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Ian Gordon


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Ian Gordon The Box album cover
3.58 | 21 ratings | 5 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Opening (2:46)
2. Transcendence (5:50)
3. Streets of New Babylon (9:37)
4. Eastern Lights (7:26)
5. The Theatre (7:29)
6. Cascade Scenario (8:55)
7. Solutions (7:35)
8. 57 (8:15)
9. Intermission in Dreams (4:04)
10. The Child (8:14)
11. Framed (6:41)
12. Aftermath (8:42)
13. Return to the Theatre (6:10)
14. Dunes of New Babylon (7:45)
15. The Tower (4:38)
16. Entombed (5:16)
17. Crescendo (6:42)
18. The Box? (6:10)

Total time 122:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Gordon / vocals, all instruments
- Neil Gordon / keyboard solo (12)
- Rob Heyes / guitar solo (15)
- Gary Gordon / guitar solo (16)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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IAN GORDON The Box ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

IAN GORDON The Box reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'The Box' - Ian Gordon (5/10)

Although directing most of his muse towards his band Drama, songwriter and musician Ian Gordon has found it suitable to pursue a solo career. Compiling his solo work into one album, this recording has not seen a physical release, but instead has been distributed freely through digital format. A sprawling two hour collection of songs, Ian Gordon certainly did not leave any stones unturned with this album, and it is clear that there has been been a lot of time and effort put into making this project come to fruition. Even so, I do not find myself entirely convinced by what 'The Box' offers, and though promise of something greater seeps through the cracks more than once on this longwinded observation, the whole doesn't seem to have quite amounted to the sum of its parts.

'The Box' is apparently a quasi-conceptual album that seeks to expose the 'darker parts of human nature', the parts of our consciousness that we push below the threshold for better or worse. Boasting such an ambitious concept, it is clear that Ian Gordon has invested 'The Box' as a multi-layered work that should keep its listeners busy for weeks as they attempt to unlock this box. This makes it that more of a disappointment when so much of the album comes off as somewhat cold and dispassionate. Not so much in the writing of the music itself- which is sometimes excellent- but the production and performance of this music is so bumpy and rough that it becomes difficult to see the album as anything but a mixed success. There are certainly successful elements here, but there are sharp lacks in consistency that should have been addressed while making the album.

'The Box' is a two hour spectacle of sometimes-theatrical melodic prog rock, these pieces range widely in mood and feeling, from sentimental moments to harder rock and quite a few 'weird' moments thrown in to keep a listener engaged, such as a circus music interlude. Truth be told, some of these elements are very well done, particularly Gordon's work with keyboards. The writing here is quite good, although there is always a feeling that even the most inspired bits of writing here are held back by what I consider to be a subpar production and rough performance. For example, the aptly titled 'Opening' features some nice melodies, but the instrumentation and keyboards sound roughly sampled and the vocals fall a little flat. On the other hand, later in the album (and particularly towards the latter half of it), Gordon's voice and performance generally improves, although there are still moments where the performance could have used polishing. Also- need I say- the two hour length certainly is an idea that was taken far out of hand; there are few albums that can remain effective at that length, and with the sheer amount of less powerful moments here, it would have been a much better decision to perhaps cut 'The Box' in half, as far as duration goes.

Although I have not yet heard Ian Gordon's band Drama, and do not find myself drawn to what's been done here, it is evident that Gordon has talent and vision as a musician. It is also clear from my angle that his music could use some more polish on it, because despite its strengths, the ultimate impression here is that of a vast grab bag; some things are good, other things not so much, and there is the sense that things would be that much more satisfying if the statement Gordon tries to make here would be condensed, if even just a little bit.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars UK multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and frontman of rock band Drama.Ian grew up in the small town of Westhoughton,but relocated in Bolton, where, influenced by bands like GENESIS and RUSH, he started working on his ambitious first solo output.It took him a decade to eventually give the album life by recording it and selling it as a digital download on in 2011.''The box'' is a concept album about human anxities,clocking at over two hours.

With Ian only handling all instruments and voices,the work presents an already mature musician with a flexible sound,but always in progressive rock grounds, and tracks torn between grandiose and challenging compositions and more somber and mellow pieces.The overall sound is close to the likes of bands like SPOCK'S BEARD, TRANSATLANTIC, SENSE and BRIGHTEYE BRISON, an impressive mix of Retro-Prog,Neo Prog and Symphonic Rock with a modern flavor.All cuts are surprisingly strong with some nice instrumental parts and heavy lyrical moments,where Ian prooves to be an excellent singer as well.The guitar parts are also good with both heavy and smooth passages and his keyboard work includes symphonic organs,orchestral synths and even some virtuosic solos from time to time.More impressively Ian managed to create a very tight release with no particular drawbacks and a good balance between vocal- and instrumental moments.

While not being very original or groundbreaking,''The box'' shows a young musician ready to step on the progressive stage with a great potential and mature enough to present a very long album after some really hard work.Recommended to all fans of modern progressive rock with occasional vintage references.

Latest members reviews

4 stars If you're going to play all of the instruments on an album barring for assistance from others on a very few tracks then you had better be a damn good song writer to attract my attention because I doubt that you are going to be a master of all of the instruments that you play. Further than that if ... (read more)

Report this review (#1046381) | Posted by sukmytoe | Friday, September 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A few months ago my attention was drawn by the album ' the box ' from Ian Gordon. Due to the simplicity of the cover, which is only a small white drawn box on a completely black background, I was curious. I had no expectations about the content and carefully decided to open 'the box' and discover ... (read more)

Report this review (#540894) | Posted by Wytze | Monday, October 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have listened to The Box many times all the way through since I purchased it at Bandcamp, ( a great place by the way to hear bands that are not well known but still quite good). This is a fine effort from Ian Gordan, a long concept album about somebody Gordan calls Jason who seems to be tryin ... (read more)

Report this review (#537256) | Posted by RJN | Thursday, September 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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