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THE TANGENT

Eclectic Prog • Multi-National


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The Tangent biography
Formed in 2002 in Northern England, UK

THE TANGENT is a project originally formed by Andy Tillison, Guy Manning and Sam Baine of PARALLEL OR 90 DEGREES [Po90] as well as half of THE FLOWER KINGS including Jonas Reingold, Zoltan Csorsz and guitar virtuoso and former KAIPA member Roine Stolt. Of course to put further icing on the cake David Jackson of VAN DER GRAFF GENERATOR would lend his legendary sax to the band for their debut album. This started out as a mere project and was actually intended to be a Tillison solo effort before it became a full fledged band as Tillison felt the need to produce something more typically 'prog' than he'd been doing in Po90. Of course it has to be noted that this really is Andy Tillison's affair since over the years the entire roster (spare Tillison and Manning) has been changed due to many different circumstances, which has really not affected the supergroup as many would expect. Often asked about his changing line up, Tillison responds by saying that it's all part of a prog band's life and fans of the genre know all about line-up changes by now. THE TANGENT is quite a dynamic band in terms of line up even now as they recruit several members of BEARDFISH onto their team, having been impressed by them on the "Not As Good As The Book" tour. This does make for a very dynamic sound which leaves the band with a fresh angle for each album. Often touted as a 'retro' band thanks to their old school sound, the band does have a very 'classic' prog feel to them with Tillison's prominent synths. THE TANGENT has often been compared to YES and KING CRIMSON in style because of the mixture of Light and Dark with Stolt and Tillison (respectively) at the helm of the project. Highly melodic and very inclined to write sprawling epics THE TANGENT should satisfy the tastes of any prog listener who wants to go back to the roots of the genre while maintaining a contemporary message and feel.

Their music is often cynical as Tillison has often been seen as 'the dark horse' of the modern progressive scene, his lyrics often poking fun at modern music and tendencies as shown in every one of their albums, but especially "The Music That Died Alone" and their newest effort to date, "Not As Good As The Book", which is a largely sarcastic and cynical look at the world that turned out to be not as good as we thought it would be. heir second effort, "The World That We Drive Through" continued t...
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THE TANGENT discography


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THE TANGENT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 385 ratings
The Music That Died Alone
2003
3.75 | 282 ratings
The World That We Drive Through
2004
3.84 | 375 ratings
A Place In The Queue
2006
3.87 | 401 ratings
Not as Good as the Book
2008
3.74 | 288 ratings
Down And Out In Paris And London
2009
3.85 | 337 ratings
COMM
2011
4.00 | 381 ratings
Le Sacre du Travail
2013
3.84 | 302 ratings
A Spark In The Aether - The Music That Died Alone, Volume Two
2015
4.00 | 320 ratings
The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery
2017
4.00 | 273 ratings
Proxy
2018
3.77 | 115 ratings
Auto Reconnaissance
2020

THE TANGENT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 43 ratings
Pyramids And Stars
2005
4.39 | 82 ratings
Going Off On One
2007
4.25 | 16 ratings
Hotel Cantaffordit (as TangeKanic (Tangent & Karmakanic))
2018
4.00 | 2 ratings
London or Paris, Berlin or Southend on Sea
2020

THE TANGENT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.18 | 54 ratings
Going Off On One
2007
4.72 | 44 ratings
Going Off on Two
2011

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

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

4.17 | 43 ratings
A Place On The Shelf
2009
4.22 | 37 ratings
L'Étagčre du Travail
2013

THE TANGENT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Spark In The Aether - The Music That Died Alone, Volume Two by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.84 | 302 ratings

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A Spark In The Aether - The Music That Died Alone, Volume Two
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Dreams, those that creep into everyday thoughts, if rejected, seek space, they want to prevail, but how to do it? How to quench that thirst for life, for music, for wanting to excel regardless of any defeat? Perhaps looking for a singularity, a non-continuity in the infinitesimal, a gash in the ether that actually becomes a musical fugue. Duel to the last note, challenge yourself. The Tangent did not exist in 1999. But in that year the British Andy Tillison found his muse in the Swedish Flower Kings and in them he glimpsed that musical variety (rock, jazz and progressive) that he wants to recompose in a new guise. Only in 2003 will the first Tangent album entitled "The Music that Died Alone" be released, immediately recognized for its undisputed musical value and labeled as a masterpiece of the progressive rock genre. The line-up of that time will undergo variations over time, so much so that the virtuoso singer and keyboardist Tillison has to be considered the only true constant of the group.

