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FROST*

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Frost* biography
"Nothing against pop music, it's like a family car, reliable and safe. But now and then you want to rent a Ferrari and race it along the Nuerburgring to prove to yourself that you're still alive. PROG IS MY FERRARI." Words uttered by famed UK producer Jem Godfrey--the man behind ATOMIC KITTENS' "Whole Again", HOLLY VANCE'S "Kiss Kiss" and even movie soundtracks. In his quest for the high powered engine, he banded together two of neo progressive's most experienced and gifted musicians and anchored them with a drummer who is quickly making waves within the music community. What he gave us was FROST*.

Undoubtedly, Jem's mission statement for FROST* was to create new and exciting progressive music that blends the spirit of the old with the sonic onslaught of the new. This (in part) had to be achieved by throwing away the notion that progressive music has to sound like something from the 70's. Godfrey states, "Most prog bands sound as if the last thirty years never happened. How can that be progressive?" On the other hand, Jem's experience as a producer has taught him to hit hard and to hit quick. "It's much more difficult to write pop hits than most people think. You have to get to the point as quickly and as effectively as possible. When you can tell people something inspiring in three minutes, using a wonderful melody and wrapping it in great production, then you've got a hit. I don't see why it can't be the same with prog".

Diving in with reckless abandon, Godfrey purchased 40 CD's by the leading bands from the past several years, one being KINO'S Picture. This prompted him to e-mail John Mitchell (ARENA; THE URBANE; KINO) to invite him to play on his record. The same series of events led Godfrey to contact bassist John Jowitt and drummer Andy Edwards of IQ. Although Godfrey had already done some work on the album with John Boyes, a former band-mate of Jem's in Freefall, the acquisition of the remaining three meant that Jem's vision was now beaming with radiant clarity.

Milliontown was completed and released in the States on July 18, 2006 and in Europe on July 24. Check the reviews on Prog Archives yourself...Milliontown was an overwhelming success within the progressive community. Cygnus X-2 (who was the first to review Milliontown) states, "In the end, Milliontown is a great debut from this upcoming neo prog force. I can't wait for the next release from this group, as they seem to have a long, fruitful, and very high energy career ahead of them." By the end of 2006, FROST* had conquered. DPRP's year-end poll had them at #2 (behind THE FLOWER KINGS' and ahead of highly regarded bands like THE TANGENT, SPOCK'S BEARD, and TOOL). Additionally, 3 tracks off the debut were voted in the top 10 (1. "Milliontown", 6. "Black Light Machine" and 10. "Hyperventilate")-- a rare feat.

Hopes were quickly dashed, however, when Jem Godfrey announced on his MySpace blog that due to his increasing professional and personal commitments elsewhere, FROST* would be dissolved. This sent shockwaves throughout the progressive community; however, in early 2007, Godfrey had a change of heart and announced that FROST* was indeed destined to carry on. Added to the already rock solid lineup is guitarist Declan Burke of the band DARWIN'S RADIO and plans are to release Experiments in Mass Appeal sometime in 2008.

Eric Walker

Frost* official website

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FROST* shows & tickets


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FROST* discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FROST* top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 329 ratings
Milliontown
2006
3.63 | 237 ratings
Experiments in Mass Appeal
2008

FROST* Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 47 ratings
The Philadelphia Experiment
2010

FROST* Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.83 | 19 ratings
The Rockfield Files
2013

FROST* Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FROST* Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 9 ratings
Tour Sampler 2008
2008
4.61 | 15 ratings
Frost*Fest Live
2009

FROST* Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Rockfield Files by FROST* album cover DVD/Video, 2013
4.83 | 19 ratings

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The Rockfield Files
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Frost - The Rockfield Files (2013)

Neo-progressive rock never sounded more brutal. I doesn't happen to often, but I fell intimidated when seeing this live in the studio recording on youtube. Frost is a supergroup I got interested in because of John Mitchell, of whom I adore the contributions to my favorite Arena albums. In this group he is however an equal to the brilliant & energetic Craig Blundell on drums, Jem Godfrey on keyboards and Nathan King on bass.

Frost plays a hybrid of neo-progressive rock, fusion and symphonic metal that is highly sophisticated and keeps fresh and surprising throughout this set. The key-element is however the energetic and enthusiastic feel the music has, only enhanced by the footage of the studio - which shows a professional band having fun whilst playing this very technically advanced sort of progressive music. The drums of Crag Blundell are the best I've ever heard in a modern progressive rock group; wild, expressive and getting every-one excited. I personally don't like some of the vocals of Jem Godfrey, but that's just because of the poppy tone of voice. Not because the quality of the vocals. The guitars of Mitchell sound great and seeing him perform in such a sophisticated fusion landscapes is just amazing. Nathan King successfully finds passages to show his great skill on the bass-guitar in a constructive way.

