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The Tangent

Eclectic Prog

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The Tangent Down And Out In Paris And London album cover
3.72 | 310 ratings | 26 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Where Are They Now? (19:10) :
- I Prologue
- II The Losing Game
- III Europe By Ebay
- IV Watershed
- V And The Kids Grow Up
- VI Earnest In The Resthome
- VII Another Earnest, On The Sorpe Dam
- VIII Find God
2. Paroxetine - 20mg (7:47)
- Down And Out :
3. Perdu Dans Paris (11:47)
4. The Company Car (6:23)
5. Everyman's Forgotten Monday (6:22) *
6. The Canterbury Sequence Vol. 2 - Ethanol Hat Nail (12:55)

* Bonus Track on some releases

Total Time 64:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Tillison / vocals, keyboards, electric guitar, producer
- Guy Manning / acoustic guitar, vocals
- Theo Travis / sax, flute
- Jonathan Barrett / bass guitar
- Paul Burgess / drums

- Jakko M Jakszyk / lead guitar (3)

Releases information

Artwork: MBL Graphics with Andy Tillison and Sal Collyer (photo)

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLTDCD 320 (2009, Europe) Limited 1st edition with a bonus track
CD Century Media ‎- 0505040 (2012, Europe) Reissue with bonus track

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE TANGENT Down And Out In Paris And London ratings distribution

(310 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE TANGENT Down And Out In Paris And London reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Oh, they are experimenting as I see. I have to warn you, I looked so much into this release, expecting a lot and at the same time, I was afraid that it can backfire and disappoint me instead. This fortunately didn't happen. First track, Where Are They Now is doing it ( well. Sounding new and at the same time, interesting, melodic and very consistent, holding together firmly. Knock knock and nothing happens, it stands like stone-hard song. Pleasant one, in these days it's getting harder and harder to catch someone's attention (and it will only get worse, as more and more bands -> songs -> melodies ->ideas) will appear. But another one, Paroxetine 20mg is opposite. Jazzy like rhythm, wild (and unpleasant) synths that are roaring through entire song, we have counterweight to joy from first track. Well done. Not bad song, just when I was first listening it, shocked I was. But after all, the name of the song is some kind of drug, isn't it ? Next song is again return to first one, so opposite to second. Feels like rollercoaster. And so on.

4(+) for album that we were expecting a lot and now, when it's finally here, we're pleased, or at least most of us will be. It's somehow shorter than their previous album. But in general, this album is exceptional (not feeling enough to give masterpiece rating, yet [or never]), set in calm mood (mostly), don't expect headbanging and rock'n'roll guys, this is music for brain-relaxating-thinking (because you can choose)

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars THE TANGENT was originally conceived to be an Andy Tillison solo project, but it became much more than this right from the first album. I should mention though that Andy Tillison right from the first album has written almost 100% of the music and lyrics, this is his baby. The debut was basically half of PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES (Andy's original band) and half of THE FLOWER KINGS, and while the lineup has changed slightly from album to album, there have always been at least a couple of Swedes involved. Until now. On this their fifth album we have an all English lineup for the first time. Theo Travis and Guy Manning are both back while the new bass player is Jonathon Barrett from PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES. The drummer Paul Burgess lives 5 miles up the road from Andy and currently plays for 10 CC but has also played with CAMEL and JETHRO TULL in the past. I couldn't agree more with what Atvachron said in his review of one of THE TANGENT albums that Andy Tillison is like the heir apparent for Dave Stewart. You can really hear those Canterbury influences on this album mostly through Andy's keyboard work.

The first track "Where Are They Now ?" is my favourite. Andy Tillison said in an interview that this song is emotionally uplifting, and man is he ever right. There's this melody that comes in from the start that just moves me. It returns from time to time on this over 19 minute track. That melody I talked about is played over and over until it settles in before 2 minutes. Nice bass, drums and piano here. There's that melody again before 3 minutes led by flute. Vocals follow as it settles. The bass is prominant then sax arrives 4 1/2 minutes in. Love the organ after 7 minutes, it sounds so Canterbury. Guitar a minute later then we get some wicked organ after 9 minutes. Lots of atmosphere before 10 minutes as it settles. Reserved vocals and piano follow then that melody returns before 11 1/2 minutes. Nice. Mellotron a minute later as it gets full again. It settles with piano before 16 minutes. Reserved vocals follow then it kicks in again. Nice bass and sax here. There's that melody again after 18 1/2 minutes to end it. Bravo ! This has to be my new favourite THE TANGENT song. Incredible.