The pages of the calendar follow one another inexorably marked by the release of a record by the English band almost every two years, in 2013 they release the seventh album "Sacre Du Traveil" complex work poised between a cinematic approach and that of a classical score with the model The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky. As in the previous "COMM" there are lights and shadows, perhaps after having given birth to a series of albums of the highest level, the desire to move beyond one's own musical boundaries meant that certain compositional balances were lost. In 2015 the musical journey of The Tangent in the ancient lands of progressive moves in a circle towards the debut, in fact some clues would lead us to think that it is a sequel to their first album and the title "A Spark in the Aether, the music that died alone - Volume II "contains a clear reference to the past, just as the cover imitates both colors and style. Another point of contact with the origins is the presence in the formation of two components already present in the debut "The Music that died Alone", in fact on the bass we find Jonas Reingold while on the winds Theo Travis. Luke Machin on guitar and Morgan Agren on drums complete the lineup. We are once again facing an elite formation of musicians. Now it remains only to find out in which direction The Tangent have moved, their progressive rock will return to enchant us as in the beginning and re-proposing that successful formula?

The first track "A Spark in the Aether" runs in up-tempo drawn by keyboard notes and synthesized sounds, apparently joyful in the march to lead us towards the central melody of the refrain that Tillison this time tinges with colors that are immediately legible, so every note is charged with energy and it is no coincidence that the song becomes live video as well as the first single. The Tangent emphasize the rock side of their purely progressive being and the words are manifest of their feeling rebellious towards that alienating modernity as a vile cloning of art; seem to want to respond to Andy Warhol's provocation that "A good deal is the best work of art ..." (quoted from the book "Warhol's Philosophy from A to B and vice versa") and therefore challenge that halo of death and frost that pervades the work of the American artist. Tillison's singing is a cry of liberation, perhaps joyful, certainly proud to be there and not to give up, but to survive by making great music.

Is the first track an exception? Or has something really changed? The next song titled "Codpieces and Capes" opens with a rhythm section driven by Reingold's frenzied bass, derails in keyboards and becomes powerful in the vocals full of exclamation marks by Tillison with which he draws choruses of melodies to dialogue with Machin's guitar . After this first section, everything happens, jazz passages enhanced by Travis's saxophone change into rock riffs and then open up again to intricate textures of keyboards, winds and basses dialogue in always well-constructed harmonies. Tillison's voice sometimes tells, often sings, but is always at ease ready to explode into melodies that take up the main theme of the song.

They are not The Tangent of the beginnings, of that "The Music that died Alone" that hovered in nostalgic progressive music whose melodies were certainly made of softer colors than the energetic sequel. According to Tillison, the inclusion of Morgan Agren (he played with Frank Zappa among others) on drums would have brought new energy and eccentricity to Tangent's music, one of the factors that gave rise to this latest change. Could it be true? If we listen to the following "Clearing the Attic" we notice that the drums are called to the complicated role of keeping jazz, rock and progressive variations together where the mood is instead quiet, almost relaxed. Agren invents and amazes. There are joking jazz passages that refer to Chick Corea, but everything is reinterpreted at The Tangent. Thus the structure of the piece is defragmented in infinite beautiful variations on the main theme that is chased, touched, then crippled and then opens up in Tillson's voice to exalt the main melody of the piece in an essential and epic way.

J.L.Borges theorizes, in the essay entitled "Inquisitions", that literature is also a more or less direct dialogue between the works of writers even distant in time. Nowadays The Tangent reprise "Careful with that Ax, Eugene" (contained in the 1969 album "Ummagumma") by Pink Floyd which becomes "AfterEugene", after Eugene, because the years have passed inexorably, but the dialogue with the past is incensing for anyone who wants to deal with the progressive genre and music in general. The Tangent contract the times compared to the original. The start is a dialogue between flute and acoustic guitar, then the pulsating bass creeps in, then the sounds derail in a restless sax. After a wait full of threatening clouds comes a storm that materializes in electric shocks and darkness.