Right from the first moments of 'Hyperventilate' the band manages to impose their greatness on the listener and during the coming hour the group doesn't leave you in doubt for even a short moment. Five stars.

More reviews requested. The concert can be watched freely on youtube.

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 Milliontown by FROST* album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.78 | 329 ratings

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Milliontown
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Another album I became aware of from PA's top fifty popular artists in the last 24 hours, the reviews of this album indicated that this was an album to be excited about. In particular, the quote in the artist profile from Jem Godfrey about most prog bands acting like the last 30 years in music didn't happen had me wondering how this progressive rock artist would approach making a prog album.

Making a blind purchase, I had it in my ear buds the day after I got it and listened. The opening instrumental really made a deep impression. Opening with what sounds like a wooden flute, the song instantly reminded me of a predawn mountain lake with the first light in the sky over silhouetted mountains. A delicate tinkling piano melody suggests that sunrise is drawing near and then as the sun comes up the bass and treble notes create a beautiful melody. As the music builds, light percussion joins and then suddenly the music erupts in a full scale melodic, almost metal sound full of richness. This is just the beginning. As the music develops, there is more piano, some explosive synthesizer solos, searing guitar solos that remind me of Steve Vai, voluminous rock in the vein of Steve Morse, and some marvelous neo-prog rock sounds. By the time the track wraps up, I am eager to hear what will come next, my ears practically smoking.

However, the next three tracks are a let down. "No Me No You" starts out promising enough with some manipulation of speaking voices that might have come from a Butthole Surfers album. Then heavy chugging guitar and the song that sounds very mainstream. The chorus contrasts the edge of the verses by being more melodic. The vocals have the slightly raw sound that many mainstream, popular rock bands have these days, the kind that sometimes sound like there is far too much breath coming out for the words sung. It's okay but reminds me too much of what I could expect to hear on Vancouver's rock radio station if I were back home. The middle part gets interesting but it's an insert in a heavy pop song.

"Snowman" just goes right by me. Each time I listen to it I lose concentration and think of other things. It has a kind of synthesized pan flute sound (two notes only) that sounds like a flute was recorded at the highest volume possible and then sampled. Thankfully, this is the shortest song on the album.

"The Other Me" is also a mainstream heavy rock song and unless I actually play it I can't recall how it goes either. But things really start looking up by "Black Light Machine". Where the first track, "Hyperventilate" gave us such rich music, "Black Light Machine" now does so with a song, too. At just over ten minutes, there's room to let the music move through different phases and show off once more the band's ability to shift effortlessly from light piano passages to thundering heavy rock to synthesizer-driven neo-prog. After listening to this again this morning, I was inspired to put this song on a playlist to burn to CD for long drives.

The last track is an epic over 26 minutes long. "Milliontown" doesn't introduce anything we don't already know. In a way, it's like the best parts of the album condensed into one composition, the Coles Notes version of the album, sort of. We have more of the heavy pop music, the wonderful synthesizer solos, the Steve Vai guitar, the prog metal pounding, and everything else except for the flutes, real or sampled. My problem with this song is that it seems to just keep going on and on. It's like ten songs chopped and stitched together and reminds me of how Transatlantic's long songs sometimes feel. While it's nice to hear such creativity, I feel like they just looked for any cool studio jam part to fit in. There's even a short passage of maybe sixteen bars that sounds like classic Genesis.

Without looking at the time counter you'll be kept wondering when the song will wrap up. There's a big anthemic keyboard melody that sounds like a great finale, but the song keeps going. There are some great guitar and synthesizer solos, and the song continues. The melody introduced at the beginning reprises, and the song continues. Even when the last big wallop seems to herald the close of the song, it is followed by a return of the piano and another minute of playing until the last note is sustained for yet another 17 seconds before the track finally and truly comes to its temporal conclusion. There's some excellent music but as the band dispenses with the usual practice of dividing epic songs into parts at least in title, it's a bit puzzling why so many musical themes were necessary.

The only other slight complaint about the album is that it is produced really loud. Except for the pretty piano parts, the volume of everything is loud like a bombardment of music. On the one hand it makes the album seem full and rich. On the other hand, it makes any kind of subtlety nearly impossible. That beautiful opening with flute and piano is a wonder.