"Paroxetine-20mg" kicks in quickly. Check out the synths. Vocals follow as it calms right down to a jazzy vibe. Processed vocals and a great sound 2 1/2 minutes in. Synths come in screaming again then it settles. Nice drumwork before 5 1/2 minutes. Lots of synths after 6 minutes then the vocals return. "Perdu Dans Paris" is a laid back tune with the focus on the vocals. "The Company Car" is a relaxing tune with vocals, sax, bass and a beat. It kicks in before 3 minutes. The vocals get passionate and the synths crazy. It settles before 4 1/2 minutes and we get some mellotron. The last three words in the title "The Canterbury Sequence Volume 2. Ethanol Hat Nail" stand for NATIONAL HEALTH. Lots of keys early. Love when it kicks in with vocals, drums, bass and keys all shining brightly. Great sound. It settles 5 1/2 minutes in and the sax is crying out a minute later. The sound starts to build. Vibes too. It's actually heavy 8 minutes in and an all out assault before 9 minutes hits us. Then it settles with sax,piano and mellotron. Vocals and organ (so Canterbury) before 11 minutes.

I'm such a fan of all five THE TANGENT studio albums.Tough to say where this one sits. A fantastic recording.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
4 stars Elegance

The newest album by The Tangent sounds great. I think elegance is the word that suits best for this album - charming solos, gentle sax, lush keyboards with a lot of sound effects, superb harmony backing vocals and so on. Moreover, Down and Out in Paris and London contains frequent tempo changes that can please all fans of eclectic prog subgenre. I think the best aspects of the album are: the structure of Where Are They Now?, the energy of Perdu Dans Paris and the musicianship of Ethanol Hat Nail (Canterbury Sequence Vol. 2). Highly recommended for fans of Camel, Gentle Giant, The Who, Pink Floyd, Yes and Supertramp. Of course, all this is not enough for a masterpiece rating, but it's enough for beautiful album in eclectic manner.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I had to listen to this one a few more times than I usually listen to a new album just to understand how I feel about it. And I'll have to say, while I respect the talents of the musicians, and enjoy quite a bit of this album, it, for the most part, just doesn't transport me.

For a CD with a sticker on it proclaiming it to be in the style of the great classic progressive groups, this one falls way short. There are good prog moments in every song, but most also have long sections that just aren't very progresive, or interesting, for that matter.

But the last track, The Canterbury Sequence Volume 2. Ethanol Hat Nail (as it is listed on my CD), is fantastic. If the whole disk was like this one track, it would rate much higher.

Review by progrules
4 stars On a prog evening reunion over here someone told me this latest by The Tangent was probably a masterpiece. Well, I own all previous albums so I would check it out anyway. For The Tangent has always been one of those bands I will automatically buy every new studio album of and there are not that many bands that achieve this so that means they are pretty special to me. All 4 earlier albums easily reached a 4 star rating and they were all pretty equal where the sheer quality is concerned.

After some 4 listening sessions by now a familiar pattern appeared to occur also with this album. Often when I play a new album I'm pretty enthusiastic at first (assuming we're talking about good or excellent albums that is) but second time the whole thing suddenly sounds disappointing. By now I know I shouldn't get put off by this phenomenon because next few listens turn it around again and the album starts growing on me steadily. And that was also the case here.

Opening epic Where are they now ? is a tricky one in this respect because it works on me as a track with many great but also some disappointing moments. The great parts are all to be found in the middle part with the instrumental passage from 7th till 9th minute as absolute highlight. But when we get to the guitar solo towards the end I'm afraid I will keep shutting the ears each time because it's simply ugly. I still wonder if it's done deliberately or that Andy simply has a bad moment there but it's a disappointing effort for me. 4* all in all.

Paroxetine 20mg seems a funny title at first but I happen to know it's medication against depression so that's not funny at all of course. Somehow it's a typical Tilison-kind-of-title, don't know why but he's the kind of guy to invent something like this. The song sounds totally different than the opener, darker for sure (not surprising with such a title) but I can't say it's really better or worse all things considered. So 4* also here.

Perdus dans Paris starts as a ballad but gets harder halfway the song. Could be my statement about Tilison's guitar play is correct (about the bad moment) because here he proves he can play very well. The song is about the two faces of Paris (I presume he means it's a beautiful city with a cold harsh side as well, probably as a clochard ?) and it's very accessible with many great aspects. Even the fading out works well. My 2nd favourite track of the album. 4,25*.

