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STEVE THORNE

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Steve Thorne biography
Steve Thorne is a prolific singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from England. He has been the founding member of Colony Earth and The Salamander Project, as well as playing as a solo artist.

Steve's debut album Emotional Creatures Part One, released in 2005, is a great combination of melodic songs, varying influences from Folk to Indie and to Prog Rock, which in these, you can hear notable bands such as Jethro Tull, Peter Gabriel, Tears for Fears, as well as some of modern day artists. Steve was wise enough, to call a good bunch of very talented musicians, as well as having a big fame in the prog world, like Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Liquid Tension), Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard, Genesis, Tears For Fears), Geoff Downes (Asia, Buggles, YES) and some members from IQ and Jadis, which by the way, Steve has contributed to Jadis.

Steve's second album, Emotional Creatures Part Two, follows the same varied style, with again, a wide range of musicians, from well known Prog bands. Somewhat repetitive in ideas, but still, clearly showing a different album.

Steve might not be your usual Prog solo artist, featuring complex structures, nor excessive amount of virtuosity, despite the wide range of musicians contributing. Still a highly enjoyable songwriter, often compared to the mellower songs of Porcupine Tree.



Thanks to Pablo (cacho) for the biography

Steve Thorne official website

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Emotional Creatures: Part OneEmotional Creatures: Part One
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MSI:GIANT ELECTRIC PEA 2005
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Crimes & ReasonsCrimes & Reasons
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101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
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Into The EtherInto The Ether
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Indie Europe/Zoom 2009
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Part Two: Emotional CreaturesPart Two: Emotional Creatures
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Giant Electric Pea 2007
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STEVE THORNE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 34 ratings
Emotional Creatures - Part One
2005
3.51 | 29 ratings
Part Two - Emotional Creatures
2007
3.86 | 25 ratings
Into the Ether
2009
3.67 | 24 ratings
Crimes and Reasons
2012

STEVE THORNE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Emotional Creatures
2005

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STEVE THORNE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Into the Ether by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.86 | 25 ratings

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Into the Ether
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I have a soft spot for this relatively obscure neo-prog artist, his first 3 albums (including this one) are all quite splendid and have been rated nicely. Strange that he is not more well-known because he is a wonderful vocalist, great song writer and surrounds himself with the cream of prog session players (Gavin Harrison, , Pete Trewavas, John Giblin , Nick D'Virgilio, Tony Levin, Gary Chandler, Martin Orford, Geoff Downes, John Jowitt etc...) . He should rate as high as Fish but doesn't have the Dickman's credentials. But think Sean Filkins or even Guy Manning and you get the idea. Both "Emotional Creatures" albums were loaded up with crafty little nuggets, well sung and well played, often memorable. The course has been set for another thoroughly infectious series of progressive songs, not the most intricate stuff around but done to neo-prog perfection. Each song has its own 2 pages in the magnificent booklet with an eloquent photo that does the music enormous justice.

The robust "Kings of Sin" platforms some pressing vocal despair from Thorne, featuring Nick flailing on drums, the master Tony Levin bossing his distinguished bass and Arena's John Mitchell rubbing his guitar. The song's lyrics refer to the hedonistic rock n roll lifestyle of It Bites, progressive sex for the progressive members of this famed progressive band (see photo).

The flimsy "Feathers" is more of a mid-tempo rocker with Jadis' Chandler at the wah-wah guitar stand and Trewavas rumbling his bass along for the ride, a poppy tune with a hugely infectious chorus , a pleasant affair dealing with the fragility of human veils and social mists. Breezy "drivin' down the highway on a sunshiny day" type of feel, a fluttering feather as a side dish. .

"Paper Tiger" is a killer tune, with my revered John Giblin on his patented fretless leading the way, a subtle and gorgeous melody and Thorne showing off some decent pipes especially evident with the colossal chorus. John Beck (It Bites) fiddling with his ivories only add to the suave mood. Steve handles the dripping axe lead rather well, oozing with the appropriate amount of despair and agony. Well done pop-prog !

This is followed by the murky genius of the title track with Nick and Tony laying down a steely, concrete rock foundation for Thorne to exercise his considerable vocal talent, lathering some heady keys and guitars into the mix. Levin's stalking bass is a joy to observe, a four stringed maniac weaving his seductive 'basso profundo' charm. The singing is both angry and anguished, providing some obligatory goose bumps. The pic is spell binding as well.