"Hyperventilate" continues to be a joy to listen to and now I have come to appreciate "Black Light Machine". But the rest of the album doesn't exactly beg for repeat plays unless I want to undertake the task of inundating my brain with the extensive "Milliontown".

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 The Rockfield Files by FROST* album cover DVD/Video, 2013
4.83 | 19 ratings

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The Rockfield Files
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by progpositivity
Prog Reviewer

5 stars If a tree falls while a band performs music in the desert without a gig or an audience, but there IS a camera present and a superb desert studio which is leveraged to immaculately record the performance for posterity, is the result a "live" DVD/album and do you want to hear it?

If your answer to the former more philosophical question was an emphatic "no", please allow me to recommend the more conventional Frost live recording "The Philadelphia Experiment".

Even so, If you appreciate skillful performances of fresh modern melodic progressive rock, you may not know it yet, but I can't help believing that when all is said and done, the answer to the second question will still be 'yes'! You DO want to hear The Rockfield Files. You want to hear it very much!!

For anyone new to Frost, although Jem Godfrey's keyboard skills are formidable, his approach is distinctly modern. Truth be told, a few of the percussive keyboard introductory lines would fit in fairly well as an integral part of a pop hit sung by some 'diva of the month'. Soon enough, however, they get interwoven into a tapestry of symphonic and metallic neo-prog elements before launching into virtuosic prog rock territory and never looking back. Such sonic appropriation may risk stretching the ears of conventional old-school proggers a bit farther outside their comfort zones than some would prefer. But it is also precisely the kind of 'neo-prog' that is essential if the genre is to retain any reasonable claim to the pretense of being even remotely 'progressive'.

Buyer beware. This is neither a 'live' DVD nor a 'live' CD in the conventional senses of the terms. It is essentially a studio album with some new compositions and a few side recordings of previously released pieces. Much - if not all - of it, however, appears to have been recorded simultaneously in single takes, hence the 'live' conceit (which admittedly somehow succeeds in making the recycling of material more palatable.)

For longtime Frost fans, this release's appeal is two-fold: 1) finally getting new tracks from one of the most fresh, unique, and accomplished modern USA prog bands and 2) getting to see them create such immaculate sonic perfection (dare I say it?) 'live in the studio'.

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 The Rockfield Files by FROST* album cover DVD/Video, 2013
4.83 | 19 ratings

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The Rockfield Files
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by richardh
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I only own the debut album of this band Milliontown which at the time I found a bit too harsh for my delicate ears. That was 2006 and perhaps 7 years later I am finding my taste moving more towards a heavier sound. Frost, lead by keyboard player and occasional singer Jem Godfrey, attempt to get away from the normal prog formulas ignoring the memo from prog central of how epic tracks should be structured (see the the interviews on the DVD and you will understand my comment!). In fact at times its hard to actually hard to discern any structure and it feels like a Dream Theater album with some muscular instrument work outs very apparent. John Mitchell is undoubtedly a brilliant guitarist and when you add the excellent drumming of Craig Blundell and rock solid basswork of Nathan King you have an impressive lineup of musicians feeling very much like a supergroup to me.

This was recorded at Rockfield studios and features probably the best two tracks from Milliontown including the very long title track and Black Light Machine which I love. There is also some fresh material for a proposed new album. Pocket Sun sounds a bit like Muse at times which is a good thing! The music is at times warm and at times very heavy with lots of dynamics.The production is immaculate and honestly I haven't heard a better sounding album and DVD in a long time. The DVD is the superbly edited record of the tracks being played in the studio. They have a lot of fun and that is evident. The DVD features interviews with John Mitchell and Jem Godfrey in the back of a Rolls Royce. This is lot of fun. Jem also introduces the songs on the DVD and gives you some fascinating insights into his writing as well as his feelings and observations about modern prog.

This is just so good it begs to be listened to.Prog needs this band and we as prog fans need this band. An essential part of modern progressive rock.

nb please see the thead on the forum under prog news. This gives details of how you can buy this.

