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THE TANGENT

Eclectic Prog • Multi-National


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The Tangent biography
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 the band's approach as on their first one but without the help of David Jackson on the sax. The fi...
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Le Sacre Du TravailLe Sacre Du Travail
Inside Out U.S. 2013
Audio CD$5.00
$13.02 (used)
Place in the QueuePlace in the Queue
Inside Out U.S. 2006
Audio CD$11.02
$9.59 (used)
CommComm
Inside Out U.S. 2011
Audio CD$10.82
$9.99 (used)
Down and out in Paris and LondonDown and out in Paris and London
Inside Out U.S. 2009
Audio CD$14.99
$7.25 (used)
The World That We Drive ThroughThe World That We Drive Through
Special Edition
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$16.99
$12.98 (used)
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TANGENT Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt + Chasing Shadows Live 38 track 2 CD SEALED US $16.79 Buy It Now 2 days
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Music That Died Alone Tangent CD US $30.99 Buy It Now 9 days
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Not as Good as the Book [2 CD] by The Tangent (CD, Mar-2008, 2 Discs, Inside... US $15.99 Buy It Now 12 days
A Place in the Queue by The Tangent (CD, Jan-2006, Inside Out) US $12.60 Buy It Now 12 days

More places to buy THE TANGENT music online Buy THE TANGENT & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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THE TANGENT shows & tickets


  • The Tangent + Karmakanic at Boerderij, Zoetermeer on 30 May 2014
  • Celebr8.3 on 31 May 2014

THE TANGENT discography


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

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

4.00 | 234 ratings
The Music That Died Alone
2003
3.75 | 167 ratings
The World That We Drive Through
2004
3.80 | 239 ratings
A Place In The Queue
2006
3.86 | 282 ratings
Not As Good As The Book
2008
3.73 | 195 ratings
Down And Out In Paris And London
2009
3.83 | 236 ratings
COMM
2011
4.01 | 213 ratings
Le Sacre du Travail
2013

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

4.01 | 23 ratings
Pyramids And Stars
2005
4.40 | 50 ratings
Going Off On One
2007

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

4.07 | 40 ratings
Going Off On One
2007
4.74 | 26 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)

3.94 | 25 ratings
A Place On The Shelf
2009
4.00 | 11 ratings
L'Etagere du Travail
2013

THE TANGENT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Place In The Queue by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.80 | 239 ratings

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A Place In The Queue
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by Ensouled

5 stars Best Symphonic Prog Album of the year?... Almost there...

Current prog listeners need FUSION, theres so much music to listen to nowadays, why not fusion the best of all into a single album?... You can start with The Tangent.

The lyrics play a HUGE roll in the album; Andy Tillison has an incredible sense of modern concepts making his albums very realistic on matters that affect us all.

Getting into the lyrics is easy since the music behind it is incredible, i mean the Jazzy sections makes The Tangent one of the final steps on symphonic prog appreciation. Though theres a lot of progressive "booms" sections, especially soloings on In Earnest (One of my favourite tracks of all times) ...

What makes this record amazing is the artistic ambience it has fusioned with progressive rock; it has opened new doors in the genre by adding modern fusions, interesting thoughts about real problems we face and my favourite ingredient Jazz.

Every musician just brought to this record one of their best inspired thoughts..Manning, Travis, Baine . it was like this holy bag, and they started throwing their wealth in there, making it invaluable...

5 Stars for bringing it in times we really need this kind of concepts and to feel we are not robots...we face a new dimension of techonology advancement and stress as we search for meaning in our lives and is very important that artists choose to explore these concepts, thats why The Tanget music is special.

I believe this record contains the necessary ingredients that are listed on a "work of art", and it will be interesting to review them.

This is a list by Mark Rothko to acknowledge what I mean :

There must be a clear

PREOCCUPATION WITH DEATH - intimations of mortality....Tragic art, romantic art, etc. deals with the knowledge of death.

