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Tiles Window Dressing album cover
3.38 | 67 ratings | 10 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Window Dressing (17:11)
2. Remember To Forget (5:00)
3. All She Knows (4:37)
4. Capture The Flag (8:58)
5. Tear-Water Tea (4:15)
6. Stop Gap (2:53)
7. Unicornicopia (5:10)
8. Paintings (4:41)
9. A.02 (1:14)
10. Slippers In The Snow (4:05)
11. Spindrift (9:25)

Total Time: 67:33

Bonus CD from 2004 SE - Presence In Europe 1999:
1. Introduction (0:46)
2. Patterns (4:34)
3. Token Pledge (7:17)
4. Static (5:51)
5. Modification (3:36)
6. Ballad Of The Sacred Cows (7:03)
7. Facing Failure (5:44)
8. Another's Hand (7:03)

Total time 41:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Rarick / vocals
- Chris Herin / electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, keyboards, trumpet (6)
- Jeff Whittle / bass, fretless bass, lead guitar (6)
- Pat DeLeon / drums, percussion

- Kim Mitchell / guitar (4)
- Matthew Parmenter / violin (5,7)
- Hugh Syme / keyboards & orchestration (10)
- Terry Brown / arrangements, production & mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Syme

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 167 (2004, Germany)
2xCD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMSECD 167 (2004, Europe) Bonus CD including 1999 Live recordings

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TILES Window Dressing ratings distribution

(67 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TILES Window Dressing reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Clayreon
4 stars This fourth TILES album comes five years after their last achievement "Presents Of Mind". And they changed quite a lot since that period. They started of as a more AOR oriented band. "Presents Of Mind" took them in the soft progmetal direction and the new album sounds a lot heavier but can still be catalogued as progmetal.

The album was mixed by Terry Brown (RUSH, IQ, FATES WARNING) and the artwork was designed by Hugh Syme (ARENA, MEGADETH, RUSH), who also plays some keyboards on "Slippers In The Snow". It takes a lot of courage to open your album with the longest, most complex and most difficult track or should I rather consider it a bad move? It's not easy to digest this first track when you hear this CD for the first time. But if you keep on listening to it, it grows into a great epic. As often, persistence pays off.

"Window Dressing" has 4 different parts. It opens with a heavy riff, changes into a quiet electric melodic piece with a complex rhythm, goes back to a heavier vocal part and ends with an acoustic quiet passage. Well, in my opinion it should have ended here, because it felt like the end, but they preferred to return to the first part again. But that doesn't change the fact that this is a great epic 17 minutes progmetal track.

"Remember To Forget" or "All She Knows" would have been better album openers. They are a lot easier to get into. The first contains a very catchy guitar riff and the other has a great vocal line. The line "eyes that sparkle" echoes through your head for a long time.

Paul is a great vocalist. He sounds a bit like Geddy Lee in the higher regions. The whole band often sounds a bit like RUSH, undoubtedly partly due to the mixing of Terry Brown.

"Capture The Flag" is a perfect example of this RUSH sound, without losing their own identity, they got after four albums. "Tear-Water Tea", an acoustic ballad with some brilliant violin playing, is a good recipe for a special drink. Beautiful vocals.

As on their previous album, they present some short instrumentals: "Stop Gap", a chaotic jazzy track, "Unicornicopia", a classical oriented piano and violin piece (although it's constantly disturbed by strange noises) and "A.02" a short acoustic guitar piece. These tracks add up to the already omnipresent variation on the album. "Spindrift" is the heaviest track. It doesn't really fit in with the rest of the tracks, although it contains the best (too short) guitar solo of the album.

