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LIFESIGNS

Lifesigns

Neo-Prog


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Lifesigns Lifesigns album cover
3.84 | 165 ratings | 10 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Lighthouse
2. Telephone
3. Fridge Full Of Stars
4. At The End Of The World
5. Carousel

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- John Young / keyboards, lead vocals
- Nick Beggs / bass, stick and backing vocals
- Martin "Frosty" Beedle / drums

With guest appearances by:
Steve Hackett
Thijs Van Leer
Jakko Jakszyk
Robin Boult


Releases information

CD Esoteric Recordings

Thanks to psarros for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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LifesignsLifesigns
Import
Esoteric 2013
Audio CD$11.54
$19.31 (used)
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LIFESIGNS Lifesigns ratings distribution


3.84
(165 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
25%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (30%)
30%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

LIFESIGNS Lifesigns reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by horza
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The band Lifesigns consists of John Young on keyboards/vocals, Nick Beggs on bass, chapman stick and backing vocals and Frosty Beedle on drums, all three of them are very experienced musicians who between them have played with a lot of bands. A friend of mine told me to check this band out and I have to say that I am glad he did. This album has been played to death on my way to and from work for the past fortnight and it has prompted my return to the Prog Archives to help spread the word. When you hear that musicians such as Steve Hackett and Thijs van Leer have contributed to the album you immediately sit up and take notice. I am old enough to remember the braided hairstyle Nick Beggs had in the early 80's whilst he was in Kajagoogoo, and here I admit to the guilty pleasure of actually enjoying tracks by them such as 'Too Shy' and 'Big Apple' - confession is good for the soul they say. More recently Beggs has played bass with Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson, thereby cementing solid prog credentials further strengthened by projects alongside others such as some bloke called Steve Howe. John Young for his part has worked alongside Jon Anderson, The Strawbs, Asia, Fish and Greenslade. He has also toured with the Scorpions - I might as well admit that I have been known to headbang along to the Scorps and have whistled merrily along to 'Wind of Change' and sung along to the rock radio classic 'Holiday'. All I can say about Martin 'Frosty' Beedle is that I know he was in Cutting Crew and that they had the best selling hit '(I Just) Died in Your Arms'. Knowing so little about the drummer does not imply anything on my part, but it suggests that between them this band have been there, seen it, done that and tie-dyed the t-shirt.

The album has 5 tracks and comes in at just under 55 minutes. The opening track 'Lighthouse' is the longest at just under 13 minutes long. The beginning sounds like it could feature on Luc Besson's 'Fifth Element' soundtrack and has a hint of sci-fi about it. Once the band have kicked in you begin to appreciate how well the vocals of Young and Beggs compliment each other. This song is pretty anthemic and 'proggy' - put it this way, as a fan of progressive rock music it made me smile to discover a new band that have nailed all the elements that I enjoy in prog music - complex layers, great keyboards, excellent musicianship and 'meaningful' lyrics. It's not 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' (thank God) but I recognised the prog sign-posts en route. The second track 'Telephone' is my personal favourite. Its opens with Gabriel-esque bass and just gets better every time I listen to it. Some may think it commercial - is that a crime? Genesis, Yes, Rush and Marillion have had 'commercial' songs - this song is as good as 'Wondrous Stories' in my opinion. If you don't believe me, listen to it yourself. Don't get precious about songs just because they are part of some ethereal holy canon of prog. This song 'Telephone' really reaches out to me in the second half where the joint vocals synch together and have a touch of Jon Anderson about them. I love this song - it cheers me up in this era of austerity, moody credit ratings and double dip recession. 'Fridge Full of Stars' is another excellent track - it features some great playing from Hackett and Leer, and has a strong Yes feel about it. Prog fans might prefer it to 'Telephone' - I can live with that. 'At the End of the World' sounds very, very like Kevin Gilbert. Know him? If not, check out the albums 'Thud' and 'The Shaming of the True' and then tell me I'm wrong. Excellent track. The final track 'Carousel' is just outstanding. The keyboards are excellent, Wakeman-esque organ and throughout it Leer throws in some superb flute playing. Put it this way, the last track will encourage you to play the entire album again, if only just to confirm that you will have difficulty in finding a weak track in the whole set.

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Send comments to horza (BETA) | Report this review (#921192) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 01, 2013

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars I have never been on such a magical progressive journey, buying new releases that are simply stunning and forcing me to dish out five star ratings as if it were going out of style. The main attraction here is undoubtedly my new bass fiend Nick Beggs , who finally has the recognition after decades of silence perhaps due to his Kajagoogoo debut, what with his tortuous hair-do and all, as if that mattered! (If it does, go and flock a seagull!) . Beggs has graced albums by early Iona, recent Steve Hackett, the Kompendium project with Magenta's Rob Reed and Steve Wilson's current bass man. He is an English version of Tony Levin, playing fretless bass and stick like a true creative genius, with a profound predilection for seismic rumbles and slick technique loaded with feeling. John Young is also well- respected for playing with Fish, the Strawbs, John Wetton, the new Greenslade and solo outings, a talented ivory dervish and finally, Frosty Beedle who drummed with one of the more adventurous new wave bands Cutting Crew back in the mid-80s ('I Just Died in her Arms tonight' was a great song) as well as session/live drumming for a boat-load of well- known international artists. The attention to details is obvious with stellar production, spirited cover artwork and first-rate classy packaging.