SENSUALITY. Our basis of being concrete about the world. It is a lustful relationship to things that exist.

TENSION. Either conflict or curbed desire.

IRONY. This is a modern ingredient-the self effacement and examination

WIT and PLAY....for the human element.

The EPHEMERAL and CHANCE....for the human element.

HOPE. 10% to make the tragic concept more endurable.

Think about it...

Highly Recommended!

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 Not As Good As The Book by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.86 | 282 ratings

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Not As Good As The Book
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by Oreste

2 stars Not as good as the book ... but surely with more speeches than the book! Really, too much words in this album, and a kind of progressive that deny its meaning and reason to be: progressive is the contrary of static, what this album is. The music goes on for all the tracks, but nothing hits me either good or bad. I agree totally with crimson 87 review, this is only a sort of style exercise, very well done, but unfortunally too empty, too poor in terms of feelings, don't goes beyond the ears. When you're asking yourself to listen it again or choose another one, the choice will be the second most of times: result=2 stars.

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 COMM by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.83 | 236 ratings

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COMM
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by Lumix

3 stars The Tangent is a excellent prog band in my opinion but first time I lived disappointment in this album because of Vocals! Albums music are very nice as always but when vocal start I want to stop the music. Very interesting but how they can find this guy for vocals, I can not understand... I can give 4 stars for this album minimum but I want to give 3 stars only because of vocals. If you can not think vocals, a very nice concept album. Actually Tangent' all albums are near perfect. I can highly recommend Tangent for every prog fans... 4 stars... because of vocals 3 stars

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 Le Sacre du Travail by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 213 ratings

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Le Sacre du Travail
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars The Tangest's this year record "Le Sacre du Travail(The Rite of Work)" was an exciting experience and an example of good nowadays prog. The group is named Multi-National and features musicians from England and Sweden(perhaps more locations- nowadys it's hard to guess just by the names). The cover is colourful and it's not clear by it, that it's a prog record. I don't like the band's log, but that is not important for the experience. The musicians that make this work are Andy Tillison(composer, vocals, guitars and keyboards), Theo Travis(saxes, flutes and clarinets), David Longdon(vocals), Jakko Jakkszyk(vocals and guitars), Gavin Harrison(drums), Jonas Reingold(bass), Rikard Sjöblom(narration) and Guy Manning(acoustic guitar).

I liked this from the beginning. The band tells a story with precesion and great musicallity. I'm impressed of this modern prog. The rock is spiced by Theo Travis fantastic playing on his woodwind instruments. This record is a lot of rock but it allways blends it with classical approach. Music is partially very symphonic and Tillison's keys leads like Wakeman in his best moments. The record is even and all tracks has it's ups and downs. I think progressive artists in this times overdo long songs, they often have'nt the former skill of the 70s proggers. The Tangent does long tracks and I think they manage it well. For people who have listened to Big Big Train, the vocals of David Longdon can be recognized. He does a better job here than at BBT's last record and the variation made of three singers also developes this music in an interesting way.

What's negative then. Well I don't like bonus tracks so I would have prefered just listen to the first five tracks. Beside that I can't find anything to complain about. I could be silly and argue their logotype but...Perhaps it's not very "new" music, but it doesn't make it less good. Recommended plate! Four stars!

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 Le Sacre du Travail by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 213 ratings

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Le Sacre du Travail
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars he Tangent have certainly come a long way since Andy Tillison decided that he needed another project outside of PO90 and formed this band with Guy Manning and Roine Stolt. Neither are there these days, but he does have Jakko M. Jakszyk (Level 42) on guitar, Theo Travis (Robert Fripp, Gong, Porcupine Tree, Bill Nelson, No-Man, Steven Wilson etc) on sax, flutes and clarinets, Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings) on bass, Gavin Harrison (King Crimson, Porcupine Tree) on drums and singer David Longdon (Big Big Train) so none of these are slouches. This is a concept album, based on 'The Rite of Work'. There is a narration where it is explained that on this island 50 million people wake up, and an hour later they have to be more than 30 miles away doing something that they don't want to do, so that for a short period of time they can say that they can own a building!

