album, which makes this my favorite song of the album by far.

Next song is the title track, Dinner at the Ritz. This feels like a combination of all the last three tracks. You can tell and see the influence on their sleeves, but also you can feel they are using said influences more original here and you can feel them really setting a mold down here. Really nice, and really artistically interesting.

The next song is Goodbye Blue Monday. This is very much like the first two tracks where the inspiratitors are basically shown in front of you with the sound. Honestly when I first saw the name, I kinda instantly thought of Mr. Blue Sky, which can tell you a bit about what I feel about this album. I cannot say it's bad, but I cannot say it's exactly original. What I want more is Narcissus and Dinner at the Ritz, not Goodbye Blue Monday and Walk On The Water.

The next song after that is The Violin. This is a more acoustic track that utilizes a violin in the track. It has a bit more of a soft rock sort of sound. It's actually pretty darn good, it feels as original as the title track and Narcissus while also not being some sort of rehash of those two songs. It is also pretty calming too, giving you a breather from the more eccentric pop songs of the former, giving you a nice little calm song to just relax too. It's very nice and I like it a whole lot.

And finally the last song, State Secrets - A Thriller. Sad to say this is again a rehash of the similar sound found on Goodbye Blue Monday and the first two songs. It's kinda weird, this album doesn't really have many problems, production is good, vocals and instrumentation are great, it's just a bit bogged down from the influences that I feel cannot live up to their inspirators, and with them doing it so often, it's kinda hard to feel a sense to comeback to this album when so much better exists, that's what I think at least.

So overall I am mixed on this album. It has a lot of great songs, but most of those songs are basically copying the homework written down from much more popular and recognizable bands to where I cannot really say I want to or feel obligated to go back to this album again. It's not that it's bad, it just feels super unoriginal.

Report this review (#2735282)
Posted Sunday, April 3, 2022 | Review Permalink

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