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Ceiling Unlimited biography
US band CEILING UNLIMITED was formed back in 2004, and have honed their craft practicing as well as being an active item in the live circuit since then. Their aim is to craft and create music that speaks to the heart, and followers have likened aspects of their music to bands like Yes, Renaissance and Pink Floyd.

Ceiling Unlimited released their self-titled debut album in August 2010. Their current line-up, as of September 2010, consists of Amy King (vocals) Nancy Scorcia (vocals, guitar) David Hartwell (guitar) Chris Brower (bass), Tom Bitondo (keyboards) and Jason Brower (drums, percussion).

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3.20 | 5 ratings
Ceiling Unlimited

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ceiling Unlimited by CEILING UNLIMITED album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.20 | 5 ratings

Ceiling Unlimited
Ceiling Unlimited Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US outfit CEILING UNLIMITED was formed back in 2004, but for the first few years of its existence it stayed pretty well below the surface as far as attention goes. Entering the final stage of a talent competition hosted by music television channel VH1 gave the band somewhat more of a public presence, but the main prize of opening for Yes in 2008 wasn't quite within its grasp at that point. Next up for the band was to assemble an album, and in 2010 this next step was finalized in the shape of its self-titled debut production. As is more and more customary these days, the band decided to release the album themselves, as a limited edition CD and with more of an emphasis on the digital marketplace.

Amy King is among the best less known lead vocalists I've encountered in the progressive rock universe, a singer that many could and probably should hold in envy. And those fond of strong female lead vocals used in art rock creations with a distinct mainstream orientation and expression should find the first album by Ceiling Unlimited to be one well worth taking note of. Slick, melodic and harmonic throughout, but with subtle details of the kind those fond of sophisticated rock will appreciate.

 Ceiling Unlimited by CEILING UNLIMITED album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.20 | 5 ratings

Ceiling Unlimited
Ceiling Unlimited Crossover Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Let me first say that Ceiling Unlimited's debut is not at all what I expected having read descriptions of them. They sound absolutely nothing like Yes, Renaissance, or Pink Floyd- nothing. So whom do they sound like? That's not easy to say. Paradoxically, I would not call this band an especially original one, but I draw a blank when it comes to drawing comparisons. My descriptions must suffice. In terms of sound, the band blends progressive rock with countrified East Coast beach music- a unusual formula to be sure. The unassuming compositions benefit from skilled but down-to-earth musicians; nothing is over-the-top. Some will consider this "ordinariness" a failing, but I don't see it that way, as the band operates well together and doesn't choke their music with grandiose fluff- nor should they. The musicians shine individually at times, but they have sense enough to keep the spotlight on the vocal melodies, which is without a doubt their strongest element. Amy King has a generally soft but husky voice and she showcases her range throughout the album. She reminds me of Marcia Griffiths, a reggae singer, and Jan Pettey, a country singer from my hometown. I'd say the greatest flaw to this album is the lyrics, which are populated with clichés. I was initially prepared to stamp this album with three stars, but I like to be patient in reviewing- this is one of those cases where patience has paid off, as each subsequent listen was more delightful than the last. This is because Ceiling Unlimited knows how to craft melodies and support it with engaging performances, laden with perfectly executed vocal harmonies and delectable but deferential solos from the instrumentalists. Some will question this band's progressiveness; some will even shrink away from their homegrown sound or (understandably) eschew them for their cliché lyrics. So while I realize this album will definitely not please everyone, it pleased me.

"As the Clouds Drifted By" The opener relies on the jaunty strength of the piano and rhythm section. Tasty lead guitar adds some traditional East Coast flair.

"Dream Surrender" I was humming this song after the very first time I heard it. It is incredibly catchy in an upbeat yet wistful way. Again, the lead guitar is exactly what the song requires- no more and no less, with a tasteful tone.

"Déjà Vu" Toto-like piano begins this straightforward rocker. For me, the drumming and light lead guitar are the highlights of the track. The vocals are quite busy, especially in the catchy chorus (I wonder how hard this one was to sing).

"Cross My Heart" The band eases into a darkly, lovely song with some handsome moments vocally. Expect twangy lead guitar over light piano and that ever-competent rhythm section.