In "The Celluloid Road" the musical journey continues on the road through the America of Hollywood cinema and is a hint of fusion inventions. We are again outside the box, far and close to the past, thus moving in temporal paradoxes, the music of Tangent courageously combines distant genres, remaining in the balance between the immediacy of the melodies and the complexity of the instrumental parts. The sixth track entitled "A Spark in the Aether (Part 2)" takes up the theme of the opening piece and is rewritten in a version that is a synthesis of what has been created so far, that is, in a succession of jazz, rock and funky variations. The song is an instrumental that leaves room for Tillison's voice only towards the end of the song in a crescendo of great energy.

The last track titled "San Francisco Radio Edit" completes their eclectic and beautiful puzzle. The British group takes up the rock in up tempo approach which now, however, refers to the musical themes of the 1970s detective films and revisits them by crossing them with jazz and funky. Agren's drums are an admirable example of rhythmic inventiveness and allows the winds and the guitar to stand out in virtuosity that is never an end in themselves, but which actually manage to enhance the melodies designed by Tillison on vocals.

"A Spark in the Aether, the music that died alone - volume II" is a deceptive and mocking journey towards the origins of the band itself, in fact from the beginning there remains that attitude typical of great musicians to reinvent themselves and get back into the game (as well as the their unmistakable style). The Tangent surprise the listener because on the one hand there are immediate and original rock melodies, on the other hand the structures of the compositions while referring to jazz eclecticism combine different genres in a succession that is never incomprehensible chaos, but a beautiful example of what progressive rock should be. Precarious balance between canons and advances to experiment with new forms of musical language. 4.5 stars

 Proxy by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 273 ratings

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Proxy
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Born as one of the numerous supergroups of which the progressive scene is populated, The Tangent now have a career spanning over fifteen years, which has seen them release with considerable frequency and regularity, reaching their tenth studio album. Always centered around the figure of keyboardist and singer Andy Tillison, the British band has seen numerous line-up changes over the years, which have also involved some rather well-known names in the prog world. In the new Proxy we can listen to the master mind flanked by a faithful collaborator of Robert Fripp such as Theo Travis on winds (also active in the latest incarnation of Soft Machine), by Jonas Reingold (Flower Kings / Steve Hackett band) on bass, Luke Machin ( Maschine / Francis Dunnery band) on guitar, Steve Roberts (ex Magenta / Godsticks) on drums, and Goran Edman (Karmakanic / ex Yngwie Malmsteen band) as guest on some vocals.

To open the album we find the title track, an impressive sixteen-minute piece that throws us into a Seventies atmosphere with influences from bands such as Gentle Giant, Camel, Soft Machine and, in a broader sense, from the famous Canterbury school. Generally in progressive rock we tend to consider the longer songs as the best of their respective records, and often with good reason, but in this case we can risk getting unbalanced by stating the opposite. The title track turns out to be perhaps the least significant piece of Proxy: the references to historical groups of the genre are too strong, the riffs are too tied to that musical scene, and the song, while allowing itself to be listened to, is a bit dispersive. The following "The Melting Andalusian Skies" is a pleasant instrumental with Mediterranean sounds that moves into territories of jazz, fusion and flamenco, with refined phrasing of piano and acoustic guitar, but without giving up synthesizers and electric guitars. "A Case of Misplaced Optimism" was curiously described by the band as the attempt to find the missing link between Porcupine Tree and Jamiroquai: although it is rather difficult to find some reference to the former, it is the latter that we recognize the influence, with however very convincing results. The piece manages to alternate a relaxing mood with a more casual rhythm on the chorus, while the use of winds and keyboards actually recalls that mixture of funk and acid jazz that characterized the first Jamiroquai albums. We continue with another successful song, which can be indicated without too many doubts as the best of the disc.

