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Comedy Of Errors - House Of The Mind CD (album) cover

HOUSE OF THE MIND

Comedy Of Errors

Neo-Prog


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5 stars Another masterpiece from the multi-talented Comedy Of Errors.

I seriously loved their previous album "Spirit" it was perfectly put together and I thought it would be difficult to replicate the complex depth and success of that album but "House of the Mind" gets us there.

First track really sets the pace, after a scene setting melodic slow keyboard intro, the rhythm gets us going at high speed like "Tachyon". After nearly two minutes the vocals come in and the rhythm gets ramped up, strong rock, lots of great keyboard and superb guitar play near the end of this track. Memorable lyrics throughout. Brilliant opener.

The title track is very ambitious. Right from the start there are complex, competing sounds and ideas. Tons of invention here, at times atmospheric , other times pacey and punchy, brilliant guitar leads and outstanding, vivid keyboard work, with counter melodies and a huge range of sound. The music and the lyrics describe a struggle about our feelings and the meaning of our lives. I like "we were lost right from the start" and "call it faith, call it love" and at the end how it's all "safe in the house of the mind". I had to listen to this track a few times before I really got it there's so much in it but I'm there now! Love it.

The instrumental "A Moment's Peace" is just perfect. A clever contrast between the giant tracks on the album. It's a serious, feel good piece, and as always with Comedy of Errors, just a little atmospheric. This is an instant favourite. The fourth track and the shortest on the album is "One Fine Day". An easy, relaxed , dreamy song harking back to childhood (probably). Vocals shine here as always, brilliantly supported by keyboard throughout. Could be wrong but somewhere in the middle of this track, I had a feeling of "Strawberry Fields". Nice one.

For me the highlight of this stunning album is track 5. "Song of Wandering Jacomus" is a bit special. Right from the get go we know this going to be momentous, with the keyboard's magical, cosmic like sounds. Then overlaid with an exceptional guitar section which brings in a classical like climax before it fades away back to keyboard, then overlaid with guitar and later drums before a fantastic vocal entry. So after nearly five minutes of clever, complex build up with all the Band's elements coming together, like an orchestra, we arrive at a familiar sound which to me is unique "Comedy of Errors". It's the relaxed sound of the Band in full swing, "one day we will walk through this world hand in hand". Brilliant. Then there is outstanding guitar and keyboard development which brings us back full circle to the earlier tune and vocals including the classical theme from earlier. Brilliant the way these classical type sounds are integrated into the song. Then it's back to the atmospheric keyboard drifting away to the end. This track is seriously addictive.

The finale is a bonus track "Ever be the prize". The beautiful, cosmic, two minute introduction gives no clue to the pace that arrives to bring in the guitar and vocals with this solid rock song. The song develops with the usual mixture of innovative sounds before exploding into the full "Comedy Of Errors" treatment with exceptional guitar playing and the Band at full throttle. A fitting climax.

An inspiring, brilliant album. I've nothing but praise for everyone in Comedy of Errors but especially Jim Johnston who writes all the songs and isn't afraid to experiment with different styles. Comedy Of Errors just keep getting better and the possibilities for this Band are limitless.

Report this review (#1737945)
Posted Monday, June 26, 2017 | Review Permalink
BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Neo prog of the first order with a bit too much familiarity and simpleness where and when divergence and experimentation could have made it so much more interesting. Plus, the production is flawed by sterile sounding individually-separated instruments.

1. "Tachyon" (6:21) the cheap imitation piano sound used in opening does not bode well for this album. The bouncy "Dreamer"-like piano foundation in part 2 does not inspire any more hope or confidence. We're already almost two minutes into this and it still doesn't feel ready to "start"--and yet the vocals enter in the third minute--distant multi-voiced 80s/Thomas Dolby-sounding voices melodically duplicated by a synth. By the fourth minute we at least have a little more fully developed weave established. The vocal melody just doesn't crack it. (8/10)

2. "House Of The Mind" (14:47) a decent prog epic that, unfortunately, shows little novelty or freshness. (8.5/10)

3. "A Moment's Peace" (4:15) Wow! does this belong on a New Age/Adult Easy Listening radio stream, or what? And not even a word much less lyrics despite the ABACAB set up. (7/10)

4. "One Fine Day" (2:48) Seriously! This is the finished product? This is the vocal of a professional? It sounds like a demo by some one-man garage band! (6/10)

5. "Song Of Wandering Jacomus (13:47) nice atmospheric instrumental opening for the first four minutes. The third section that begins in the fifth minute is too syrupy--even before the sappy vocals enter. The guitar and keyboard work is decent. It's just those vocals... Horrible build and peak. Too bad. This one had potential. (7.5/10)

Bonus song (on CD): "Ever Be the Prize" (9:00) decent song. If it only didn't sound like IQ trying to be GENESIS... (8/10)

Three stars; an acceptable addition to the Neo Prog catalog--though nothing I'm going to shout out about.

Report this review (#1843659)
Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2017 | Review Permalink

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