"Sideshow" The second lengthiest track begins with sparse piano in a minor key and sad vocals, but it turns into this cabaret, burlesque-style song complete with saxophone. It is another catchy number, but not necessarily an appealing one.

"Milagro" A study bass riff follows a drum and electric guitar dual. The opening line of the first verse is one of those cringe-inducing clichés, and others unfortunately follow. If one can overlook them, however, there is the reward of one of the best melodies on the album in the chorus, improved by stunning counterpoint. And if that isn't enough, there is an organ solo that's a real treat, followed by another great guitar performance.

"Near to Me" Organ and piano trade places back and forth in backing up "Near to Me," which is probably the least memorable and least enjoyable song on the album. The strings and simplistic rock structure though remind me of ELO, so this isn't to say I don't like the song- it is just lackluster and doesn't capitalize on the band's obvious strengths in any way.

"On Your Own" Ceiling Unlimited opens this song with a bit of atmosphere, but quickly ventures back into familiar territory, which means scrumptious American pop rock with trite lyrics. I enjoy it, but not as much as many of the others.

"Ceiling Unlimited" The closing song, which shares its name with that of the band and the album, has an attractive, uplifting melody and excellent vocal harmonies, and the music supports this wonderfully.

 Ceiling Unlimited by CEILING UNLIMITED album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.20 | 5 ratings

Ceiling Unlimited
Ceiling Unlimited Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Nice debut from this American band!

Ceiling Unlimited are a band that was formed some years ago, but until this 2010 they released their first studio album, self-titled. This album consists in nine songs and a total time of 57 minutes of nice and gentle progressive rock music.

It kicks off with "As the Clouds Drifted by" which starts with some drums and then a gentle piano sound, the band have a female vocalist on Amy King, her vocals actually sound comfortable and charming which could help enjoying more the music. With a song like this, one can easily understand why this band is listed under the Crossover prog genre.

"Dream Surrender" opens with some piano notes and voices, later the song is building up a structure, acoustic guitars, bass and lyrics enter and create a friendly sound. The song is pretty catchy, there are actually moments where maybe the label progressive rock would not appeal. And this can also be noticed in the next song, called "Déjà Vu" which reminded me to some rock-pop bands. The music can be both, enjoyable because of its gentle and positive sound, or boring because of its repetitions and mainstream sound. I enjoy it, though it is clear that it is not one of my favorites.

"Cross my Heart" is like a ballad, piano with vocals creating a nice atmosphere. If I said the previous songs did not have the prog rock element included, this one could be actually the best example. If you want to sing to your couple, you can choose this one, haha. Let me say that the last part is pretty nice, more emotion on it and a nice guitar solo.

With "Sideshow" the things become much more interesting. This is an intriguing song that starts softly with piano and voice, in moments it seems that it will sound louder and faster, but it calms down again and returns to the original sound. This, until minute three where there is a short stop, and a new structure appears, drums and nice bass lines, along with a saxophone sound. In the second half of the song, there Is a nice part where a more intense piano sound appears, along with vocal chorus (no lyrics) and a cool guitar solo.

Another pretty nice song is "Milagro", which starts with a nice atmosphere created by guitars and drums, then the song becomes lighter. A thing I like is where two voices sound at the same time, it gives the sense of power and importance, and it remarks the word. The part where the keyboard solo appears is quite nice, and the part, where the guitar one enters, better. The final passage is like the first part of the song, in moments the vocals are more emotional.

"Near to me" is another shorter song with a catchy chorus and double female vocals. Despite they might wanted to create something related to progressive rock, here again, I would say this song is more pop mainstream oriented, which does not mean it is not good.

"On Your Own" has a darker sound, starts with some kind of thunder, and later some creepy voices creating an obscure atmosphere. However, a minute later the song changes 360 grades and becomes something lighter and gentler, like the sound of the whole Ceiling Unlimited album. Seems that there is a mellotron sound here, I am not sure, but anyway it is an extra point for this song, also the bass lines are quite nice.

And the last song is the title track, "Ceiling Unlimited". One of my favorite tracks in this album. I like the melancholic sound which can lead you to old memories and provoke things on you. The relaxing mood and softness will make you enjoy it, there is a nice guitar solo and I love the vocal work here. Nice last track.