"The Adulthood Lie" is an ambitious piece that attempts to amalgamate very different influences. Another rather long composition, in the first part it seems to want to continue on the path traced by the previous song, adding a guitar with an unmistakable funky rhythm. It continues with a conventional structure while the arrangement and the sounds become more complicated, sliding the piece in a new direction that opens up in a sort of new refrain different from the previous one. The splendid melody of this second part recalls the more airy atmospheres of Genesis, but with a rhythm section closer to electronic than rock. The musicians then indulge in some instrumental digressions of which it is not always easy to predict the evolution, to finally get to re-propose the first part of the closing piece. At the end of the album we find "Supper's Off", a lively piece in which we hear again some reminiscence of Genesis in the main riff. An almost recitative Tillison speaks to us with a certain bitterness of the particular attachment of a large part of the average public to the music of the seventies, a mixture of nostalgia and mental laziness that often comes to the detriment of contemporary artists. Despite the considerations of the text, the piece turns out to be one of the most joyful from an instrumental point of view, with a riff that will echo in the minds of many once you have finished listening.

The British band continues to offer well-made progressive rock, not revolutionary, but able to give honest and quality music to lovers of the genre, also managing to take some unexpected turns.

4.5 stars

 The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 320 ratings

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The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars Ninth studio album in less than 15 years of activity: with The Slow Rust Of Forgotten Machinery (which sees the light two years after A Spark in the Aether) the British The Tangent continue to grind good music in the most sincere neo prog spirit. Among the novelties of the new release to report the presence of two members of the young and more than promising Maschine - Luke Machin and Marie-Eve de Gaultier - and the collaboration with Boff Whalley (founder of Chumbawamba) and DJ / producer Matt Farrow. The giants Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Karmakanic) on bass (and double bass) and Theo Travis on winds have been confirmed. Finally, the good Tillison is also struggling with the drum parts: incredible dictu, he has years of practice with this instrument too. The Tangent are also famous for their always well-kept artwork and once again they confirm their trademark by proposing the cover and booklet by Mark Buckingham, artist of the famous DC Comics. The tracklist is not surprising either, extremely short and with four suites (sorry if it's not enough). The concept underlying the abundant hour of minutes deals with the inequities of today's world, focusing on the sad conditions of war refugees and the way in which the West deals with them, starting with the media. A hot and burning theme, which depicts a planet still divided between the North and the South of the world, in a dualism that sees the few and the many lined up on opposite fronts hedonistic and miserable.

The "Two Rope Swings" opener has a pianissimo beginning reminiscent of the twilight hues of The World That We Drive Through. The vocal parts of Marie-Eve de Gaultier give a touch of ethereal refinement, which combined with the winds and the warm timbre of Tillison immediately give emotions in full The Tangent tradition. Since 2010, with Not As Good As The Book, there are no more female vocals on a Tillison album. In the middle of the song, Reingold's bass plays a frenzied rhythm and the song comes to life in a thousand shades of synth, and then closes in a circular way in pianissimo. The production is clean and free of smudges, it promises to be a memorable album.

"Dr. Livingstone (I Presume) "is the most Falotic piece in the lineup. Twelve instrumental minutes that will delight any progster, with moments close to Frost and other drawn (listen to the seventh minute) like never heard in a The Tangent record. Tillison has fun on the drums, the new members in the line-up are technically flawless and integrate perfectly into the band's alchemy.

Longest suite in the tracklist, "Slow Rust" (basically a title track) is a bewitching composition, neatly chaotic and interwoven with several successive lives, like the seasonal changes of a snake with iridescent reflections. True, the refrain is not convincing too close to the Yes they were, but it is impossible not to be carried away by the recited in the middle of the song (as if we were in a song by the Beardfish). Twenty minutes that pass in a flash, the prog that does not bore is the best way to reconcile with the eternal enemy Time.

"The Sad Story Of Lead and Astatine" is an environmental manifesto, in days of gloomy pessimism for the future of the Blue Planet sung by the TFK cousins. The central instrumental part is a unique fireworks display, with other Yes influences and a drum solo by Tillison (not a Minnemann, but he knows his stuff anyway). Divine music and denouncing lyrics, a "silent spring" that makes you rejoice and reflect at the same time. The album closes with "A Few Steps Down The Wrong Road", a long song with some unmemorable parts, thanks to the recited parts that speak of vulgar populism and topicality, but overall great like the other songs briefly described. There is also room for citing an exciting leitmotif of art music, taken from the fourth movement ("Jupiter") of the orchestral suite The Planets by Gustave Holst.