The Company Car as well as the bonus track Everyman's forgotten Monday are both equally fine efforts but still these two are slightly less impressive than first three. Company Car features some excellent keyboardplay by Tilison where the bonus track's finest moment is the sax play by Travis. Both tracks score almost 4* to me.

Ethanol Hat Nail is my absolute favourite track of this album. Finally The Tangent is living up to the subgenre they represent: eclectic prog. It's already showing in first minute with interesting tones that don't quite seem to make sense but in fact they are brilliant if you listen carefully. Rest of the song shines in alternation, what a great variegated track and this goes on for the entire 13 minutes. Masterpiece material: 4,75*.

So in the end this 5th studio album by The Tangent appears not quite a masterpiece but it's a truly excellent album still. It's what they have in common with slightly similar Flower Kings: both bands are unable to produce a really poor studio work. The musical quality of the band members is simply too high and the compositional talent is too obvious. I'm already looking forward to the next performance by The Tangent ! Four+ stars for this.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Is it me or Andy Tillison doesn't have enough with being a closest friend of Roine Stolt's but also needs to be the "British Roine Stolt"? I mean, how can he manage to come up with such an amount of album and double album-worthy material in such a short time span? Almost simultaneously with PO90's comeback album and only one year after The Tangent's "Not As Good As The Book", Tillison and co. release one of the most exciting prog albums in 2009 ? "Down & Out In London & Paris". The fact that The Tangent had to undergo radical line-up changes throughout the last few years only makes it more heroic that this album be so good. Always loyal to their retro-oriented progressive trend that owes much to the heritages of Yes, ELP, VdGG and a couple of Canterbury bands, with added affinities to early TFK and Neal Mors-era Spock's Beard, The Tangent have reaffirmed their nuclear framework while still sounding fresh and energetic. The band's partially refurbished line-up includes drummer Paul Burgess, an accomplished veteran who has played in many occasions in Camel, Jethro Tull, 10cc, etc. ? an admirable pedigree in the areas of prog rock and art-rock, indeed. Right now, as it is, The Tangent happens to be a very important badger as well, since the album's opener 'Where Are They Now?' (almost 20 minute long) happens to be a powerful suite in old progressive fashion. After a calm introductory section featuring Gilmour-like guitar picks, the main body states a bombastic development that combines the energy of classic ELP and the stamina of "Relayer"-era Yes. The first sung section features a 5/4 tempo, while the enthusiastic jam that kicks off at the 7 minute mark moves toward Canterbury-related territory (featuring that special organ vibrato that many keyboardists were enamored of). Anyway, the prevalent symphonic nucleus remains tight, even comprising some space-rock ornaments along the way. After the 10 ― minute mark, the suite shifts toward a slow piano-vocal passage from which the first sung section gradually emerges and gets conveniently enhanced with extra dynamics and a greater fluidity. The closing part, ceremonious and powerful, finishes the suite with colorful splendor, featuring alternating solos on guitar and sax (Theo Travis is an absolute monster). What a great opener, my God! 'Paroxetine 20 mg' elaborates a confluence of R'n'B rhythmic cadences and muscularly rocking sonorities ? in spite of its recurrent 4/4 tempo, the compositional development states a sufficient diversity of motifs and ambiences to keep the demanding listener's interest all the way to the end (or at least, the demanding listener who is writing this very review). 'Perdu Dans Paris' is another long monster track, which lasts 11 ū minutes. In contrast with Tillison's intonation, which bears a distant contemplative stance (a-la Hammill, as usual), the melodic development and variations are clearly focused on melancholic moods. This factor remains strong even throughout those passages in the interlude in which the band goes in full swing toward more intense environments. Guest guitarist Jakko M. Jakszyk's refined style is positively responsible for captivating textures that help to reinforce the nostalgic beauty of the overall song. 'The Company Car' has a deceitful intro passage, which is built in a semi-acoustic ballad's framework, but as the psychedelic synth lines settle in and the singing gets raspy, the stage is set for yet another energetic progressive tour-de-force. I sense the fade-out as too premature: I wish there had been more room for that delightful sax solo that solidifies its way around the keyboard ornaments and in perfect coordination with the rhythm duo. The album's official repertoire ends with con 'The Canterbury Sequence Volume 2: Ethanol Hat Nail', a track conceptually linked to one that was part of the debut album "The Music That Died Alone". The title, albeit funny, is not literally a joke: on the contrary, it is a robust homage to the Canterbury old school, with plenty of jazzy elements and a noticeable utilization of fuzzy organ and echoing electric piano here and there. One cannot help thinking of Hatfield & The North, Caravan, Matching Mole and National Health while listening to this spectacular piece: there are also some cosmic adornments that are straightforwardly related to Gong. Pay attention to the heavy section that gets started around the 8 minute mark: formidable!! The album's special edition includes a song called 'Everyman's Forgotten Monday', which is basically a progressive power ballad with punctuated Floydian overtones. It sounds like a crossover of "Wish You Were Here" and the "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" eras. A nice song, indeed, but the 'Canterbury Sequence 2' makes a much more impressive closer. So, the overall balance is as follows: The Tangent has released yet another excellent addition in any good progressive collection.
Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars It took me quite some time to get this album. For a number of reasons. First, their previous album, Not As Good As The Book, was definitly their weakest efford to date and I was afraid they might take that road again this time. Secondly, when I heard the new CDīs title I thought it might be a live album (actually a reference to where it was rcorded). Fortunatly I was wrong on both assumptions. Down And Out In Paris And London is not only a very fine (studio) work, but also probably their most inspired since the terrific A Place In The Queue.