For those who are uninspired by the numb cold world we live in, the poignancy of "Granite Man" will hit home, as the photo in the booklet depicts some despondent , silver-bearded shaggy man lying on a what seems to be a fountain's pedestal. Gavin proves his massive international fame with some stellar stick work. Amazing again!

"Black Dahlia" is a neo-prog take on the famous Hollywood murder/mystery that continues to fascinate after decades of awareness (songs, books, movies) , the contrast between the sweet and the acrid is quite obvious, a trickily swerving chorus increases the essence of this brooding subject matter, the synths playing the role of seductive horror as if a soundtrack , once again showing the smarts behind the craft, This is no ordinary pop world, not by a longshot as the man is a singer/songwriter/instrumentalist of considerable talent. To prove that his currency is definitely current, the next one, "Sons of Tomorrow" is a rather bleak admittance of where our collective future lies, as politicians play with our lives, sending young eager men to die eagerly, for some oblique "oily" cause. Steve, reading history is like watching a yo-yo, only the killing technology has evolved, while our minds have withered. This can be seen in our new found oxymoronic words such as "smart bombs", "politically correct", "weapons of mass destruction" and "seeing eye drones". To quote Calvin" "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us" .

"Valerie" is the customary love ballad, sweet fragility and sheer loveliness, the accordion adding a nice spice. This is a welcome diversion.

The depressive "Victims" is back to the apocalyptic stupidity of our daily routine, victimized by the fast rat-race we all are asked to live, "not knowing the difference between right or wrong anymore, the sense of being alone, human life is cheap, we are all victims that's for sure". Musically, the production is cinemascopic and embellishes the material to a polished degree. Lennon said "All You Need is Love". Yeah, right !

"The End" is the only weak tune here but the photo of lemming-like precipice jumping is shocking, a gripping acceptation of evil (live backwards) in our routine existence, as if welcoming the release from daily bondage without compromise, austere but bona fide.

After the end, there is the red velvet drape, in a heavily gilded and ornamental theatre of the absurd, the spotlight slowly ebbing in intensity, ready to bud farewell. Forlorn melancholy ??

Over the course of 3 albums, Thorne has showed consistency, the next one may be a masterpiece.

4 Crimson Felt curtains

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 Emotional Creatures - Part One by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.28 | 34 ratings

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Emotional Creatures - Part One
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was a pleasant surprise to say the least. Steve Thorne is a name i've seen over the years helping out bands as a session musician or guest. Anyway this is his first solo album and he's brought in a lot of help. Orford, Cook and Jowitt from IQ,Tony Levin, Geoff Downes, all of JADIS, Nick D'Virgilio and more. Despite all the guests here Steve is the focus with his appealing vocals and great song writing. By the way the cover art here is perfect for the album title. So well done. I'd love to have that blown up and on my wall. I was surprised at how often I though of MARILLION here, Ken Baird also came to mind several times.

"Here They Come" opens with a music box then sounds that are almost the direct opposite including marching styled drums. "God Bless America" is my least favourite lyrically. I like my neighbours to the south. Anyway the song is led by acoustic guitar and vocals. Some good flute too. "Well Outta That" opens with strummed guitar and synths as these urgent vocals come in. Maybe theatrical is the word. He reminds me of Fish at times here. It turns more powerful as the drums become more prominant. Contrasts continue. It kind of spacey before 4 minutes as it settles to the end. "Ten Years" is one of my favourites. Acoustic guitar and fragile vocals along with background synths. It turns fuller then settles again with those haunting synths as contrasts continue. The atmosphere is incredible.

"Last Line" opens with strummed guitar as vocals join in.They get passionate before it kicks in. An emotional track. Organ 2 1/2 minutes in as drums pound. "Julia" is mellow early on then it kicks in at a minute. So moving. Contrasts continue. An aggressive section with vocal melodies late. "Therapy" is such a feel good song. It ends with sampled words and a spacey soundscape. "Every Second Counts" opens where the last song left off with atmosphere and spoken words. A beat is included then it kicks in before 2 minutes. Nice. Some guitar too 4 minutes in.It ends as it began. "Tumbleweeds" opens with acoustic guitar,synths and vocals. It does get fuller but this is all about the lyrics. "Gone" opens with strummed guitar, bass, drums and vocals. It kicks in heavily after a minute as contrasts continue. "Goodbye" opens with some beautiful acoustic guitar melodies as reserved vocals join in. Synths too. The atmosphere is powerful 3 minutes in to the end. Gulp. Birds come in singing reminding me of the gorgeous cover art.

A very solid 4 stars. Highly recommended.