This is a very English prog album, both in music and lyrics. I wonder how many people who have never heard 'Steve Wright in the Afternoon' will understand the reference to factoids, but for someone like me who remembers when Steve was on Radio One (as opposed to Radio Two), all of this just made me smile. Musically it is very diverse, as although obvious reference is "Days of Future Passed" which starts with the beginning of the day and ending with the night, while here we start with the beginning of the day and ending up with "Evening TV" having survived the trip home through the rush hour, there is actually a lot going on as Andy brings in influences and textures from all forms of music. Some of the music is designed to make you think, while at other times it is almost pure pop. It doesn't always hit the mark, but when it does it is both enthralling and exciting.

Many years ago, Andy eked out a living as a sound engineer and was responsible for recording many independent bands at the end of the Seventies, and it is back to this era we go with the punk power pop version of "Hat", which may or may not be from 1979 as stated in the title.

It may not be perfect, but yet again Andy has produced something that is definitely worthy of investigation. If you haven't come across this band before then you owe it to yourself to do so now.

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 Le Sacre du Travail by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 213 ratings

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Le Sacre du Travail
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by arcane-beautiful

5 stars The Tangent are a band I have always kept a keen eye on. In fact, I have even had a brief history with the band (I was one of the finalists for the solo competition they had for their song 'The Wiki Man' from their last album 'COMM'), so I do know how amazing these guys are and that band leader Andy Tillison is an absolute dude...oh yea, and he is a musical genius.

So, having done everything a band could possibly do (double albums, concept albums, an album with a book, a competition to allow fans to play on the album), Andy Tillison went to his big brain of ideas and decided, 'a musical...that should do it.'

Ok, this album isn't exactly a musical...but it's not far from it. More of a song cycle or suite, split up into 5 parts, the albums concept deals with the...mundane it seems. Oddly enough, these guys have taken what we all see as the norm and have made it a gigantic spectacle. And it works so well, it's almost funny. Actually, come to think of it...it is funny. The lyrical content is definitely one of the most enjoyable parts of the album, because it is very humorous at times. But behind the humour is a brilliantly crafted satire, which only adds to enjoyment, because...it makes you think and stuff. Because the band is more of an ensemble, these guys have had a revolving door of members, and on this album we see some new faces. One of the biggest surprises was the addition of Gavin Harrison on drums, who in my opinion, is probably one of the greatest drummers to have ever lived. Another amazing add to the band was bassist Jonas Reingold, who is no doubt one of the best there is. I actually hope that one day they'll get me to join the band on some useless instrument.

One of the biggest changes is the songwriting style that the band has adapted, and I have to admit, I am glad they have made this change because it works so well. Each main body of work or song, which usually lasts from 12-22 minutes, has within it about 2, 3 or 4 actual songs with instrumental sections interlinking them. In many ways, this reminds me of Neal Morse's style of songwriting, and I have to admit...this type of songwriting always impresses me, especially whenever great catchy chorus' and hooks appear now and then.

The albums biggest highlight is the 22 minute epic 'Morning Journey & Arrival.' One of the real highlights on this song has to be the intro section 'Dawn Over Blubberhouses,' which I could listen to over and over again. The other major focal point has to be 'Bird Shit.' An absolute crazy piece with some great intertwining vocals throughout.

The albums second epic 'Afternoon Malaise' probably has the albums most stand out moments, in the form of a part called 'Steve Wright In The Afternoon.' Really the crux of this piece, it is one of the best and most interesting parts on the album. At times it sounds like a rock song, a prog song, a death metal song and even a musical. A bit of a mixed basket really, but it totally works.

The third epic on the album 'Evening TV', is probably my least favourite moment on it. Now don't get me wrong, I think it's an absolutely amazing way to end this incredible body of work, but I think my disdain towards it is because Andy keeps on saying 'put the kettle on'...and I don't like tea. Weird criticism, but whatever, I stand by it.