Ultimately a truly enjoyable and varied platter confirming the solidity of The Tangent, who change their skin but always remain supporters of a sound with great recognizability and originality. Their stylistic signature remains the incredible ability to alternate velvety and crepuscular moments with fulminating and sustained crescendo, along sound paths with changing moods.

 A Place In The Queue by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 375 ratings

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A Place In The Queue
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Listening to the third album of Tangent, "A Place in a Queue", released in 2006, it is clear that the ghosts of the prog groups of the most fruitful period of the 70s loom in the imagination of this formation. Born in 1999 from the ashes of 2 bands, the Swedish Flowers Kings of guitarist and singer Roine Stolt and the British Parallel Or 90 Degrees, thanks also to the fundamental presence of David Jackson (VDGG) and Theo Travis (Gong), the group of the eclectic Andy Tillison decides to focus on a retro style, rigidly linked to the most typical and essential canons of the original progressive. And going against the trend and playing a risky card from a commercial point of view, it can be said that the experiment was fully successful with the release of their first excellent work "The Music That Died Alone".

A wide use of hammond, moog, mellotron and wind instruments, entrusted to the excellent Travis, characterizes this monumental 80-minute work and despite the old-fashioned imprint and the long duration, the result that comes out is surprisingly fresh and lively, soaked of tasty jazzy veins and Canterburyan flavor ("DIY Surgery"), more or less blatant references to the ELP of "Tarkus" ("Follow The Leaders"), to the Jethro Tull of "Stand Up" ("Lost in London") and even winking at discomusic with a quote on Suzi Quatro (the curious "The Sun In My Eyes"). Andy Tillson's voice is warm and melodious, maybe it could be a little more expressive but it is organ and synth, with the mind and heart turned to the great Emerson and Wakeman, who gives his best creating complex architectures, accompanied by an excellent and powerful rhythm section and from the alternation of Theo Travis to sax, flute and clarinet, sublime, in all his experience and immense skill; finally, from the guitar of Krister Jonsson that makes the sound more peppery and prevents the excessive intrusiveness of the keyboards. Each member of the group has their moment to express themselves at their best, there is no space for a single protagonist, no prima donna and the two suites that open and close the album, "In Earnest" and "A Place In The Queue", both develop in multiple musical passages that are very different from each other, suggesting the full expressive freedom of Tangent and defining their complex and nostalgic personality. The first, much more catchy and immediate understanding, has the advantage of not making its 20 minutes weigh, flowing smoothly and majestically, while for the closing suite the speech is more complicated and requires greater attention and numerous listenings before fully grasp its essence and its potential. As for the lyric part, the lyrics have a recurring theme that refers to the title of the album but it is not a concept in the strict sense, it does not follow any road, no logical thread binds the songs together.

The Tangent can be considered with serenity the new standard bearers of progressive, understood in its purest and most traditional meaning, a moral slap in the face for those who believed that the genre was now definitively defunct. Let me be clear, it is not an easy album and in all honesty I do not feel I can recommend listening to it to those who are not a lover of the genre, but I am almost sure that if it had been released 50 years ago it would have praised the masterpiece.

 The Music That Died Alone by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.98 | 385 ratings

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The Music That Died Alone
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars After the adventure with the Swedish Flowers Kings, in '99 the guitarist and singer Roine Stolt gives life together with some former companions and Andy Tillison, former Parallel Or 90 Degrees, to the project The Tangent, with the collaboration of an old glory like David Jackson of the VDGG. The primary goal is to focus on a traditional progressive, on a style that traces all the patterns of its origins. And indeed, in this 2003 album, we can find everything a 70's prog aficionado could wish for, as Tangent prove to be very skilled at mixing various different styles together; we find the jazzy and melancholic prog of the VDGG, the symphonic and rigorous one of the Yes and refined ideas that refer to the Canterbury scene, so loved by Tillison.