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 Milliontown by FROST* album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.78 | 329 ratings

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Milliontown
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is a new band that has been put together by Jem Godfrey, and while this may appear to many to be his first foray into progressive music he has actually been around for quite a while. He formed Freefall back in 1986, and only eight weeks later they opened for IQ. Over the years they supported the likes of Galahad, Ark and Geoff Mann, but although they had three independent releases they never hit the heights and they called it a day in 1991. That didn't stop his interest in music and more recently has been working on more profitable areas. So far he has successfully co-composed and co-produced pop hits, e.g. for Atomic Kitten, whose number one hit sold over two million copies alone. Apart from that he worked for Blue, Ronan Keating, Lulu and Samantha Mumba as well as scoring further chart success with Holly Vallance ("Kiss Kiss"), Atomic Kitten and Shane Ward (winner of the talent show "X-Factor"). When he decided that he needed something a little more stretching he bought a load of prog CDs and started looking for musicians. The result is that Andy Edwards and John Jowitt of IQ provide the hard hitting rhythm section, with guitarist John Mitchell (Arena, Kino etc) also in tow. JJ and John have always enjoyed playing together, reliving their Arena days, and it shows. Jem must have opened for JJ, either in Ark or IQ (or both), and has relived some of those Freefall days by asking John Boyes to also guest on guitars.

What I didn't expect at all was the complexity and sheer brilliance of opener "Hyperventilate". It starts almost dreamily, with sounds evocative of native American flutes before the piano tinkles in gently. Gradually Jem expands the music, playing up and down the keyboards in a gentle introduction, until a repeated sequence starts to take prominence. This builds until John comes crashing in with guitars following the same pattern then all hell breaks loose and it is off and devil take the hindmost. This is a soaring climatic instrumental with guitars and keyboards swapping roles while Andy and JJ provide total rock support. Just when you think that there can't be anymore the songs lifts, turns and then implodes on itself and falls back to piano and then it is off again. At the end of this song I was already in awe ? could this be the best prog debut since Spock's Beard? The other songs show a more structured side to the band, but one that is very hard hitting and riff hungry. This is a style of music that could probably be called prog metal, but it is far removed from Threshold as the melodies are stronger and this is packed full of hooks and is totally infectious. Jem may have written all of the material but he has surrounded himself with guys that know how to deliver, and the result is an album that may only be six songs long but this is sheer quality. If ever you doubted that the British prog scene could kick out something new and exciting then you should know that this is just incredible.

Feedback #89 2006

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 Experiments in Mass Appeal by FROST* album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 237 ratings

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Experiments in Mass Appeal
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Others have already noted that Experiments In Mass Appeal sounds a little like an attempt by Frost* to clamber onto the back of the New Prog bandwagon, as pioneered by the likes of Muse and The Mars Volta - trouble is, by this point even Muse and the Volta themselves were beginning to lose their lustre, and this stab at the New Prog quiet/loud sound by Frost* doesn't really convince me. There's decent performances on here, but I'm not sure the songwriting approach is as polished as that on Milliontown. The attempt to create music which is distinctly proggy and yet at the same time quite accessible is an admirable, but I don't really think it succeeds at doing either.

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 Milliontown by FROST* album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.78 | 329 ratings

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Milliontown
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Frost* is Jem Godfrey's baby; having established a lucrative career as a songwriter for major pop stars, Godfrey wanted an outlet through which he could perform some of his own songs and develop material with a different artistic direction than his day job. Luckily, various veterans of IQ and Arena decided to help out, and the end result is the Milliontown album. It's a rather poppy sort of neo-prog album, with Godfrey's ear for a good hook benefitting the songwriting; to be honest, it feels a little lightweight and insubstantial for my tastes, but fans of the poppier end of neo-prog may find a lot to like here.

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 Experiments in Mass Appeal by FROST* album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 237 ratings

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Experiments in Mass Appeal
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by 1791 Overture

2 stars As the title suggests, this is something of a "nu prog album," sharing elements with the likes of Muse and The Mars Volta. These influences now override the neo-prog foundation of Milliontown (already slightly stretched) to such an extent that I wouldn't call this neo-prog as a whole, though certainly some sections remain so. This isn't a bad thing - allegiance to a genre isn't commendable in itself.

That said, I don't feel that the songwriting has improved from the last record. There's a new vocalist, but he isn't any more impressive than the previous, and again we scarcely hear his voice without being somehow distorted, which comes off more as a crutch than anything. The entire record is in fact over-produced, a criticism that's especially biting in this genre where squeaky-clean production is already the norm. There's just a constant wall of studio-filtered sound that gets tiring. Quickly. The melodies are also not spectacular, and don't justify all the energy and WILD DYNAMIC CHANGES shoved onto them - we get sudden shifts from soft to loud, but why? They don't service the songs, and they aren't particularly interesting. It should also be noted that the record's "loud mode" doesn't come off as crushing or energetic or anything like that - it's just loud, with a wall of power chords perpetually muddying it.

