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Elegant Simplicity - Palindrome  CD (album) cover

PALINDROME

Elegant Simplicity

Neo-Prog


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hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Edited 10/03/05!

Actually I know only two albums of this band, which is obviously more or less an one-man project by Steve McCabe with some fluctuating guest musicians. Although they has been releasing already more than 10 albums in the last 12 years, I heard this name just recently. Well this album here is not so much on par with its follow-up Architect Of Light. About one third of the tracks are instrumental, which are still the better ones. Vocals by guest singer Ken Senior are not really bad, although sometimes a bit too mellow with a tendency to sound pop-ish. The compositions are most of the time not very much developing and there are quite a lot of repeats. Keyboard sounds are quite common and sometimes even reminding to cafeteria background music. Apart of this flaw performance of both keys and guitars is very good. Only the drumming sounds a bit too much automatic every now and then.

As a summary, best tracks are Palindrome and The Physical World. Overall it's not a bad album, but actually nothing special, maybe interesting for fans of later era CAMEL.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#33175)
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
3 stars 'Palindrome' was the next album, in 2001, and saw Steven yet again back in partnership with Ken Senior. Ken is a multi-instrumentalist in his own right (releasing material as Evolution) and has more recently been gainfully employed as bassist in Parallel Or 90 Degrees. Within Elegant Simplicity he finds work as vocalist only, while Steven yet again provides all of the music/songs/production/artwork etc. This is an album where the dynamism has been turned up a lot, and while half of the songs are instrumental, even these have a power that was missing from the previous album. Throughout the album the guitars are much more to the fore, and the scene is set with the powerful opening title cut which shows that instrumental prog music has a right to be included within the term 'rock'. It builds and grows, with subtle changes of style and mannerisms, so that the listener is always moving with the flow not knowing what each layer is going to reveal.

Ken had an understanding of what is required and his vocal style fits in with the music extremely well, no matter what demands are being made. "Let It Be Me" starts with riffing guitar prior to a great keyboard lead where Steve proves just how quick his fingers can move, yet then takes a total change in direction before the vocals kick in. This is a great song, whatever the genre, and although at ten minutes is probably slightly too long for commercial radio it is a song that anyone can get into straight away.

Originally appeared in Feedback #69, Aug 02

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#978026)
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 | Review Permalink

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