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Blue Shift - Not the Future I Ordered CD (album) cover


Blue Shift

Symphonic Prog

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4 stars Great 80's Yes-like hard prog from these Americans - with touches of prog metal and prog pop done very well. The singer and guitarist sound very much like Jon Anderson/Geddy Lee and Steve Howe respectively with the keyboardist having a bit of an Emerson/Wakeman feel. The songs are well written and played. Don't fear though, this is NOT a copy band. There are elements of prog metal on a couple songs and some Supertramp/Genesis sounding elements as well. The first three songs are as good as you can get for modern hard prog. If you love Yes and like their 80s output as well as the 70's music, you will love this album. Don't miss it! Highly recommended!
Report this review (#37935)
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Very mediocre 80's Yes-like progish hard rock band - with touches of prog metal and prog pop as well. The singer sounds very much like Jon Anderson with the keyboardist having a bit of an Emerson feel. The songs are written and played well though. This is kind of an average copy band. There are elements of prog metal on a couple songs and some Supertramp / Genesis (post-Gabriel era) sounding elements as well. If you love Yes 80s output, you probably will love this album, but I rather listen to Yes still. Also they play "Immigrant Song" of Led Zeppelin quite poorly. So, all in all, nothing impressive.
Report this review (#37950)
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think it is very unfair to knock them so harshly just because of the obvious intentional similarities to Yes or ELP etc. As an album it may be a bit uneven with not every track hitting a grand slam but it is worth the price of admission for the song 'Rome' alone. The other standout cut is the opener 'wide Awake and Dreaming' and then the title track coming in third. The main reason I think this record deserves a listen before passing judgement is that melodic songs like 'Rome' just don't grow on trees. I'd rather have one 'Rome' than ten of what most other current prog bands are cranking out.
Report this review (#40809)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Awesome mixture of 70's and 80's style YES, mixed with some minor prog metal influences.

All the songs are very mellow and the vocals are very soothing and well done (a very jon anderson styled approach), and the bass grooves remind me of Geddy Lee. It's a good mixture of influences making it somthing completley of its own, its a trippy chill album.

Check out the track "Rome", its personally my favorite on the disc and a perfect representation of the style of music on the cd.

Report this review (#63170)
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2006 | Review Permalink

This US band is yet another ''Yes'' clone (this country has produced many). I tend to be less indulgent with this type of work than some five years ago but let's see...

This album is almost nothing else than a tribute to this great band (well, except the intruder of course). The album opens on a high note to be honest: ''Wide Awake And Dreaming'' is a very pleasant YesSong: you'll get it all here! Some acoustic guitar intro, Wakeman keys, speedy electric guitar, Jon Anderson on vocals of course, a complex structure i tutti quanti.

If the whole album is made on the same mould, I have to say that we could have had a fine work to discuss about.

The harder title track, seriously leans on ELP for the intro up to the moment during which Jon comes back on the lead. Hectic beat, fine musicianship (I quite like their drummer here) and above average song writing for this type of band.

''Rome'' is a different story: it is a romantic ballad like the original model has produced a few. But don't expect a jewel melody a la ''Wonderous Stories''. This song builds up nicely into some bombastic extravaganza of keys and guitar, but the closing is definitely a parody. Still, not too bad so far.

As far as I'm concerned, from ''Walking On Air'' onwards, the album has no further value. Short and straight-forward pop songs with a YesColour and that's it. From average (at best) to poor. Even the closing track '' Flintridge'' which returns to a longer format is not able to capture my attention.

Now, a few words about the intruder. ''Immigrant Song'' is also featured on this album. Robert & Jon on the same album! What a miracle. Even if the singer in charge of those two roles (Anderson & Plant) is not doing a bad job, it is sufficient to say that these two different styles (which I like both that's not the problem) doesn't fit very well while they are sitting side by side.

Two stars.

Report this review (#191303)
Posted Monday, December 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I think the dichotomy in ratings rather sums up how this band will inevitably divide listeners. If you approach the CD with a positive attitude towards a band that is very heavily influenced by classic progressive bands - and Yes in particular - the chances are you'll thoroughly enjoy the experience. Apart from occassionally being struck by just how close to Yes some of this CD sounds, I don't find the similarities too distracting. The guitar playing certainly echoes Steve Howe almost uncannily at times and the keyboards use a wide array of vintage sounds that will seem strikingly familiar to anyone familiar with Yes' classic albums, but the playing is superb throughout and the compositions interesting enough to hold this listener's attention.

For anyone who can listen without the 'Yessities' irritating them I thoroughly recommend seeking this CD out...if you are in any doubt though I would probably suggest you would be well advised to give Blue Shift a miss. A possible benchmark to use might be how you feel about Yes' Drama :-)

Report this review (#196764)
Posted Thursday, January 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Imagine for a moment Yes invites Keith Emerson of ELP over for a song or two. Word gets out of a name-rock group recording in the works so Genesis, that's in the Steve Hackett era mind you, shows up. Steve Howe agrees nervously. Jon Anderson gets the idea to invite Supertramp for some vocals --Roger Hodgson says cool. Led Zeppelin refuses to attend but okays a redo of "Immigrant Song". Paul McCartney offers to write some Beatlesque passages and song structuring.Plant and Page are a tad miffed when they hear the new version of "Immigrant Song" cuz instead of lotsa guitar, Keith Emerson does a mean organ lead break/finale in that "Knife Edge"/"Barbarian" mood. All is set, the backup tapes rollin', digital to digital bytes pulsing, no jacks here -- it's an all soldered set-up and then you wake up . . .

None of the superstars are here but the talented music of Blue Shift remains a near- perfect mirror of all them. Stewart Meredith's vocals are so Yes and even Supertramp on "Rome", that it is simply a delight to wrap yourself in them. Mark Barton on keys and Joey Backenstone on guitars work precision, ELP/Yes, magic throughout. Tight drumming drives it all along due to the groove Steve Sklar throws down.

I'm not big on vocals in progressive rock but Meredith can sing all he wants. His crooning evokes a dreamy land that's home to nostalgia -- the search for the golden chord. Blue Shift has a strong ability to write interesting material that's not copy-cat but springboards off a solid foundation laid down by the old masters of progressive rock. Yeah, I also heard signature Beatles hooks everywhere. Listen for the Asia and 90's era Yes here and there.

Not the Future I Ordered is enjoyable and listenable time after time. Look out 21st century, here comes Blue Shift -- cruisin' the fast lane. Nice job guys.

Report this review (#2582359)
Posted Friday, July 30, 2021 | Review Permalink

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