I like this album a lot but I prefer their previous album that contained some softer progmetal. Of course, this opinion can change in time, as I had 5 years to get into "Presents Of Mind". The special edition comes with a bonus live CD from the support-tour they did in 1999 for DREAM THEATER. You can also buy special editions of their first three albums. >>> Review by Danny (8,5/10) <<<

Review by Muzikman
4 stars I have heard a lot of music this year so far, and only a fraction of it has seriously impressed me. When I look at the volume of music that pours into my mailbox compared to what I review and give a high rating, well, there is not that much that I would consider writing about. I really appreciate bands like Tiles. Even though they waited 5 years to put out a new album, what you get is quality and a great album. I hope they do not wait as long between albums next time because I see a fruitful creative renaissance happening with this band. They show a lot of promise for growth and expansion by traveling to previously unexplored musical areas on a sonic masterpiece titled Window Dressing. They rock hard as usual, particularly on the incredible title track, which runs for nearly 18 minutes, although this time what you will get is a new twist of progressive-metal-rock. There are three instrumentals that show Tiles exposing other facets of their personality such as jazz-rock-fusion ("Stop Gap") and classical ("Unicornicopia") . letting their audience know that indeed there is more to them than indicated on previous albums. I for one really appreciate the diversity and the flexing of their musical muscles, and believe me they have plenty display.

This is an album that will stay in rotation for a quite a while before you find it necessary to change gears, it certainly worked that way for me. This band knows how to combine all the necessary elements to keep my interest in an album, they use hard and fast guitar licks with melody and hooks, standout vocal workouts, rhythm with a direction and purpose, and most of all, a tremendous curiosity to experiment with the talent they have. Lyrically they are as thought provoking as can be. Perhaps the best way to describe the premise of this album is that you hear it right from one of the band members. Here is what Chris Herrin (lead guitar) had to say about their new project:

A synopsis of the entire Window Dressing (the CD) concept: themes of "misrepresentation" - the lyrics travel a chronological path from the simplicity of youth through the complexities of relationships, communication, and cultural trends. Modern society's fixation with superficial and transient values - applauding style over substance and elevating deception to an art form and even spectator sport.

Window Dressing... a story about someone confronting and contemplating the uncertainty of knowing who to trust and what to believe. A story of disillusionment illustrated through one person's experience and thought processes. In the end it's hard not to take the position that everyone has an agenda - or ulterior motive - that takes precedence over any "lofty" ideal like honesty, integrity, or even the truth. Musically a lot to digest - but a journey we hope is not too daunting for listeners.

An interesting concept to say the least, it really forces you to look at yourself and everyone around you on a daily basis, if in fact you choose to look at the reality and truth in humanity today. Wow, music that not only sounds great but also makes you think and ponder who you are and why you are here, now that is something with substance and meaning to sink your teeth into a take hold of for a while.

This is their most accomplished and polished recording to date and it will take them to the next level with their peers and fans.

Rating: 4.75/5

Review by Menswear
5 stars One fine record to own.

After the extrordinary discovery that was Presents of MInd, my hopes were very high for this release. Well, it's certainly better than Fence the Clear but does it reaches the amazement of Presents of Mind? Less technical but oh well, no biggie, the core is intact!

Window Dressing is more of a blend of the more orchestrated Fence the Clear and the shorter but powerfully 'Rushesque' songs of Presents of Mind. And this is were Tiles and I clicked: the shorter songs that makes your feet tap and sing out loud. Tiles is good fun like in 'All she Knows' and 'Remember to Forget' and aggressive in 'Capture the Flag' or 'Stop Gap'. This is really like listening to old fashioned Rush records! And that's the main reason why you should give attention to Window Dressing (sounds like Moving Pictures to me!). When 'Capture the Flag' chorus gets into you, or the Fly by Night feeling of 'All she Knows' kicks in, you know it's some of the best you'll pick up in a long time.

Tiles has lost most of it's musical lazyness, the songs feels less like filler than previous records. Something really kills the record for the begginers is the 17 minutes overture. And dude, they don't let anybody in easily. The song is really 'epic', mostly the segment changes are clever and the whole feel is as natural as 'Cygnus X-2', to name a song with the same lenght.

Hey man, don't be shy. Pick it up when you see it, there's enough material in here to feed you for lazy and hazy dayz of musical discoveries.

Man it feels good to hear some new Rush material! Tee hee.