In conclusion...this is the best Tangent album. I have been saying that about a lot of bands this year, but this has been an absolutely fabulous year for music, and The Tangent have just made another gem this year. The Tangent for me have always been sailing between the crazy and the too crazy, but they have entertained me for many years. Whenever there first album came out 'The Music That Died Alone' came out, I did say to myself that they would never be able to top it. Now they finally have. This is a must have for any prog fan, and any fan of music would at least marvel at what these guys can do.

8.9/10

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 Le Sacre du Travail by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 213 ratings

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Le Sacre du Travail
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by PodProg

5 stars The most complete The Tangent album to date. And, to me, the best one since A Place in the Queue.

I'd almost given up after the last two albums, but I'm very glad I gave this one a chance.

The musicianship is superb, the lyrics are as clever and cynical as ever. (Only Andy Tillison could rhyme 'bird[&*!#]' with 'traverse it'.) It's nice to see Jakko and Jonas back. And Gavin Harrison's drumming is clever and solid, as ever. My only criticism is that I would have liked to hear David Longdon's voice more (Big Big Train). He's got it, so flaunt it!

My personal favourite on the album is the ending of the Third Movement. The Tangent at their emotional best.

If you haven't heard a The Tangent album yet, buy this one first. It's incredible. Well done, Andy and gang!

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 Le Sacre du Travail by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 213 ratings

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Le Sacre du Travail
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by treebeard

5 stars The latest release from The Tangent; 'Le Sacre Du Travail' (The Rite of Work) is in every way a modern Prog Rock classic, from the opening overture to the closing cacophony of traffic chaos and dying notes.

It ticks all the boxes for a true prog production. A grand concept?check Symphonic elements?.check Classical influences?check Set over a number of 'parts'?check Plenty of Hammond organ?.check Epic length songs?.check

And yet, the album is not a retro, far out conceptual dinosaur piece. It speaks clearly to the listener of the modern 21st century ritual of work , the journey in the chaos of the morning rush hour, on to the afternoon, where were are soothed of our tired corporate lives with the friendly radio DJ, dulling us as we queue on the motorway to get home. Closing with the part of the day which highlights our devotion of TV and the shows designed to fill our lives and provide some meaning.

There are various points of related subtext to the piece that dovetail nicely as we travel along. The brainwashing of corporate organisations that take our souls, the acquisition of 'things' to provide our lives with meaning, that ultimately end up being sold online after we die, the slavery to the life of work and paying tax and owning property and the consumption of the world's resources all to make this happen. It sounds bleak, in some ways more so than anything by Roger Waters..(and he can do bleak) only because the piece holds a mirror up for us to view our existence, showing us up like hamsters on a wheel going round and round.

Musically this impressive album matches the potent theme. It features a very impressive collection of musicians whose ability and style compliment and deliver Andy Tillison's work perfectly. Tillison himself provides some of his most impressive performances to date, delivered over a stunningly powerful rhythm section of Gavin Harrison and former band member, Jonas Reingold. Theo Travis has a major part to play with the wind sections taking a greater precedence over this work than any other Tangent work. Another former member Jakko Jakszyk along with Big Big Train's David Longdon provide guitar and vocals which broaden the dimensions of the sound even further than before.

'Le Sacre Du Travail' feels and sounds like the landmark album in Andy Tillison's already superb body of work, a real career high. All the more monumental when you factor in the background of this new album. The past two years since 'Comm' have been a rollercoaster, one that would see most bands derail completely. Against the backdrop of the dissolving of the band and some tough financial conditions, Tillison has endured and produced a polished masterpiece, and I do use that word in its correct fashion. If modern heavy progressive rock, confused as it is, with its metal poisoning running through it is your idea of Prog, then a listen to this album will broaden your horizons in new ways. If you are old enough to remember it all the first time, then this album brings back the highs of the genre and leaves you feeling elated and ready for another listen.