I actually want to like this record, as it has many of the surface elements I enjoy - neo-prog with pop influences that's hard hitting with lots of "modern" elements. But it's just not good, and repeated listens haven't allowed me to warm up to it. The worst of the record is probably Toys, which is unbelievably uninspired - listen to that if you want to hear the brunt of my criticism, and if you can stomach that without hating it, then maybe the rest of the record won't seem as bad to you. As for me, I'm giving this two stars, if only because I feel that one star is too extreme for such a professional record performed by such competent musicians.

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 Milliontown by FROST* album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.78 | 329 ratings

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Milliontown
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by Richens

5 stars This is the album that reintroduced me to modern prog a couple of years ago. To my ears, this is one of the greatest albums of the 21st century so far, along with Big Big Train's 2009 album 'The Underfall Yard'. However, don't misunderstand me. These two albums are very different from one another. The songs on 'The Underfall Yard' gradually burrow into your consciousness and stay there forever. The music on 'Milliontown' takes a very different approach. Metaphorically speaking, Jem Godfrey picks up a sledgehammer etched with the words POP, scratches the words POP out until they are barely legible and then scrapes the word PROG! over the top of the word POP. He then proceeds to bash you around the ears with said sledgehammer. Yes it's PROG but you can still see the POP underneath it. And it is good! In fact it is so good it switched me on to the whole prog scene again after years of disillusionment with music as a whole. I like melody and the melodies in this beauty just kick ass. I like harmony and luckily, so does Jem. It has got everything that I look for in my music and more. I cannot fault it. I refuse to fault it. Every song is superb, brilliantly produced and executed.

The opening track 'Hyperventilate' gives an indication of what is to come. Fantastic track. I just adore 'Snowman' for its quirkiness. I haven't heard quirkiness like this in years and it works brilliantly.

The last two tracks 'Black Light Machine' and Milliontown are masterpieces of music of any genre. I cannot even put into words how brilliant I think the track 'Milliontown' is. I have to say that I am massive fan of this album. I can't admit to being a fan of all of Jem Godfrey's work (yes I'm talking about Jem's daytime job!) but Frost* changed my life and I can only thank him for that. A classic. A masterpiece. Great prog or great pop, whatever it is, to me it is an essential part of any music collection. I think I said the same thing about 'The Underfall Yard'. But it's true! God, I hope Jem gets his health back and resurrects Frost*. I really miss them!

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 Experiments in Mass Appeal by FROST* album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 237 ratings

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Experiments in Mass Appeal
Frost* Neo-Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Experiments in Mass Appeal" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Frost*. The album was released in November 2008 by InsideOut. I wasnt necessarily expecting a follow up album to "Milliontown (2006)", as I was under the impression that Frost* was a project more than an actual band, but as the lineup is more or less the same as the one that recorded the debut album (except for the new lead vocalist Declan Burke), I guess I was wrong in that assumption. In addition to bandleader/ keyboard player/ vocalist Jem Godfrey, Frost* consists of members from IQ, Arena, Kino...etc.

The music on the album is hook oriented progressive rock. Frost* very successfully combine hard rocking progressive rock (bordering metal at times) with clever pop melody hooks. The most pop oriented tracks like "Falling Down" and "Toys" come off a bit banale to me, while the more progressive tracks like the opening title track, "Welcome to Nowhere", "Pocket Sun" and "Dear Dead Days" are pretty impressive. The very pop oriented ballad type track "Saline" is a very well composed song and while its bordering sirupy, Frost* pull it off. The vocals and the vocal harmonies are pleasant and well sounding and the musicianship on the album is generally very impressive. But the professional sound production (clean, synth driven and powerful) and the way the songs are composed also deserve respect. "Experiments in Mass Appeal" is through and through a very professional sounding quality release. Its up to debate if the pop elements are a bit too dominant, but Im sure thats an aquired taste. Personally I like Frost* the most when they rock out or play their progressive stuff.

Compared to "Milliontown" I find "Experiments in Mass Appeal" slightly less interesting, but I still have great respect for how well produced, well written and well played the album is. Id say a 3.5 star rating is warranted. If Frost* were ever to make a fully progressive rock oriented album and skip a couple of the most banale pop elements, I think my interest in the band would increase significantly. They certainly have the right tools to succeed in a mission like that.

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