There were some radical line up changes that made a bit aware of it too. After all Andy Tillson dropped all the swedish connections now, at least the phisical ones. Gone are the members or ex members of the Flower Kings replaced by an all english line up. Now with Paul Burguess (Camel, Jetrho Tull, 10cc) on drums and Jonathan Barrett (from Tillsonīs other project PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES) on bass and without a lead guitarrist (a good thing, since their last guitar player did not fit well at all). But stylistic speaking, their sound remains as close to TFK as ever, thank god!

So, in the end Down And Out In Paris And London is different in many ways, and yet it sounds quite familiar. Andy Tillson took over lead guitar duties and although he is obviously no Roine Stotl, he does a fine job here, much to my surprise. His lines are simple but fit perfectly to the song structures. Theo Travisīs sax is much more to the forefront now and he has improved a lot since his first effords within the band. It is incredible how tight and strong the band sounds even if so many major changes had occurred in a such a short time span.

Of course nothig would work so well if Tillson didnīt come up with some strong stuff to boot. And strong tunes did he produce! Starting with the mamooth, 19+ epic Where Are They Now until the very last notes of Ethanol Hat Nail (Canterbury Sequence Vol. 2), there is not a single boring moment in the whole CD. Powerful, passionate and convincing material, very well craft and performed. If you like old fashioned symphonic prog done by a modern band which uses the best of both worlds, this is the 2009īs CD you should not miss! Final rating: 4,5 stars. Highly recommended!

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars 6/10

"Down And Out In Paris And London" is a pretty good but average Eclectic Prog album, worth listening.

"Down and out in Paris In London" for a moment there seemed like it was going to be the best album of 2009. I also found it to be fantastic, because it sounded so new and at the same time so full of elements typical of classic Eclectic Prog. Then, for some reason, I understood that not everything was so fantastic; infact, in many moments it penetrates too much in banal.

The first song, " Where Are They Now", starts in a very nostalgic way, and calm, almost like a ballad. It then goes into a more complex scheme, typical of eclectic prog, showing one of the best performances of the year as a band playing together. After that the level goes far more down, when the vocals come in. I wasn't crazy for the rest of the song, I don't know why.

" Paroxetine 200mg" is less romantc than the first track, but I prefer this one. It uses many synths and electronic instruments, creating a very interesting atmosphere, memorable in many moments. Even the sax is used in a good and nice way. Even in this song though the level is lower.

"Perdu Dans Paris" is a long ballad , and frankly I thought it was repetitive and banal, not really worth the mention.

"The Company Car" is my favorite song, a beautiful modern ballas that really shows how this band has a wonderful sense for composing music, and arranging it.

" The Canterbury Scene" is another great song all the way through. It was according to my opinion the most original song of the album, with many bizzarness and wierd arrangements, but absolutely fantastic.

In conclusion a pretty good album, worth listening.

Review by TheGazzardian
2 stars I can't say that I liked this album. It suffered from one major weakness, and that is Andy Tillison's singing. To be fair, there's nothing that's wrong with his singing. But there's nothing about to to really inspire excitement either.

This album, especially the first four songs, relies a lot on the stories told via the lyrics. And while the lyrics are as clever and cynical as any other Tangent album I've heard, it's not Andy's finest vocal moment. And while he's singing, the other instruments are not often at their best - when given the freedom to play whatever without worrying about competing with the vocals, the members of the band play quite excellently. But we spend too much time making space for Andy ... space that seems to drag on and on.