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 Part Two - Emotional Creatures by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 29 ratings

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Part Two - Emotional Creatures
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Singer/songwriter meets prog rock? Well, thatīs the impression this album gave after several spins. Not that the formula is mature: there are some tracks that are much more in the singer/songwriter vein while others are pure progressive. Anyway, itīs an interesting work and worth checking out. I was first atracted to this CD because the many famous special guests it includes, it is not everyday you see people like Nick D'Virgilio (Spockīs Beard), Geoff Downes (Asia), John Mitchell (Arena, Frost), Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel), Pete Trewavas (Marillion, Transatlantic), Gary Chandler (Jadis), Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) and Martin Orford (IQ), among others, playing on the same record, is it? But they all act here like players only, for the CD is the brainchild of Steve Thorne, songwriter.

At first I must admit that this work did not appeal much to me. It seemed too modern and superficial. However, after repeated listenings I was able to understand that there was more than meets the eye (or ear). The guy knows how to craft fine tunes and give them the necessary arrangement and instrumentation to make it more than just īsongsī. Actually, as the name points out, this is a conceptual work, the second part of his Emotional Creatures, part 1. I didnīt hear any of his previous records, but this one is quite well done and perforned. It sounds simple, but it is not. Actually the CD demands the listenerīs full atention to be fully appreciated. But it is worthwhile.

Conclusion: although I canīt say it is one of my favorite CDs, I must admit that Part Two: Emotional Creatures has its charm and so does his formula. As I said before, the mix does not always work, but heīs heading an interesting direction and Iīm looking forward to hear his next albums. I hope that he can develop from here and come up with something unique. Promising. 3 stars.

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 Part Two - Emotional Creatures by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 29 ratings

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Part Two - Emotional Creatures
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Part 2 of the Emotional Creatures saga.

I really enjoyed, somewhat unexpectedly, the debut "Emotional Creatures Part 1" and it remains firmly entrenched in my playlists. As some have already mentioned, Steve Thorne is a truthful projection of artistry in its most precious and pure form, a delightful tunesmith that chisels rough cuts that are adroitly adorned and polished with proggy shine from a shimmering cast of guest musicians from IQ (Orford), Jadis (Jowitt, Chandler, Christey) , Yes (Downes), Spock's Beard (Meros, D'Virgilio), King Crimson (Levin), Porcupine Tree's Gavin Harrison, Pete Trewavas from Marillion , Arena's John Mitchell and many more?. These are all heartfelt songs that have meaning and substance, dealing with ills of modern society and enveloped in a highly original delivery, quite reminiscent of similar multi- instrumentalist/songwriters like Canada's Ken Baird, Bert Heinen (Like Wendy) from Holland or England's Guy Manning. This is not the rampaging Anekdoten onslaught, the exuberant Flower Kings epic romps or even the moody PTree daze, though these gentle tracks will recall Wilson's more ballad oriented material (without all the gloomy apathy and the IV drip haze). The structure of the songs are pretty classic, an acoustic guitar spine that highlights the lyrical material and the emotions within the vocal delivery, perhaps not proggy enough for some but totally endearing even within the first spins, as the musical honesty is so appealing in this formulaic, over branded MP3 world of ours. This one is a denser progression from Part1 with velvet slivers of misty mood that enthralls like some sonic narcotic and seduces the jaded listener into immediate attention. From the opening instrumental waltz, cleverly titled "Toxicana Apocalypso"(another- this time wordless- anti- hard drug rant), the improvement becomes immediately evident, swirling melodies deftly played by the guests with utter bravado. Tony Levin's bass looping madly, intense drumming from D'Virgilio and same raging Downes organ blasts define this lofty opener, a whirlwind of delight to follow. On the splendidly vaporous "Wayward", the illustrious Gavin Harrison pummels along with Tony (what a glorious tandem!) in a silky groove that may recall prime Roxy Music, giving Thorne the platform to shine vocally, gentle one moment and raspy the next. An amazing track that exudes class, this is a superb ride. The anthemic "Crossfire" retains a discreet sense of elegance with Geoff Downes piano providing the main setting, a turbulent tirade about fallen soldiers and wasted youth caught in the crossfire. Thorne's voice soars majestically, expressing with troubled despair the plight of a once great empire. John Mitchell blitzes mightily on lead guitar, a quixotic solo that defies description. On the perplexing "Roundabout" (not the Yes song, bubba!), the synthesized effects become intoxicating, a freefall into the swirling miasma of life where Thorne emotes courageously in a style reminiscent of Fish or even his Marillion replacement Steve Hoggarth. Very spacey and spirited. The rather nasty "Hounded" is a colossal slab of progressive folk, actually closer to Porcupine Tree, Thorne's pipes rasping ragingly at the pain of misguided love while the Spocks Beard rhythm section pounds away in revolted anger. Jadis' Gary Chandler provides a mathematic guitar solo that bridges the gap in spectacular fashion, all tone and texture, as the Rickenbacker bellows beneath. The howling choir effects are beguiling. "All the Wisemen" is another little lyrical jewel, a sardonic stab at our alleged leaders (who seem to wind up causing more damage than good), in a simple veneer enflamed by a Mitchell solo that pains convincingly as Levin's bass rumbles proudly along. Thorne shows his vocal talents here in unabashed fashion. We have a new wizard, a true star! A quirky change of pace is next , "Great Ordeal" being a mandolin-led folk ditty that is as English as one can hope for, dirt simple and unpretentious. Both "6am Your Time" and "Solace" are short instrumentals that quantify the musical qualities of the artist , a pot- pourri of sound that does not serve as filler but rather as a mood setting for the final turn, first the staggering "The White Dove Song", perhaps Steve's masterstroke up to now. A sassy/brassy piece which sounds right out of the Sgt Pepper/Magical Mystery time zone, with a smiling Peter Trewavas bass leading the charge, lush orchestrations galore (viola, violin, cello, trumpet, French horns and bass trombone) , providing the stage for a monstrous Thorne delivery (a huge chorus and devilish verse) and another organ romp from the Asia guy. Absolutely ballsy move on the arrangement and it's pulled off oh so successfully! The finale is another stunner, "Sandheads", the longest track here clocking in over 7 minutes that ultimately encompasses the genius of this "to watch closely" artist. This is where the two album theme of the 'emotional creatures' concept is explained within the lyrics and providing closure and explanation. This being a closing chapter, Thorne will be moving into different realms on the next album. Another fully orchestrated tirade on the human condition, the lyrics focus on the contradiction in the all aspects of societal life, showcasing clearly why we can be fallible yet lovely at times, a complex animal that seemingly inspires both love and hate. A thoroughly enjoyable musical adventure. The artwok is similar to part one, the production first rate all around . I look forward to future "thorny" albums from this talented gent, this man needs to be discovered by you all now! 4.5 tender mortals

