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Dean Watson

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Dean Watson Sum of Parts album cover
3.73 | 18 ratings | 4 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sum of Parts (5:29)
2. The Climb (5:39)
3. Capture 1A (7:12)
4. Song for a Day (5:38)
5. Click Clack (6:32)
6. Sense of Urgency (6:13)
7. D Day (6:34)
8. Afterthought (7:33)

Total Time 50:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Dean Watson / composer & performer

Releases information

CD self-released (2017, Canada)

Digital album

Thanks to Dean Watson for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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DEAN WATSON Sum of Parts ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(72%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DEAN WATSON Sum of Parts reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars

One day I was reading though some of the threads on ProgArchives and came across where someone called Dean Watson was asking if anyone would be prepared to review his new album? So, I popped over to his artist page on the site and was intrigued to see that here was a multi-instrumentalist I hadn't heard of, and that this was his fourth album. The others had received good reviews, so I thought I'd give it a try and got in touch. A short while later I was playing the album and was again trying to comprehend how an artist with this amount of talent had passed me by, and why on earth were people with no musical ability superstars when artists such as Dean had received virtually no recognition?

Anyway, Dean provided all the instruments on the album, and moves between providing the lead on keyboards and guitar, whatever is right for the moment. Some of the keyboard sounds give this a late Seventies feel, and I am sure that Allan Holdsworth has been an inspiration in the guitar stakes, with some wonderful fusion and glistening runs. That he is adept with different instruments is never in doubt, and this allows him to bounce ideas as he moves through different sounds and styles, with jazz fusion and progressive rock coming together in a beautiful whole. This is a light and uplifting album that I enjoyed immensely, so guess that means I have some research to do on his back catalogue. I look forward to it.

Review by aapatsos
4 stars ''What's the difference between a Rocker and a Jazzman? A Rocker plays 3 chords in front of 3000 people. A Jazzman plays 3000 chords in front of 3 people.''

The story for Dean Watson is probably somewhere in the middle as he manages to balance his virtuoso skills (Jazzman) with solid structures and catchy riffs (Rocker) and the combination seems to work. This is the fourth release after a number of highly ranked albums; listening to this album one can see why. This is no mere 'bedroom artist' with good ideas, rather an accomplished composer with a clear direction, skill and appreciation of structure; it is not just mastery of the instruments but also character, which is abundantly evident especially in the guitar solos.

There is delightful variation throughout the whole album and constant excitement, always something new, multiple layers of keyboards, clean and distorted guitars and measured soloing. Younger fans of the Rudess/Petrucci collaborations, Neal Morse enthusiasts and veterans of the Allan Holdsworth and Colosseum legacies will find a lot to enjoy.

As for me, I particularly enjoyed the way that Dean changes moods from blues rock ('D Day'), to light jazz ('The Climb') and heavy fusion ('Song for a Day'). 'Afterthought' brings some Focus guitar magic among the more intense beats and darker riffs. It is easy in instrumental albums to fall into a trap of prolonged jamming or repetition, a feature not found here. On the contrary, tracks grow and evolve ' see e.g. the up-tempo closing of 'The Climb' or the shift in 'Capture 1A' from a heavy fusion start to a Alan Parsons-infused mid-pacer.

Despite the efforts to create a solid rhythm section, the use of a drum machine is evident (particularly in tracks where it's ''upfront'' such as in 'Click Clack') and the album loses points on the enjoyment angle as it sounds weak on that front. It would be interesting to see how this album would sound like with a full band and performed live. Other than this limitation, there is very little to stop you from enjoying this excellent piece of work.

4 (-) stars ' recommended

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. A step down in my opinion, and while it would be fair to say that there's not much to choose between Dean Watson's first four studio albums I do feel that this 2017 release is the first one where for my tastes we get some tracks that are just "okay". And the programmed drums haven't been a problem for me up until now but on here I noticed them a few times sounding not real. I was playing this record and "Fantasizer!" often back to back this past week so maybe it's more that "Fantasizer!" is just that much better and it's hard not to compare them when I was basically doing that all week. Anyway another great sounding record and virtuoso guitar and keyboard work abound but I'll stick with the first three and be very happy in doing so. The first three tracks fail to capture my imagination but then "Song For A Day" comes along restoring my faith and it continues with "Click Clack" where we get some darker and heavier moments. I like "Sense Of Urgency" a lot and "D Day" is hit and miss but mostly hit. But the closer "Afterthought" is going out on a high.

Latest members reviews

4 stars If I'm very much mistaken Dean Watson's fourth mad scientist music menagerie is the aggregate of a myriad of musical concepts and ideas amassed in his conspiring mind over roughly a two-year period between 2015-2017. Hence the empirical title : Sum Of Parts. For those not familiar with Dean Wats ... (read more)

Report this review (#1728173) | Posted by Kepler62 | Tuesday, May 30, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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