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The Lens


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The Lens Regeneration album cover
3.76 | 125 ratings | 6 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Choosing A Farmer, Part IV (7:13)
2. ...To The Power Of Five (8:30)
3. Twenty Eight (2:53)
4. Dreams (10:10)
5. Sequential (7:18)
6. Full Of Stars (10:51)
7. A Little Robot Juice (4:31)
8. Slowdown (8:17)

Total time 59:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Holmes / performer, composer, producer

- Paul Cook / drums
- Tony Wright / saxophone (1)
- Niall Hayden / drums (1)

Releases information

All brand-new compositions in the vein of old "The Lens"

CD Giant Electric Pea - GEP CD1041 (2010, UK)

Thanks to redy60 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE LENS Regeneration ratings distribution

(125 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE LENS Regeneration reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars There are times when one can get solid evidence about the amazing talents that lurk out there unknown and underrated, just begging to be acknowledged. IQ's Mike Holmes has never won any prog guitarist poll and probably never will. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the Lens' debut album released in 2001 but containing decade old material that frankly even instrumentally surpassed some recent IQ stuff. So I was greedy getting my hands on this one , allegedly containing all new material and the wait was well worth it , the overall mood is tremendous right from the Floydian sax of the opener (Man, is sax really sensuous or what!!!) "Choosing a Farmer Part 4", a mesmerizing aquatic soundscape that exhilarates on a plethora of levels (sonically stupendous, attractively mellow yet powerful and highly evocative) . The pedal is kept firmly pushed on the breezy follow up, a synth romp of the finest ilk, expertly propelled by former IQ drumster Paul Cook (never knew he was that technical!). Yes, there are strong hints of Genesis (Hackett in particular) and Floyd as well as a slight Hawkwind vibe (the booklet rightly mentions that illustrious space rock band and its huge influence on music). Case in point , the heroic "Dreams" clocks in at 10 minutes + and provides one hell of a joyride that would make Captain Dave Brock drool with envy , a blastoff loaded with unremitting booster rocket drums , propelled by some adamant bass and wobbly synths, all fueled by some massive mellotron bursts , I mean, ?.WOW! Nice floating synthesizer passage straight from the classic German school of electronica and you see what I mean. Frankly, stupendous! Whispered accented words ("Follow Me") combine with luminous sequenced slivers of sonic genius that all lead back into a bruising Hawk soundfest maelstrom. A classic for all times. "Sequential" is exactly that, a continuation of the same theme but in a slightly gentler vein, where bubbling synth patterns and waves of 'tron coalesce in sublime harmony, a trance delight. "Full of Stars" reverts to the cosmic journey, a kaleidoscope of sounds and effects that inspire and illuminate the spirit, neither boring nor even clichéd, a pulsating rhythmic feast that is accomplished by a clear sense of melody and not just banal atmosphere, Holmes letting his axe fly and soar majestically liberally peppering the universe and then infusing some stellar rough organ and slithering electronic swirls to the mix. The short but delicious "A Little Robot Juice" retains lush rhythmic mechanics, swerving synths scouring the melodic horizon, preparing the groundwork for a gentle electric guitar foray that rekindles the bygone Hackett spirit but in a more obscure fashion. Simply delightful! "Slowdown" lays down, like the title clearly implies, a serene atmosphere where vocals are in the listener's mind, a seasoned expanse from a quality musician whose reputation remains highly underrated, a seriously talented multi-instrumentalist, producer and overall prog guru.

Easily one of the finest instrumental prog albums in my rather massive collection. One I intend to regenerate often.....Bravo! 5 High Intelligence Novas

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent production of songs each exemplifying the style(s) and sound(s) of some of the most influential synthesizer-oriented progressive rock bands from the 70s: Pink Floyd/Hawkwind/Eloy, Camel/Genesis, Vangelis/Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre. I love the way that several songs contain or are initiated/ended with sampled voices from some of the most influential Sci-Fi movies of the same period (e.g. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner). While not a trend setter and heavily steeped in simple and repetitive riffs, the music succeeds in capturing a different strain of 'classic' prog than is being done typically today--the spacey, synthesizer-driven musics. Well done, M. Holmes. A very engaging and enjoyable album.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Slowdown

IQ side-project The Lens returns with a second album, nearly ten years after their first one. I reviewed their 2001 debut album (and gave it 2 stars) a couple of years ago, but frankly I don't remember anything about it! Hence, I cannot say with much confidence that this second album is really better. I strongly doubt that I will remember anything about this album either another couple of years down the line.

The Lens produces somewhat meditative and "spacy" instrumental music with influences from Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield, Camel (in their softest and spaciest moments), Vangelis and the like. There is a little bit of Progressive Electronic, a little bit of New-Age, a little bit of Psychedelic/Space Rock, some jazzy touches. Needless to add, it has nothing at all to do with the Neo-Prog of IQ. All in all Regeneration is rather understated and while pleasant on the ear it is not music for active listening.

A decent album of its kind, but not really my cup of tea I'm afraid

Review by Warthur
4 stars With Martin Orford retired from music, it was left to Mike Holms to resurrect the occasional Lens project on his own. This time around, Mike attempts an interesting experiment - rather than crank out another album of old Lens material from the pre-IQ days (the best of which had already been perfectly adequately handled on A Word In Your Eye), he'd do a little thought experiment and present an album of the sort of music he thought The Lens might have ended up producing in a parallel universe where they had stayed together and kept playing to the festival circuit rather than transforming into IQ and getting involved in the nascent neo-prog scene.

His conclusion is that thanks to exposure to acts like Ozric Tentacles, Steve Hillage, and the nascent rave culture, The Lens would end up drawing much more on spacey dance music than previously. (Don't worry, it's proggy dance music - think Porcupine Tree's material on Voyage 34.) With gorgeous neo-prog guitar Holmes still in the mix, the end result is an intriguing mix of neo-prog, space rock, and spacey trance. It's a lovely parallel universe to visit - but owing to the lack of IQ, I wouldn't want to live there.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Second release by a band which according to PA biography released one album and vanished.. All the music was written by IQ guitarist Mike Holmes and was recorded with a little help from his friends Niall Hayden and Paul Cook on drums, and saxophonist Tony Wright.Although all the music was written ... (read more)

Report this review (#334141) | Posted by idlero | Thursday, November 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well I got my I-copy of this very original work and i am sure I will buy the original and so I will delete this one. Very original work .Its name tell us this is a Regeneration of works of the most famous bands of prog. In this album The Lens honour the best prog rock this wo ... (read more)

Report this review (#324307) | Posted by robbob | Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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