First impression, there is a new Squire, Wakeman and Bruford trio out there in 2013, ably helped out by some dudes you may have heard of (Steve Hackett, Thijs Van Leer, Robin Boult and Jakko Jakczyk) . The music is vibrant, fresh, inspired and very prog! In fact, 'Fridge Full of Stars' will simply blow you away, as well as 'Carousel', two colossal and epic monster tracks that will 'out yes' Yes. I mean, that good, Guys= 'fly from THERE'! The other tracks are dazzling too, nothing under 8 minutes, BTW.

The nearly 13 minute 'Lighthouse' flings this disc straight into the progressive fire, a laser beam of sonic light piercing the shrouded mist, a beacon of things to come, full of adventure and solidity, as Beedle does his best Bruford wham-bam pushed along by Beggs' nimble low-end rumble. The mood for the day is prolific, Yes-ish, armed with slithering synths carving around that treble-heavy bass swirl. The main melody is straight-laced but passionately expressed, showing the first Genesis tendencies, especially in the mellow mid-section with some patented Hackett electric glides. The music displayed is symphonic, accessible, smooth, professional and exhilarating.

'Telephone' starts out like a Tony Levin-fueled Peter Gabriel-esque tune (think 'I Don't Remember'), a progressive pop song loaded with melodic beauty and beastly rhythm. Strictly fascinating, deeply engaging, almost breezy in a strange way, with eccentric and unexpectedly lush choir work and a general sense of effortlessness. Young unleashes a scintillating flurry of synth lines while doing a masterful job on lead vocals but Beggs' bass really rules the roost! The man is just incredible! Some lovely guitar phrasings (Boult or Jakczyk?) adorn the spectacle, stamping this majestic piece as a prog radio song 'par excellence'! A memorable performance and delicious track.

The impeccable 'Fridge Full of Stars' is the ultimate show-stopper, a bruising bulldozer of portentous sound, deeply progressive and audacious, decorated by tickling piano ivories, that scandalous brooding bass and a melody and a chorus to expire over. This has to rank among the best progressive tracks in the last 10 years, well-constructed and utterly enjoyable, superb vocals and crowned by a Thijs Van Leer flute extravaganza that permits a crazy Hackett guitar solo that sears and scars profoundly! My goodness! I caught myself nervously laughing at this (a sign of edgy disbelief) every time I pressed on the repeat button. Gigantic, titanic, colossal, absurd and darn brilliant! 'Watching the world go by, a smile upon my face', indeed! Long suffering Yes fans would need copious amounts of diapers to overcome their joy at listening to such genius. Someone please send a copy to Squire and explain that this is what you should have been doing for the past 20 years. Open YOUR eyes, for Chris sakes!

The shortest track here at 8. 24 ,'At the End of The World' is just as delicious, a thoroughly ecstatic vocal performance with a laid-back groove that shows off their absolute restraint and eschewing any kind of overblown redundancy. This is far from bloated and overbearing, quite the contrary, a mesmerizing piano-led arrangement that seeps deep into the soul, gearing up for a windswept synth solo that will elicit wide grins and a proper sense of reverence. The oft-repeated chorus of 'the end of the world' holds little doom, just the usual human predilection for trepidation and negativity. It's all coated in some positive vibes. Now how cool is that?

'Carousel' as the name implies will serve only to come back to the beginning and listen to this beast again and again, round and round we go, to our delirious pleasure. Swirly determination, bold affirmation of chops with that mixture of furious bass and that booming organ sound, the arrangement finding itself close to the edge and yet not all that fragile (punster!), glittering piano rifling along, hard-nosed drum support and Peter Gabriel-like melodies that will adhere to your skull for evermore. Luxuriant, lush and lusty, the stunning mood just careens along at a brisk but thoroughly controlled pace, further proof of these veterans possessing mastery over their respective instruments. Upon finishing the audition, you will feel refreshed, amazed, spellbound and excited. Music can do that you know, a feel good exploration of bliss.

Fans of the Flower Kings will adore this new contributor to the scene, hopefully one that will yield many more exemplary albums in the future. Together with Comedy of Errors' recent colossus, British prog is doing quite well, thank you! A total keeper, a future classic.