Ethanol Hat Nail, which has very little vocals to it, is an excellent piece, and I really enjoy it, but it seems to be "too little, too late". After hearing this album just once, I wonder how much I'm going to bother listening to it. If I want to listen to music that relies on the lyrics, I can think of many other bands who have excellent singers that I would much rather listen to.

Review by m2thek
3 stars Down and Out In Paris and London is The Tangent's fifth release, and follows up the previous year's Not As Good As the Book. 2009's offering, while not a wondrous success, does have a lot of good moments that make it an enjoyable listen, but also has enough low spots that stop it from being an essential release.

Listeners familiar with The Tangent's work shouldn't be very surprised with the sound here. The music is listed here as Eclectic Prog, which is accurate, though it is also heavy on the symphonic side of things. The music is pretty dense, but with a clear distinction between the harmonic and melodic sections. It is also heavy on vocals, but offers a wide range of instruments which provide many entertaining moments. The instrumentation on Down and Out is one of the best things about it. There's a great variety of instruments here, and they're mostly used to good effect. Equipment listeners can hear include electric guitar, a few different keyboards, including piano, synthesizers and a little Mellotron, horns, and even some mallet instruments. Each of these is used pretty evenly, with a slight emphasis being on the keyboards. The mallets in particular provide a few really nice, driving harmony sections. The horns and synthesizers, although they are good most of the time, occasionally become quite abrasive, and create some of the worst moments on the album. The drums and bass are not terribly memorable, though they don't detract from any of the music.

The album starts off well enough with a good, but not monumental, epic. The beautifully clean guitar melody that opens this song, as well as the overture sounding section that follows, is one of the best moments on the entire album. Unfortunately, that's the most enjoyable passage the music has to offer for a long time. The epic hits all of the beats it has to, and is good about introducing and reiterating on melodies. The instrumental breaks are exciting, and provide a lot of different material. The song's not perfect, with a really vague and lazy story about a man's life (a lot of "the guy who" and "the girl who"), and no real lead up to the ending, which simply repeats the guitar melody from the beginning. The vocal sections of the song, as well of the entire album, aren't bad, but actually manage to be boring. Andy Tillison's voice isn't offensive, but it's not very good either. It also doesn't help that most of the instruments drop out once he starts singing. None of the vocals really push any song forward, and are always a low point in terms of quality and excitement in any song.

While the opening has its faults, it's the only one of the first three songs that is mostly enjoyable. The second song is plagued by incredibly annoying brass and synthesizer sounds whose only positive quality is that they don't stick around for the whole song. It's a relief once they're gone, and the next song has moved in the complete opposite direction. However, this relief doesn't last long, as the third song is made up of mostly long, boring and repetitive vocal sections. There's a great instrumental passage in the middle, but it ends just as quickly as it began, and the vocals come right back.

Luckily, after a mostly poor two tracks, the final two offer some of the most enjoyable music to be found here, and save the album from going into overall bad territory. The final song in particular is mostly instrumental, but when there are lyrics, there's actually an interesting harmony going on.

While there is little downright bad music apart from the second song, there is a glaring fault here: there are multiple, fairly lengthy passages of time where nothing musically interesting is happening. These are usually the lyric sections, which could have been saved by more vocal harmonies (though hopefully not more Tillison harmonizing with himself), a rise in fall in his singing intensity, or more interesting lyrical material. While it's easy to write an album off just for bad vocals, the instrumental sections on Down and Out are good, and are not completely offset by their lyrical counterpart.

The album's production quality is worth noting, as it's very clean. There are some pretty dense sections, but you can hear everything just fine. The album also comes in at under an hour, and considering its faults, is a very good thing. The saving grace to this album's mediocre parts is that there is always a good part around the corner. It's just a question of how long it will take to get there, and how long you're willing to wait. While not a great album, Down and Out In Paris and London does have a few great moments, which are unfortunately interspersed with very mediocre moments. It's worth a few listens if you can get your hands on it easily enough, but isn't one of 2009's best.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There is something very real about the Tangent's music, and something more than credible about its leader, keyboardist/singer Andy Tillison. When you create for a living (or as is often the case in music, for a dying), art that is faithful to a tradition of integrity and intellect is most prized. Or at least it should be. Tillison is slowly but surely emerging as more than just a Prog torchbearer. He is becoming the record keeper, and like the ancient Sephardic Jews carrying and preserving their culture 'til the time was right to reestablish it, he is the face of Rock as Art in Britain, faithful in his restoration and kosher in his treatment of a rare language. An original who also loves the classics, a true musical gastronome able to coax the tough, unappealing or just old-fashioned into something tender, delicious and new. It's little wonder so many in England are lining up to work with him.