The "In Darkest Dream" suite, divided into 8 sections, begins an invasion of fiery and classically baroque sounds, very significant and symptomatic of how much "The Music That Died Alone" is a nostalgic homage to the golden years of progressive , starting with the ironic title. The song flows redundant and fiery, until it subsides in a persuasive and romantic melody embellished by Jackson's sax; now the sound becomes clear and fresh, Stolt's voice appears dreamy and intense and the resulting atmosphere is soft and almost ethereal, ending in a joyful epilogue of choruses and homogeneous and nuanced sounds. The second song, "The Canterbury Sequenze" which is intended to be an exquisitely rhythmic jazz / funk interlude, is a dutiful homage to Caravan and associates. Initially the winds, the powerful drums of Zoltan Csórsz and the hammond dominate the scene, then a pleasant guitar with a clear and clean sound, never impetuous, takes over well supported by Sam Baine's piano and then by the synths, solemnly closing the piece , sung by Tillison for another. "Up-Hill From Here" is the most anomalous and, if you like, catchy moment of the album, somewhat aggressive, where Roine Stolt unleashes acrobatic performances on guitar and vocals, becoming the absolute protagonist. With the homonymous and conclusive suite, divided into 4 parts, a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere arrives, the references to the VDGG and in particular to the texts of Peter Hammill are perceptible; the piece then develops into a sort of instrumental ride in which everyone gives their best, alternating in high-level performances.

In conclusion, "The Music That Died Alone" is very pleasant and balanced, without falling into the trap of being too ambitious and excessively long like the following album "A Place In The Queue". It is an honest work that does not claim to possess who knows what innovations and which promotes The Tangent among the most popular and genuine prog groups on the current scene: not a masterpiece but a successful and sincere act of reverence for the "music that is not will never die. "

 The Music That Died Alone by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.98 | 385 ratings

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The Music That Died Alone
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars Opening with bombastic organs and other keys reminiscent of ELP is the first suite. Then bombastic brass come for the second part and the song chills out. There are vocals in this part. They are okay, reminding me of Geddy Lee. The chorus is really happy sounding with its backup vocal harmony, lame. Part three begins with a "hey" and is a funkier section with guitar soloing. Part four is a much needed respite from the thus far fast paced suite. Fret less bass and piano are nice on this one. The vocals sound like before but lounge tinged. I find the backup singing again, annoying. Part five opens with a cymbal wash and spacey synth/acoustic guitar. Part six then begins which is part four again but with acoustic guitar. Part seven then begins with sax and wah wah guitar. Part 7 is part 2 again. I REALLY do not like the chorus on this. This song is okay, I like that the soloing never becomes excessive noodling. I do not like the vocals and found the song without exception to be to fast/hyper (like everything was on meth).

The second suite opens with jazzy stuff, if the first song ELP tribute this one is Hatfield And The North Tribute. The flute is nice and they sound like Richard Sinclair. The second part is a cover of Chaos at the greasy spoon. I wouldn't have known because the original is very short serving as an interlude, unlike this track which is a lot heftier. The third movement opens with acoustic tremolo picking guitar and is the closer. Overall I like this song, the vocals were better then before and the backup vocals more tastefully done.

The third song opens with a lot of energy due to fast percussion work that drives the song over which vocals are delivered. The harmonies are again unnecessary and this time the vocal tone does not fit the music (to 2000s rock for ELP/Hatfield clone). This one I'm meh on. The drums get annoying with the repetitive thrashing and everything is just so loud.

The fourth song opens with calm piano, a rarity on this album, something that isn't balls to wall. The second part kicks it up a notch but surprisingly is still chill even with vocals. The third part is keyboard led with some hectic playing that feels earned this time. The fourth part opens with Canterbury scatting and the album ends after some singing.

This is a solid album. An adequate mix of good/average moments that remains in 3* territory for me 100%.

 Auto Reconnaissance by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.77 | 115 ratings

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Auto Reconnaissance
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

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.