This is a nice album which I enjoy, however I must say there are minutes where I feel the music plain and where I think the band can do better in the future. If there were half star rating, I would give this album 2.5, now I will rate it with three stars. Good luck in their future efforts.

Enjoy it!

 Ceiling Unlimited by CEILING UNLIMITED album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.20 | 5 ratings

Ceiling Unlimited
Ceiling Unlimited Crossover Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Ceiling Unlimited is a relatively new band to the prog rock scene, with this, their debut album, being released earlier the year of writing. The band was gracious enough to provide me with a copy of their release - a limited edition copy, nonetheless, with a sticker indicating that my copy is #61/100. As such, it is with a certain level of regret that I must award this album a relatively low score.

The music contained herein fits easily in the prog/pop vein, being driven by a pretty standard prog lineup of guitar/bass/drums/keys/vocals with some minor variation (two members of the band handle the guitar, two the vocals, and two the keys). We are gifted with the bluesy vocals of Amy King and Nancy Scorcia. The dual vocal attack is definitely one of the features that gives Ceiling Unlimited a unique sound, giving the band a country feel the odd time and a bluesy feel the rest of the time.

When the band is playing a song where they really get to rock out, I find myself really enjoying the music. There is a strong chemistry that is evident between the members of the band, and from the first moments of the opening track, As The Clouds Drift By, one gets the feeling that these guys would be killer to see live. Even though the chorus is nothing amazing lyric-wise, I still feel the fire to belt it out as I listen. Deja Vu is another track that really demonstrates the energy that this band share with each other, and I find that I enjoy the sound of it even more than As The Clouds Drift By. There are a couple other nice surprises on this album - the guest saxophone of Carl Shillito on Sideshow give it something of a Supertramp vibe that I enjoy.

Overall, the music is almost all melodic, and most songs have a catchy chorus or verse to stick around in your head, although in several cases the songs do outlast their interest by a small amount.

The band also has a somewhat positive outlook on life, that could be likened to bands such as Yes or The Flower Kings, with many tracks discussing the positiveness of love, or the heartfelt optimism of the closing track that shares the same name with the band and the album.

Unfortunately, this album suffers from two weak points, and it is these week points that make listening to this album less enjoyable than the highlights of the album suggest it could be. The first of these are the lyrics - in no case are they particularly clever or even interesting, and in some cases they sound somewhat cheesy. This is true in all the tracks mentioned above. Some stronger lyrics would really add some extra punch to the music.

The other area where I find this album suffers are in the songs that don't rock as much. Cross my Heart is perhaps the worst example of this, but I find myself feeling bored by the song before the halfway point. It's one of the rare cases where I actually skip a song in the middle of an album. The band makes an honest attempt at creating more ballad-like music (and the piano is very pretty), but it just doesn't gel the way the more energetic pieces do. I also find the vocals don't sound quite as good in this type of track as they do on the more upbeat ones.

As the band continues to grow and mature together, and hones their song-crafting skills, I anticipate that they will release some very well received prog-pop music. In the meantime, this album demonstrates that the band has a lot of potential, if they haven't yet hit their stride.

 Ceiling Unlimited by CEILING UNLIMITED album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.20 | 5 ratings

Ceiling Unlimited
Ceiling Unlimited Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Positive, optimistic, that's the word (probably even both of them) that will appear in your mind when listening Ceiling Unlimited. Their music reminds me (also) USA outfit The Source (especially 2009's album Prickly Pear), even though both has different approach how to do this beautiful music. Because that's what it is about. Mostly (some songs like Sideshow are darker, not mellow at all, but rather serious, sober with mind being clear after outburst of positive waves, so followed by this "hangover", it sounds quite dramatic).

Song structure is complex (well, maybe not complex in a normal way, but rather as a intelligent combination of instruments), you'll feel this "lush" composition in most of them, where instruments are playing together in a way where each of them is interesting and all of them are demanding your attention. This feeling is even more strengthened by

By the way, your artist picture got me thinking about "one of the most variable bunch of people who works so perfectly together, providing harmony of great kind". Just minor thought, nothing too much.

4(+), however, this can be changed (it depends on what kind of music you like. I'm sure this won't fit to everyone, someone will find it so greatly mellow and someone will find it too mellow - even it's not just about this [but about other moods as well, but this one is dominating])

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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