Guy Manning's guitar, always a vital presence here, pushes off our main theme for 'Where Are They Now?', Theo Travis's saxes picking it up and the band kicking-in, sounding like twice their five selves. If you haven't acquired your taste for Tillison's voice I don't think this album will make a big difference either way. But the recording is so pure and pristine it barely matters and at the very least we can hear his words (besides, Andy's always got something good to say). This first piece at just under twenty minutes is so packed full of neat stuff that Down and Out in Paris and London, the band's fifth, is a release a veteran listener can just tell will take a while to really get into, to be able to fit into. No matter, it's a lot of fun trying, and that's half the fun of Prog anyway: the journey to get there. The main thematic is stretched, dissected, refitted and fully developed, and is supremely satisfying with subtle influences from Roger Waters to Mark Knopfler to, of course, Dave Stewart. Vintage and slightly monotonous jazzrock sounds in 'Paroxetine-20mg' and melancholic 'Perdu dans Paris' is signature Tillison, taking its time as it ambles through the streets of the City of Light. 'The Company Car' starts slow but has a cherry middle with angular extensions and hot, passionate playing from all. But for many the real treat will be 'The Canterbury Sequence vol. 2, Ethanol Hat Nail', a joyous send-up of that scene with many nods to National Health, the Hatfields and others.

Like them or not, this band is among a tiny handful that holds in its hands the very future of rock that progresses, and for that we owe them a debt of gratitude. Thanks, boys.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I suddenly became a big fan of The Tangent when I got their first album "The Music That Died Alone" in 2003. Originally conceived as the first solo album by Andy Tillison, the album became a more collaborative venture as time went on. The enthusiasm of the musicians turned this combination of three generations of progressive virtuosity into a cohesive whole .. and the Tangent was born. The second album "The World That We Drive Through" had nuances and textures that were similar to the first album. I really like the artwork by Ed Unitsky. The second album was dominated by green while the first was more on blue but with similar design. Great design and it's really a collector's item; it's very nice to be put in prog collection. Unlike the first, the second album did not include David Jackson (of Van der Graaf Generator) in the band. Theo Travis (Gong.. Porcupine Tree etc) replaced David Jackson seat on Flute and Saxophones. The third album "A Place In The Queue" (2006) was another great offering from the Tangent. Roine Stolt, was out from The Tangent in this record. But, the music of The Tangent was still great- even it's much better than their second album. Like its previous predecessors, the album offered great prog music combining musical styles of Canterbury music like National Health, Hatfield and The North, Egg with Return To Forever music and also some flavors of rock music. The fourth album "Not As Good As The Book" (2008) was another fabulous album with double CD format.

The fifth album "Down And Out In Paris And London" (2009) demonstrated the band's consistent music direction, putting the Canterbury scene as their backbone. In a recent interview Andy Tillison said that in this album he had to also play guitar especially on the opening track. But again, as musicians have changed since its debut album but the Tangent still able to maintain its music quality. Overall, this album is an excellent one.

The opening track "Where Are They Now?" (19:10) is basically an epic with a musical unique style of the Tangent - starting with an ambient opening featuring simple guitar fills, and it then moves in crescendo to the faster and more complex segments. The opening instrumental part consumes more than 3 minutes of great prog music arrangements. In fact when the vocal enters the music it still offers great musical experience; something that I can hardly find performed by other band, really. The vocal style is also very relax. I really enjoy the flow of the music. There are interesting changes of style as well as tempo throughout this track, eg. musical break at minute 10:22.

"Paroxetine - 20mg" (07:47) is a keyboard driven track - at least during the opening part, followed nicely with a musical groove accompanying vocal. It's really a nice music with excellent rhythm section filled with saxophone works. "Perdu Dans Paris" (11:47) starts slow with an ambient bass guitar and keyboard that is followed with slow vocal line. The music moves in crescendo into louder and faster music. The roots of The Tangent music are very apparent here. "The Company Car" (06:23) is rather mellow in style but as its predecessors it flows into louder and faster music with inventive keyboard work. The "Everyman's Forgotten Monday (Bonus Track)" (06:22) and "Ethanol Hat Nail (Canterbury Sequence Vol. 2)" (12:55) are also excellent composition.

