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Mr. So & So


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Mr. So & So Compendium album cover
3.59 | 28 ratings | 6 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Closet Skeleton (10:48)
2. Tick-A-Box (11:19)
3. Hobaon the Traveller (4:25)
4. Primrose (9:47)
5. The Missionary (3:52)
6. Bolton-Eeny-Noo [instrumental] (5:32)
7. Six and Sevens (10:07)
8. The Visitor (10:59)

Total Time: 66:49

Line-up / Musicians

- Shaun McGowan / vocals, bass
- David Foster / guitar
- Kieran Twist / keyboards
- Leon Parr / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD Cyclops CYCL 014

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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MR. SO & SO Compendium ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MR. SO & SO Compendium reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progrules
3 stars A lot of praise and positive reviews so far for this second album by Mr. So&So but interesting enough they all come from guest reviewers. I'm not saying they are not reliable because of that or per se too enthusiastic but after having listened to and reviewed the debut I could hardly believe this band had grown into an excellent band all over sudden. The debut was a nice album but hardly more than that. Time to take a close look at this successor.

The album starts with two small epics. The first is ok with overall the same level of quality as the debut maybe slightly better. let's say a 3,25* case. Next composition is a lot more interesting especially in the second half where they do an excellent Marillion imitation for about one minute (around 8:00 mark), rest of the song is not Marillion at all I believe, more like early Pendragon like I said in my first review. This is mainly caused by the vocalist who sounds a lot like Nick Barrett, typical British, I really like these kind of vocals and accents. This second mini-epic scores around 3,75* to me. Third song could as well have been on the debut and is a typical 3* effort. Next is already the third very long song and at the end two more are following so at least where these mini-epics are concerned this album is pretty impressive. And I have to admit none of these 5 songs is sloppy, poor or even average. Fifth and sixth song are two short ones again and these are both again around 3 stars composition and quality wise. Good songs but no more. Sixth is an instrumental by the way again sounding like Marillion in the beginning doing the Mosley impersonation. Last two mini-epics are sounding ok once again for the first one and a half bit but then we come to the second half of last song The Visitor. Goodness me, that's where they got the positive reviews from no doubt. What a terrific guitar display we are treated with here. Best few minutes of the entire album without a doubt.

So there we have the explanation for all the enthusiasm. With such a grand finale you leave this album with an almost ecstatic feeling and you're indeed tempted to give a four star rating. But looking at the whole album a bit more critically I can only conclude the other 64 minutes are somewhere between good and very good where quality level is concerned. So I wouldn't want to call this an overall excellent album. But it's no doubt better than the debut and comes a lot closer to a four star rating. I'll leave it at three though (3,4).

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ''Paraphernalia'' was a good enough album to establish Mr. So & So as one of the most promising British Prog bands.An intense period of gigging followed, during which the band was approached by the Cyclops label, which was interested to release a second album by the group.Mr. So & So visited the Pagan Studios in Runcorn and with the help of Legend's Steve Paine the recordings led to the ''Compendium'' work in 1994.In the album Charlotte Evans makes her first appearance with the group as a guest singer.

The style remains a very atmospheric Neo Prog with a romantic 80's vibe, obviously influenced by the music of PINK FLOYD and at the end sounding like a mix of MARILLION and THIRD QUADRANT.With some very long tracks the band passes through different tempos and moods, highlighted by excellent vocals, interesting hypnotic guitar solos and some accomplished keyboard textures by Kieren Twist.However there are moments, when the approach of the group gets a complex nature, filled with dual synthesizer fanfares, vintage organs in a 70's mood and complicated breaks.The guitars become heavier as the album unfolds, with the shorter pieces sounding a lot like a pre-PORCUPINE TREE version, even including some more experimental keyboard touches and more passionate vocals blended with grandiose synthesizers.The closing long cuts show a return to the band's roots, definitely following a more melodic/sensitive Neo Prog vein.Warm singing lines, PINK FLOYD-ian soundscapes and emotional guitar parts in a MARILLION vein complete a great album.

''Compendium'' belongs among the very versatile albums of the Neo Prog path, alternating between smoother and heavier material as well as melodic and more rhythmic moments.A great work indeed, no less than strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I would have given this gem 5 stars if not for the thin, creaky production. Unfortunately that was a problem that plagued this excellent neo-prog band throughout its career. The strength of the album is its solid songwriting - always fixed on memorable melodies, and always aided by a strong vo ... (read more)

Report this review (#244458) | Posted by Area70 | Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An absolute gem of an album, from one of prog's fallow periods in the mid 90s. The most obvious comparisons to the band are Marillion and It Bites, but some tracks like 'Hobson The Traveller' and 'The Visitor' also have a 70s flavour which belies the youthfulness of the band. Shaun McGowan p ... (read more)

Report this review (#108800) | Posted by Martinyesman | Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I heartily agree with Kirk lott here. This band was something else and even if you aren't a prog rock fan this band will not fail to capture your imagination. Shaun mcgowans lyrics and musicianship along with the rest of the band are pleasurable and intriguing to say the least. Almost addictive even ... (read more)

Report this review (#46115) | Posted by | Friday, September 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a very solid neo-prog album; if you like neo-prog you'll like this. The production, musicianship, and vocals are all excellent. Most of the tracks are long-form, clocking in at over 10 minutes. And even if you're not a fan of neo-prog (I'm generally not), this album offers alot. The 1 ... (read more)

Report this review (#39609) | Posted by | Saturday, July 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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