It has Terry Brown, Hugh Syme and Matthew Parmenter, one competent line-up don't you think?

In my top 10 favorite progressive records.

Review by Melomaniac
2 stars After discovering Tiles with their excellent album "Presents of Mind", I decided to give this one a try... and was disappointed with it. The only track that grabbed me was title track/album opener Window Dressing. Nice lyrics, feel, execution and originality here. But none of the other tracks came close to please me. I find it is an uninspired album, incohesive and ungripping. A few songs have their somewhat good moments, but even within themselves the songs are uneven. The musicianship is not in question, as they already proved with their previous albums that they are indeed competent, it is the songwriting that is weak here. Weak enough for me to go to the nearest used cd store and use it to buy something else.

A very unmemorable album from a promising band. Let's hope they readjust for the next album.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I have to agree with Melomaniac's thoughts concerning this album. After really enjoying both "Fence The Clear" and "Presents Of Mind" this one is a definite let down.The title track is an amazing song, but the rest of this record is missing something.This album was produced by Terry Brown, and the art work was done by Hugh Syme who also plays keys on "Slippers In The Snow". By the way the art work is incredibly thought provoking (I don't just mean the front cover) haha ! Check out the other pictures inside, and on the back. Look carefully.

"Window Dressing"opens with a great heavy sound, terrific bass in this as synths arrive. We get vocals after 4 minutes and plenty of shifts in tempo and mood. There is some mandolin and a very stripped down mellow section. The heaviness returns after 11 minutes. "Remember To Forget" is a catchy song with a scorching guitar solo. "All She Knows" is a lighter song with terrific vocals. "Capture The Flag" features none other than Kim Mitchell guesting on guitar. This song has such a great raw sound to it. Nice ripping guitar solo with more guitar later.

"Tear-Water Tea" features some violin courtesy of Matthew Parmenter,and the strummed guitar is a nice touch. "Stop Gap" is an instrumental with trumpet and some fantastic drumming. "Unicornicopia" is another instrumental with violin and piano. This has a classical feel to it. "Paintings" has some good aggressive guitar on it. "A.02' is a short instrumental of mandolin and gently played guitar. I've touched on the mellow "Slippers in the Snow", while the final song is called "Spindrift".This is the most RUSH sounding song in my opinion and the guitar sounds amazing.

Still a good record, but I enjoyed their earlier ones much more.

Review by sleeper
2 stars This is Tiles fourth album and my first experience with this band, and I have to say that it wasn't one of the most pleasant musical experiences I have ever had. In short, what you get here is an album that wears its Rush influences on its sleeve but fails to match the legendary band for writing talent.

The big problem is that it feels like one or two tracks have been recycled several times to come up with an album. Once you here the "epic" opener and title track you have a good idea of what everything else will sound like, there are few surprises left. In fact, I would be tempted to award my first 1 star review if it wasn't for a run of four very good songs in the middle. Capture the Flag, Tear-Water Tea, Stop Gap and Unicornicopa (the last two being instrumental's) are all very good songs and well worth listening to, almost enough to consider giving this album 3 stars, but then Paintings starts and your back to trying to stay awake. Of these four songs, Capture the Flag is the one that really gets to me, it really does sound like they were trying hard to get a great riff going to hold the song together without sounding forced and unnatural, with some very interesting instrumental breaks, thanks mainly to the guest guitar playing of Kim Mitchell, which is superb. Tear-Water Tea is a poppy ballad, much slower than the rest of the songs on here but, unlike other attempts that countless bands have made at this kind of song, Tiles pull it off with lots of feeling and flare, backed up brilliantly by Matthew Parmenter's tasteful violin playing that really makes the song, so kudos to Tiles for pulling this off were so many others have failed. The two instrumental's are much slower and more "ethereal" than all the other songs on here and beautifully done, proving to be a real highlight of the album and giving it a more varied flavour.