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 Emotional Creatures - Part One by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.28 | 34 ratings

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Emotional Creatures - Part One
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Part 1 Emotional Creatures

Road technician goes his own way, as Steve Thorne spent many years as a Pendragon concert stalwart and courageously embarked on a prolific solo career, with a little help from his many friends and musical acquaintances. There is a bevy of illustrious names that most fans will recognize Paul Cook, Martin Orford and John Jowitt of IQ, the Jadis crew are all here with the addition of Gary Chandler and Steve Christey , drummer Nick D'Virgilio of Spocks Beard as well as Geoff Downes of Asia and the inimitable Tony Levin. Not a bad lineup ! Thorne's singing style appears to veer near Fish territory, albeit a mellower version than the wild Scotsman, poignant lyrics and passionate vocals are his main signatures. Upon first spin, the perception is confusing because it is surely far from "deep" acts such as Porcupine Tree or the other bands mentioned above whose members guest here. You need to listen to this a few times and then suddenly conclude that many of the songs bloom like a fine wine, enticing the sonic palate with lingering staying power. Both "Ten Years" and "Julia" are exceptional pieces that I discovered only after hearing them incrusted in my brain while working, unaware at first of their impact. On the masterful "Gone" bassist John Jowitt (of IQ, Arena and Jadis fame) shows why he is so highly touted and revered in the prog community, his Rickenbacker dueling with a fretless bass in some tribal demonstration of presence and power. His handling of both is dizzying, certainly a unique display of the "basso profundo" at its best. (I will state it again ad nauseam, that prog bassists are gleaming as well as creative, twisting not only technique but tone as well). The other jewel here is the gut wrenching anti-cocaine anthem "Last Line", a rousing and bitter rant against the ravages of blow, with imperative lyrics and disturbing vocals. This is primo stuff that defies being ignored, a passionate tirade against this evil powder. "Therapy" is another grower, a prog ballad that shines lusciously and remains hummable after only a few spins. Days later, it remains moored in the shores of my memory bank. The sweeping mandolin caressed "Tumbleweeds" is also an extremely pleasant ride, emitting overt folk tendencies that wink at Guy Manning. The sarcastic "God Bless America" wanders into anti-Bush territory first explored by colleagues IQ on the quirky "Harvest of Souls" from Dark Matter, walking the thin line between loving and hating the USA (it's always been the government not the people, yanks!). Everything is delicately appealing, great production, astounding artwork from Tony Lythgoe and sizzling playing by all the invitees who strive not to overshadow the delicacy of Thorne's songs. This is personal music that will charm and seduce the casual listener as well as a fine example of the successful simplicity of prog . Ideal escape when you need not challenge your ears and mind to excruciating complexity and just want to float in succulent serenity. Very unexpected and very impressed, I am! 4 arousing spikes.