 Auto Reconnaissance by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.77 | 115 ratings

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Auto Reconnaissance
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

3 stars The Tangent is one of those bands where you never know what they will bring to the table. Since The Music That Died Alone from 2003, which is to this day my favorite album from the band, they roamed trough various sub genres of prog and delivered cool music to the listener. Auto Reconnaissance is their 11'th studio release and it delivers exactly what you expect from the band, a very different path from their previous albums The Slow Rust and Proxy. The album throughout gives that jazzy feel with cool guitar work and all in all not a bad release. Jinxed in Jersey is a fun song with satiric lyrics, but it's too long for this kind of song. The highlight of the album for me is Lie Back & Think of England , which delivers all the power of the band, truly great eclectic prog with The tangent flavor.
 The Music That Died Alone by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.98 | 385 ratings

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The Music That Died Alone
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

4 stars 2002 saw the collision of many talents from the progressive rock scene, in the formation of what was supposed to be a one-off project, a form of a supergroup consisting of half the members of Parallel or 90 Degrees and half of The Flower Kings with a few more special guests. Happily, The Tangent turned out to be one of prog's most frequent venturers and a really exciting band.

This first album is really a collection of all that The Tangent would go on and explore more in depth on future releases. The various backgrounds of all the seven members that appear here provides for an eclectic and original collection of great memorable tunes. The prog afficionado can appreciate band leader Andy Tillison on keys and vocals, Roine Stolt on guitars and vocals, David Jackson on sax and flute, Jonas Reingold on bass, Zoltan Czorsz on drums, Sam Baine on piano and synth, and Guy Manning on acoustic guitar and backing vocals.

As for the music, the musicianship and writing really deserve high praise, as the album feels very concentrated in its direction, and also very well executed. The music is expressive and nostalgic, something that will become a signature for The Tangent.

Opening track 'In Darkest Dreams' is an 8-movement epic and one of the band's all-time highlights. Going through different tempos, beautiful guitar work, very well placed sax parts and a little synth-fest by Tillison, this is an amazing 21st century epic tale of self-reflection.

'The Canterbury Sequence' is Andy Tillison's love poem to the Canterbury scene, a very catchy and quite jazzy track that contains a cover of Hatfield and the North's 'Chaos at the Greasy Spoon' from their second album. Witty and playful lyrics in the first part, groovy madness in the second and a mandolin-infused third part all make this a very good number.

'Up Hill From Here' is an upbeat song with fantastic instrumental section, more lighthearted in nature but very joyous.

'The Music That Died Alone', an epic in four movements and a muscle track from the band where as in the opening one, everyone gets to be in the spotlight, with lovely piano melodies, sax and flute interplay, and crushing bass.

This is a tremendously good debut, quite pleasing and just the beginning of a great prog story!

 Auto Reconnaissance by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.77 | 115 ratings

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Auto Reconnaissance
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by CeeJayGee

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 Tangent is always more complex in structure, requiring more listens for full appreciation, but both are enjoyable from first listen. Lyrically they are poles apart. Nick Barrett's are simpler and on Love Over Fear are even naďve at times whereas Andy Tillison's are sometimes controversial but always intelligent, almost poetic and an essential part of the overall package.

Auto Reconnaissance is the latest in a long line of very high-quality prog albums. It is too early for me to say whether it is their finest, but it is certainly up there. Prog Archives categorises the music of The Tangent as eclectic and the range of musical styles on this album illustrates this. The Tangent's brilliant guitarist, Luke Machin, recently released an album showcasing the different musical styles that can be played on a guitar and, on Auto Reconnaissance, he skilfully supports the musical styles. The overall musicianship is highly accomplished with Theo Travis' contribution on a variety of wind instruments being particularly notable.

Every album by The Tangent has an epic track of considerable length which is complex in structure and always features an exquisite melody which is returned to as the track progresses but is otherwise used sparingly. Auto Reconnaissance is no exception with Lie Back and Think Of England running for over 28 minutes. This is the track I have listened to most despite its length. I've seen others state that the track is too long and certainly, when you first listen to it, the first half appears less coherent than the second but, as get to know the track, you wouldn't want it any other way. The track returns to seeing the world through the eyes of a World War II pilot called Earnest who feels that it is only on Armistice Day that anyone notices him. Earnest first appeared on In Earnest, a wonderful track from the great album A Place In The Queue. He made a further short appearance on Where Are They Now from Down And Out In Paris. On Auto Reconnaissance Earnest comments further on the state of the world and delivers a powerful message.

I believe this is a truly great album and for me is certainly worthy of five stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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