However, there's nothing else to shout about on this album. The title track Window Dressing starts off not too badly but quickly fades into a forced and ad-hock attempt at creating an epic, with the result being some sections of interesting music interspersed with dull rubbish. But its the second track, Remember to Forget, that sets the tone for the album, and I really do want to forget it. The main riff sounds very similar to the one on Capture the Flag, but the big difference is that here it sounds very laborious and forced, creating a sense of boredom. Worst of all, it sounds like the track is recycled on the remaining vocal tracks that I haven't mentioned yet, with closer, Spindrift, being the worst. As for the members of the band, its hard to judge just how good they are as this whole album just sounds so lackluster, but I get the impression that they are definitely capable of holding their own if they could write something to match their playing ability.

If your still going to get this then can I suggest that you get the InsideOut two disc version, with the second disc being a 40 minute live bootleg from the bands 1999 Presence of Mind tour in Europe, supporting Dream Theater. Bare in mind that Window Dressing is my first, and so far only, experience of Tiles, I was astonished by this bootleg. The sound quality is not particularly brilliant but the overall quality of the music is night and day ahead of the main disc, the difference is stunning as the live materiel is so much better.

I give this album 2 stars as, for the most part, its dull as dish water, but contains 20 minutes of excellent materiel that any fan of heavy prog would love to hear, its just a shame that you have to wade through a load of rubbish to get to it.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Tiles is already at the time this album was released 2004 a force in heavy prog realm, albums like Fence the clar and specialy Presents of mind are true jewels of the genre in the'90's. This is their forth album issued in 2004 and named Window dressing is another worthy album, but as previous reviewers said, this release is lacking in great ideas. While the album overall is ok, good no doubt, is no memorable moments, the passages are ok but lacking in a strong captivating arrangements. It's bean almost 5 years since their previous album and Tiles wanted to come with a solid album after some respiro years. They suuceded at some point but not entirely, for ex the best pieces is without doubt the opening and title track Window dressing, almost 18 of greatness, intelligent arrangements and great musicianship, the rest of the pieces while are ok are little same in passages, but not bad. Heavy prog is present on every track here, Rush influenced album with guest Matthew Parmenter on violin on Te water tea, maybe the second best of the album. Great cover arts and booklet. So, this album worth to be investigated if you like heavy prog as I do and specialy this band, they don't have weak albums only less intristing, one of them is this one who desearves from me 3 stars.
Review by kev rowland
3 stars This is the fourth studio album from Tiles, and any band that starts with a song that is over seventeen minutes long is obviously full of confidence. That is the title cut, and it shows the many sides of Tiles as they mix melodic rock with loads of other forms to create a type of music which has obviously been heavily influenced by Rush. But although they have a guest keyboard player in Hugh Syme (who also provided the artwork) this is a four-piece rock band (they also have a guest violinist in Matthew Parmenter (Discipline), and a guest guitarist in Kim Mitchell ? surely not the Kim Mitchell from Max Webster?), one that uses extra instruments to colour and flavour the proceedings, but not to take it over.

The music is extremely melodic, and even crunchy when they require it, and the production of Terry Brown (Rush, IQ, Fates Warning etc) has given the music an extra polish. It may not be pure progressive in the normal sense, but it has taken a hefty chunk of that genre and placed it with melodic rock to create an album that is very accessible on first listen yet also contains depths to enjoy and investigate. Yet another strong album from the Detroit based band.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, June 2004

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is a mixture of an album, but with enough excellent material to merit 4 stars. The opening epic an title track is powerful and varied, and the cd ends with the superb 'Spindrift' with its heavy riffs and wonderful King Crimson-esque instrumental exploration in the middle. 'Capture the Fla ... (read more)

Report this review (#76784) | Posted by dmwilkie | Monday, May 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4 solid stars When I Heard The Opening Track- I was Blown away. "Window Dressing" is 17 minutes of musical bliss- an epic- a wonderful, wonderful song. As a fan of Rush- I can see how Tiles was really inspired by them- and it shows on this album- so if you are a fan of Rush- check these g ... (read more)

Report this review (#41264) | Posted by Drew | Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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