Full marks to the Tangent for this latest offering.

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 Le Sacre du Travail by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 213 ratings

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Le Sacre du Travail
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Math Rock Team

4 stars I honestly had never heard a The Tangent album. I know they are somewhat legendary, and they seem rather outspoken about prog rock. I definitely was thrilled to get a chance to review this album, though. The artwork is very sophisticated, so I expected the music to be as well.

I was not disappointed. This is a sprawling album, as it contains movements and two tracks that are about 20 minutes each! This album is certainly ambitious, and I think they achieved their goals for the most part. First, I'll discuss the music, but then I'll discuss the lyrical themes because they are integral to this album.

The music is rather standard eclectic prog. That may seem like an oxymoron, but this album is equal parts neo-prog and symphonic prog, and there is a rather interesting dichotomy between light and dark passages. This can especially be seen in the very innocent symphonic arrangements and flutes that are very classical in nature. They are very earthy in a way, and they often dominate a song for quite some time. Then again, there are some darker, wicked moments that explore the deeper side of the lyrical themes. Instrumentally, I was particularly impressed with the lead guitar work as there are some awesome guitar lines and solos throughout this album. The synth and keys are also impressive, but are used a little more conservatively. I think this may be to get their message across a little more clearly. The vocalist, Andy Tillson, has a unique voice that is quite rough, but somehow soothing and melodic at the same time. Last, but not least, the bassist delivers some truly groovy rhythms that get your foot stomping.

The Tangent has been known for their cynical lyrics for some time, as they have even been known to criticize music in their music. This album has a much grander scale in this regard, for this album is all about our work, careers, and jobs. It is about the grand futility of our every day commutes and journeys toward possessions and status. The album's title is "Le Sacre du Travail", which translates to English as "The Coronation of Work". That is quite meaningful for understanding the lyrics: The Tangent is discussing the worship of work as a means of happiness. I love the very beginning where we hear someone in the future describing the workers of the past, and how they did all these different things to be able to watch a box with pictures, to live in a box called a house, and so on and on. The point, I'm sure you see, is that we work away our lives to do nothing more than cage ourselves. We box ourselves and our thinking into one dimension of existence. Work-->sleep. Work-- >sleep. The great thing is that The Tangent has managed a mass global criticism all while delivering catching choruses, great instrumental passages, and delicate melodies. The album never gets boring, and it never gets pretentious.

I think my only complaint with this album is some of the writing. Some of it does come across as cheesy; such as one part where, while speaking about the fact we can't take our riches with us after we die, Tillson bellows, "Your kids will sell it all on Ebay" a few times in a row. It's as bad as you think it would be. However, the writing is mostly good-to-great, and the overall album contains some great music along with some average-to-good bonus tracks.

Apart from the well-done theme, I'm afraid this album would have been difficult to hear. However, this album is an excellent overall package that delivers thought-provoking refrains with beautiful melodies and symphonic arrangements. This is a tender album that delivers a surprising punch to the gut by way of societal commentary. This a definite listen for any prog rock fan. It is a true accomplishment in terms of scope and gentle melody, and a near masterpiece in terms of theme and composition.

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 The Music That Died Alone by TANGENT, THE album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.00 | 234 ratings

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The Music That Died Alone
The Tangent Eclectic Prog

Review by sinslice

4 stars I think if you listen and analyze carefully, we are witnessing a classic. It should transcend time. This happened in my case. A few years ago, might have qualified with 3. Over time it has grown steadily in me.

Currently each section conforms me and, in general, moves and invigorates me. There is rhythm, energy, emotion, and originality necessary.

While Tillison is clearly the soul matter, I see it as the result of the work of a band, uniform, compact. Not to mention the instrumental quality, taking into account the musicians involved. I agree that the weaker the voice, maybe some of it retract back to listen.

It is an album to listen fully, and stretches just enough.

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