It's a 4+ stars overall rating as the music has successfully combined nice melody, excellent harmony, frequent style and tempo changes as well as having cohesive structure. It's highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Dapper~Blueberries
3 stars Retro Progressive Rock is one of my favorite modern Prog staples. As someone who was born and lived in a modern age, I love my fair share of old music like Yes and Pink Floyd, but nothing hits me as well as that very same type of music revolutionized into a modern time period. It's still the same fun and whimsical sounding stuff you'd hear in the 70s, but definitely in a modern climate. It is apparent that there will be bands however that have a sort of a mixed discography, whether it be from newer or older fans of Progressive rock. One such band is The Tangent.

The Tangent is a fairly eclectic band that is very much inspired by some of the greats like Yes, Van Der Graaf Generator, and King Crimson, but they also have a pretty divisive album catalog. I have reviewed an album by them before, heck Songs From The Hard Shoulder was my very first album I heard from this band, so of course with an album I really liked I obviously had to check more of their stuff out. To me surprise their work is very interesting with some very technical and fun stuff mixed with some politics and worldviews that give me a sort of Pink Floyd like vibe to the songs with how their structured and how they are less about a rise and a climax and more about making longer songs to fully develop what they want their listeners to hear. So for no reason other than the fact I feel like it, I am reviewing another album by The Tangent, or EP as the band likes to call it even though it's 57 minutes so calling it an EP is kinda weird, but ok. Sure why not go ham.

The album begins with the 19 minute long track, Where Are They Now? This track definitely holds its own in terms of its stylization and progression. It has a layer of fun and free form jazz with a very good heaping of some expertly crafted technical skill. Things flow seamlessly from one point to the other so that everything feels smooth like butter. However with that being said, this is probably one of their weaker long songs since it never really screams out about anything of note, besides maybe gambling in the modern age, it comes off a little weak on the lyrics side of things, and the whole song never really made me want to hear it again, and again, and again like so many other epics have done for me. It is a perfectly fine song, but not one I'd go back on anytime soon.

Next up is Paroxetine 20mg, and this song takes a different approach into a more early Neo Prog-esque sound with a good deal of synths and a number of moments that make me feel as if I am going back in time to a period where the general senses thought Progressive Rock was dead. Added onto this change of sound is a good use of the band's signature sax playing skills, which was provided by Theo Travis of Soft Machine. This has such a joyful jazz fusion aspect to it that it makes for a unique and unparalleled sound. It also has some much better lyricism that is different from the last song since it doesn't feel like a totally nothing experience, but rather something a little more interesting about how much the modern day and age relies to heavily on traffic and how boring a traffic jam can be, showcasing a clear disdain for a more machinery driven world, which I find rather interesting. Overall a great song.

Next up is Perdu Dan Paris. If I had to give this song a descriptor, I'd probably say it is 'slow'. Now I am not saying it is slow in a bad sense, it is just that it takes its time before really revving its gears. It allows the song to really develop, to really showcase its softer, ballad-like approach rather than something like a fun jazz rock song like the previous tunes were. But while the instrumentation gets to develop, the lyricism feels a bit too'boomer like. The boomer mindset is sort of a problem in most music communities, and this goes for all ages. People sometimes really think that the old times were much better and that they wish to go back to the 'good old days' or that they are 'born in the wrong generation' and I think this song's lyrics represent that perfectly because it's basically saying that the old Paris was better than the one in the modern day, even though I bet you like 5 bucks that is not true. It's a little pretentious and a bit blinded by nostalgia. I am not saying you cannot look on the past fondly, but I rather look towards the future than be stuck in the past. Good song instrumentally, not so great lyrically.

That tangent (Heh) aside, we come into the next track on the album, The Company Car. This is like the last song where it starts off pretty slow but where it allows itself to really breathe and stretch, but to less of a ballad approach and more of a usual Prog rock song with some good old synths and keyboard playing. Like the last song though, it still has that same stuck in the past mentality, this time about phones instead of the past of a city. I already went off on how I dislike this. Again, a good song instrumentally, but not so good lyrically.

And lastly, The Canterbury Sequence Volume 2: Ethanol That Nail. As the name suggests, this is basically a tribute to Canterbury Scene bands. I hear a lot of Soft Machine and Caravan with that fusion-like playing mixed with some nicely done improvinization to really make this track shine a ton. It still retains the roots of The Tangent's sound, but does so in a way that it kinda crosses the feelings I have for the Canterbury Scene and The Tangent's music, which in this case is nothing but positivity, aside from a few hiccups. This is definitely a good closing for this album, even if it's a instrumental track, which I think from what I said about the lyrics to these songs, I'd definitely would probably prefer this over something with rather poor lyricism in my honest opinion.