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 Part Two - Emotional Creatures by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 29 ratings

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Part Two - Emotional Creatures
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by ingmin68

3 stars WAVES OF EMOTIONS I have kept this "Emotional Creatures #2" in my shopping cart for a while...until I read the news that the 3rd album from Steve Thorne is next to land...so I decided to give it a try. Also the musician line-up was so impressive to read (gosh! A squadron of favorite proggers!). The final impression is that I like this album, I like this kind of music. Not too dark, even joyful in some cases, maybe easy to reach...but not banal. Deep basses, no distorted guitars, melodic keybords and back sounds...not really in the heavy side of prog, at all. But with some blistering moments, like the fantastic and blowing final 2min 30sec of "Hounded", with full-fledged band weapons firing.

Like waves, the songs of "Emotional Creatures #2" are not taking the listener by storm, they are not really deep, but they are anyway stirring and moving the great ocean of music. And Steve Thorne keeps the helm with good talent. Do I need to add that pretty soon the next Steve Thorne will be added to my shopping cart? 3 Solid stars, and recommended to whom likes melodies in prog music.

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 Part Two - Emotional Creatures by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 29 ratings

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Part Two - Emotional Creatures
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Steve Thorne is barely known for Prog listeners majority. Some know them as "that guy who served as a guitar tech in ARENA / PENDRAGON crew". This is unfair. You must give his CD a spin. Or few more :)

Steve plays songs, not your Progressive Bombastic Show-Off Kind Of Thing. LastFMs tags claim he's a "singer-songwriter", and this is rather true. His style is close to PORCUPINE TREE mellowest songs, less dark but not weaker for sure. So, 3 stars here only for the fact that it's not quite Prog (in my book at least). Nice and enjoyable tunes, some are pretty catchy, in best Neo / Crossover Prog traditions (just look at the list of the men who helped him with his album!). If you want to make yourself an hour of good singing / playing but feel incomfortable if it could be not Prog ;), then take Steve's CD and enjoy. This part is slightly better than the first one was, so all I can say is recommended!

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 Emotional Creatures - Part One by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.28 | 34 ratings

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Emotional Creatures - Part One
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars This is the debut album of Steve Thorne,a rather accesible album for al the fans of prog rock or even rock in general.It contains some good melodies,very carefully built musical arrangement,Thorne's vocals are also quite good with a wide range of emotions but the problem is it's not progressive at all...no time signatures,no complex structures,no breaks,just straightforward songs with a variety of styles...A simply good effort but this guy shows that he has talent for much more prog situations...

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 Part Two - Emotional Creatures by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.51 | 29 ratings

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Part Two - Emotional Creatures
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by pirkka

4 stars Great modern symphonic prog!

Steve Thorne did it again! The first part of emotional creatures was a fine debut album. Beautiful folkish prog rock with great emotion and fine melodies. Whith the guest musicians of that caliber you can only expect perfect effort. In part two there are more interesting guests from todays top prog groups and after a couple of listenings I must admit that this is even better than the part one. Music is bigger. More diverse. More symphonic.

If you like bands like SB and the ones the guests come I highly recommend you to give this a try. You might just like what you hear! Four and a half stars really.

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 Emotional Creatures - Part One by THORNE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.28 | 34 ratings

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Emotional Creatures - Part One
Steve Thorne Crossover Prog

Review by jheels

2 stars This album is OK but on the whole a bit disappointing, the vocals and musicianship are good, but the overall feel of the album is that of a winter's rainy day, rather miserable and a little boring.

The songs are all rather similar in feel and the subject matter is also rather repetitive with a melancholy air about them.

There is little change of dynamics on the album, and for what they are allowed to contribute, the guest artists might as well not be there. JADIS fans buying this CD because of the presence of Gary Chandler, will be disappointed.

This album could have been so much better with move variation in song subject and dynamics.

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