5 shy shy pulses

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#951612) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013

Review by Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR Math Rock Team
4 stars I'll be honest that I've had trouble rating this debut album from Lifesigns. This three-man outfit includes the likes of Nick Beggs on bass, John Young on keys, and Frosty Beedle on drums. These three are fairly well known, especially Beggs with his dynamic approach to bass and Chapman stick. The problem, then, is how to review an album created by three music veterans.

This album is deceptively simple. Its five lengthy pieces come across as light and fluffy most of the time, but inside their hearts beat with fiery bass lines, sweeping and atmospheric keys, and delicate drumming. This album thrives on heady technical performances, but somehow remains simple and accessible, too. Beggs is his usual self with inventive and incredibly interesting bass offerings. Indeed, this is definitely one of the best bass performances of 2013. Young offers keys with elegance and skill, playing everything from outstanding solos to subtle touches. Lastly, Beedle plays his drums with expert precision and appropriation to the music type. Indeed, this album is full of intricacies and subtleties. On top of these musicians, a great group of guests is involved, such as Steve Hackett with his ethereal guitar.

Alas, though, the strengths of this album may also be what keeps it from being a complete masterpiece. Subtlety. This album might be too subtle at times, to the point where passages seem to have nothing happening at all. I found again and again that a track would start out really well, have an outstanding middle, and then finish strongly. However, the minutes that provide transition between those parts are pretty uneventful and downright dull at times. Another strength is its guest lineup. However, the lack of an actual guitar players detracts from the overall feeling of the album slightly. The music often lacks a fullness or satisfaction. Don't get me wrong, though. This is an excellent album in almost every way possible, from interesting lyrics and great harmonizing vocals to skillful instrumental sections and extremely catchy rhythms.

The tracks themselves are somewhat varied. From the organic "Lighthouse" to the desperate "Telephone" and the elegant "Fridge Full of Stars (my favorite), this albums starts off very well. It doesn't let up, though, as the sweeping "At the End of the World" and the funky "Carousel" finish the album on a really high note. Throughout these tracks, we are treated to incredible variety in keys and really infectious melodies. I am especially impressed with the vocal melodies at the end of "At the End of the World". Once you hear it, you will be singing it for hours.

So, how does one rate this type of album? It has its flaws, but they are small and don't really ruin the experience. On the other hand, the music is masterfully composed, professionally performed, and simply beautiful in ambiance. On one hand, some passages drag on without really going anywhere. However, then an infectious keyboard melody or bass line will rear its head, and the song will have changed in an instant to something glorious and divine. Overall, the album is worth everyone's time. It has the right amount of tastiness to keep the listener interested, and the album will grow and grow like a weed within your mind. This album is truly an excellent addition to the prog scene.

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Send comments to Second Life Syndrome (BETA) | Report this review (#1126818) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 03, 2014

Latest members reviews

2 stars I found this album disappointing. If there is a point of comparison it would be post-Gabriel Genesis, but while there is much technical proficiency on display here I found this is album so laid back that it lacked energy and therefore interest. A particular problem for me was that I found the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1116132) | Posted by jmeadow | Saturday, January 18, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I've held off posting a review or rating for this album for months because I knew, upon first listen, that herein was something special, something that required time to seep into my brain cells. There is such professionalism, such polish and thought and detail gone into this album that it is h ... (read more)

Report this review (#1081031) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Sunday, November 24, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a charming music ! Each of these five pieces is a long song (13, 9, 12, 8 and 11 minutes respectively) based on a finely conceived melody, elaborate harmonies and subtle musical developments. This music is clearly more neoprog than symphonic rock, but it's neoprog with a lot of symphonic mo ... (read more)

Report this review (#1074377) | Posted by Kjarks | Saturday, November 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Lifesigns is a Brittish prog band lead by the keyboard player John Young and the process for making this album has been going on since 2008 but it lasted til 2013 to finally release it. Young sings and playes keyboard. Nick Beggs is the bass, stick and choir man and Martin Frosty Beedle is the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1060599) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Wednesday, October 16, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars At the end of the 80's I heard the album 'Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe'. It made me realise what a waste the 80's had been musically... having heard (and enjoyed) the last track, 'Carousel', on a demo, I have to say that I'm disappointed by the rest of the tracks. One of the problems that ... (read more)

Report this review (#1011364) | Posted by sussexbowler | Monday, August 05, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a good discovery. This atmospheric neo prog new band Solid work from start to end Beautiful melodies of neo prog rock music keyboards oriented. Reminds me very much Cairo,It Bites and K2....of course Yes and Genesis too(75-78 era ) This is light neo prog rock .Relaxing neo prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#928194) | Posted by robbob | Monday, March 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This interesting ad hoc trio (augmented by a few guest dignitaries) and its eponymous debut album came "out of nowhere" for many of us. Some rushed to classify Lifesigns a prog supergroup; I'd describe them as a band of experienced musicians of different backgrounds. In the past the keyboardist J ... (read more)

Report this review (#917915) | Posted by Argonaught | Saturday, February 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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