This album is fairly good yet I do feel as though there is a huge unbalancing act with the song writing and the instrumentation that this album has. Only one song really interested me lyrically and the other I found no problems with was an instrumental track. This album has a lot of fun and interesting moments, but it is bogged down by half- assed and old man sounding lyricism. I recommend checking this out but check out other Tangent albums first so you can at least get a better grasp on what the album has going for it.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Transitional but still very good album. Recorded over the year after "Not as Good as the Book", this album represents an interesting transition from the previous Tangent line-up to a new one. It was also recorded during the year in which the global financial crisis occurred. I am not sure if th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1869358) | Posted by Walkscore | Thursday, January 25, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a great way to start an album. A formidable guitar lines, then repeated with guitar distortion and later with flute and sax subsequently. Where are They Now? of 19 minutes duration flows naturally and never feels forced continuity. The new guitar solos are complemented well with the accur ... (read more)

Report this review (#930080) | Posted by sinslice | Thursday, March 14, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am not sure if Andy Tillison is a football fan, although he lives in England. But those of us under the spell of football often talks about "a game of two halves". That is exactly what I feel about this album. The Tangent goes on the offensive from the first tone with the great twenty minute ... (read more)

Report this review (#560999) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, I do not know why this album is not in the top 5 of 2009 for me was the most impressive album that came out that year, after the departure of Jonas Reingold and Jaime Salazar and the change of members in the band is created one of the best albums I've heard of The Tangent, Andy is a geniu ... (read more)

Report this review (#325750) | Posted by GermanZERO | Thursday, November 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A gentleman who runs a relatively successful and well-known Prog music review site recommended The Tangent to me. He described the band as "keyboard-heavy and eclectic" and one of the very best Prog bands of the current era. He specifically mentioned Andy Tillison's vocal skills as particularly m ... (read more)

Report this review (#289274) | Posted by wbiphoto | Monday, July 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Like many have said in other reviews, it did take me a while before I got this album, as is the case with a few, but I grew to love it. The Tangent are still up there with one of the best eclectic prog groups of recent times and this album does not disappoint. Tillison is still his very best ... (read more)

Report this review (#277633) | Posted by lozc636 | Monday, April 12, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It would not be fair for me to give this album any less than 4 stars because it contains my favorite riff of all time, the opening and closing riff of "Where Are They Now?" In fact, it may as very well contain the lyrics I can relate to at this juncture in my life: "Like when people find God, it ... (read more)

Report this review (#272410) | Posted by scootman369 | Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This is not a good disc. The singing is poor (and thankfully, somewhat buried in the mix), the guitar sound is awful (think cheesy 80's pop sound that comes out of a GK solid-state amp), the guitar playing is limp and ineffectual, and the mix is uneven, with some keyboard parts way up in your ... (read more)

Report this review (#271183) | Posted by waredee | Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Recommended. The Tangent's latest album begins with a beautiful melody played delicately on guitar, immediately grabbing your attention, and never looks back. Yes, the signature line of melody from opener "Where are they now?" is an absolute winner. I was humming it all day after having heard t ... (read more)

Report this review (#260418) | Posted by Eapo_q42 | Monday, January 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is pure enjoyment from start to finish.Andy Tillison outdoes himself and has created a modern masterpiece of progressive rock. As a DJ,and having had the pleasure to interview the man himself on my show,Dec.13th,2009,I've heard a lot of music this year and think that this album wil ... (read more)

Report this review (#256127) | Posted by MontrealRick | Monday, December 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is my first taste of The Tangent, and it was a... Pretty good taste. The first song is one of the year's best. "Where Are They Now?" is just an amazing prog track that goes by in a flash, and shows these guys flexing their unique muscle. Amazing stuff. They shift gears for "Paroxetine 2 ... (read more)

Report this review (#255945) | Posted by sprouticus | Sunday, December 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I quite enjoyed The Tangentīs last two efforts. This one is even better. Great musicianship, feel and variety. Slightly more agressive than ever before, which for me is a plus. This time Andy takes lead guitar duties and the results are quite satisfactory. But why OH WHY does he insist on singing ... (read more)

Report this review (#255589) | Posted by ScarRitual | Friday, December 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have always thought that Greg Lake sounds like Neil Diamond. I've thought that since childhood when my older sister used to play "Hot August Night" ceaselessly. I don't care much for that crooning style and consequently I don't really care for Greg Lake's voice that much. The thing is, I just l ... (read more)

Report this review (#254766) | Posted by grimtim | Monday, December 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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