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The Tangent

Eclectic Prog

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The Tangent Auto Reconnaissance album cover
3.79 | 163 ratings | 5 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Life on Hold (5:34)
2. Jinxed in Jersey (15:59)
3. Under Your Spell (5:51)
4. The Tower of Babel (4:36)
5. Lie Back & Think of England (28:24)
6. The Midas Touch (5:54)
7. Proxima (bonus track) (12:30)

Total Time 78:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Tillison / vocals, keyboards, composer, producer, lyrics
- Jonas Reingold / bass
- Theo Travis / saxophone, flute, producer
- Luke Machin / guitar
- Steve Roberts / drums

Releases information

The follow-up to "Proxy" (2018)

Cover: Ed Untisky
Label: InsideOut
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
Release date: August 21, 2020
Limited edition CD Digipak (with bonus track), Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP Booklet

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THE TANGENT Auto Reconnaissance ratings distribution

(163 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE TANGENT Auto Reconnaissance reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
4 stars All you really need to know about this album can be summed up in this quote from Andy Tillision, who said, "Possibly one of a very few albums to be influenced by ELP, The Isley Brothers, Steely Dan, Aphex Twin, National Health, Rose Royce, Squarepusher and Return to Forever that will be released this summer". I must confess I had to google Squarepusher, but while I have plenty of ELP, Steely Dan and National Health in my collection, and I have a nodding acquaintance with Return to Forever, the others have never interested me so I will have to take his word for it. Of what there is no doubt whatsoever is that this is a progressive album in the very truest sense of the word. There are plenty of Canterbury musical references in particular, and tracks such as the epic "Jinxed in Jersey" show here are a band who are consistently refusing to conform to what anyone really think they should be doing, even from those within the prog scene. Andy's storytelling is incredibly vivid, and one can imagine him undertaking the journey he describes, bringing the characters to life.

One has no idea where the music is going to lead from one minute to the next, as they treat progressive rock as an ideal as opposed to a style, no Genesis or Pink Floyd clones these, rather The Tangent is continuing to push boundaries just like it used to be. We can go from pleasant gentle harmony to a Hammond being ripped to pieces with a guitar hard over the top, no drums to a driving beat, electronics to quiet, one just never knows. We have the same line-up on this album as the last one, and the quintet are obviously comfortable with each other, egging each other on with layers that pay repeated playing and deep listening. The Tangent are undoubtedly one of the most interesting progressive bands around, and as someone who has followed Andy's career with keen interest since Parallel or 90 Degrees all I can say is that this is yet another outstanding album.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. I just recently found out that THE TANGENT are releasing a new album in 2024 and for the first time it's Andy Tillison all by himself, doing it all. The five piece lineup of Tillison, Travis, Machin, Reingold and Roberts stayed in place from 2018's "Proxy" and included this 2020 record as well as 2022's "Tales From The Hard Shoulder". A nice 3 album run and I am not surprised at the lineup change in 2024 just at how far reaching the shakedown has been. I'm already curious about the album to come after that one to see where Andy goes with the lineup.

"Auto Reconnaissance" was a complete surprise that I did not see coming in any way. First spin revealed a word heavy album with Tillison at his story-telling best, but I was on the fence until that third spin when I realized this one is special. I have never felt the emotion I experienced here ever on a THE TANGENT album or the power. Both of these are brief moments of time but it has been a long time since water has risen in my eyes like this while listening to my music. Specifically during the 28 1/2 minute "Lie Back & Think Of England".

In the liner notes Tillison mentions that this album was composed before the 2020 outbreak but recorded during it and mastered, mixed etc. during lockdown. This album has Andy's visit to New Jersey/ New York as the main theme to this record. And Andy should be really proud of what has has done here. Charming, fun, sentimental there is a lot of emotion on this one, the lyrics are so meaningful. The instrumental work is so impressive, a lot of lighter jazzy stuff but as I said earlier they can get heavy as well. This album has it all even some space rock stuff on the bonus track that had me quite excited the first time I heard it.

And while I'm raving about this one it's not perfect by any means but I get it, the lighter stuff like "Under Your Spell" a love song that I doubt Tillison would have used in the past, but he is sentimental here. "The Tower Of Babel" is too catchy but the lyrics are brilliant. A classic rant from Mr. Tillison this time about technology. The opener "Life On Hold" would be the third track that I consider Andy's warm blankets as it were, written while in lockdown. His happy places you could say. An energetic start to this record. The final tune with a lot of optimism is "The Midas Touch" the closer. "For all of us who lived through covid-19 and in memory of those who didn't" is the sub-title. Light and jazzy with synths. Upbeat with pleasant vocals. "Welcome back my winter sun" is a repeated line.

I don't usually mention bonus tracks and certainly don't even consider them with my final rating because they aren't part of the main album but this is a rare one that is incredible and truly a bonus to this meaningful album. I mentioned earlier there's a space rock groove here that is awesome. A spacey soundscape to start until around 4 minutes in when it turns more powerful. It settles back around 8 minutes to spacey and jazzy motifs. A 12 1/2 minute ride. There are two epic tracks on here. The 16 minute "Jinxed In Jersey" that is like following Andy as he takes the long journey by foot to the Statue of Liberty and so on. The man can write a song. Jazzy with almost spoken words early. Lots of organ and Theo adding the wind instruments. It turns almost reverential when he visits the statue.

The "Lie Back & Think Of England" at close to a half hour in length introduces us once again to a character named Earnest who was first brought up on 2006's "A Place In The Queue" a WWII pilot fighting for freedom for England. This is what he fought for? Is kind of the idea here. Incredible emotion like I've never heard from Andy. The emotion and the power after 18 minutes is moving to say the least.

This is presently my fourth favourite album by this band after "The Music That Died Alone", "Down And Out In Paris And London" and "The Rust Of Forgotten Machinery", the fifth one is debatable between a few records right now. Peter Hammill would be proud of you Andy, the lyrics you write are right up there with your hero.

Latest members reviews

5 stars My two favourite albums for this pandemic year which appears to have reduced the available new music in the year so far, are Pendragon's Love Over Fear and The Tangent's Auto Reconnaissance. The two albums couldn't be more different but great melodies are what they both share. The music of The Tange ... (read more)

Report this review (#2442233) | Posted by CeeJayGee | Saturday, August 29, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another strong candidate for the album of the year. I really think this is one of the best albums composed by this band. However, I am a little dissapointed because while i love the shorter tracks, I feel that the two longer ones are overlong and some of the ideas could have been left out, especiall ... (read more)

Report this review (#2440696) | Posted by Soul2Create | Monday, August 24, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Tangent is one of the best prog creators of the new millenium, but for my second most expected album of the year, I'm a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong: the new album is very good but I think my expectations were too high (5 stars maybe ?!?). I love all the jazzy touches of the record, I ... (read more)

Report this review (#2439609) | Posted by emisan | Thursday, August 20, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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