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Tribute - New Views CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.25 | 34 ratings

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3 stars Well I’m not sure what the ‘New Views’ are the band is referring to in this album’s title, as there is very little here that is particularly inspired or original. That said, the band does a respectable job of keeping their ambient sounds moving along at a steady pace for the entire forty-six minutes of the record. The name Tribute almost seems to refer to the fact that the group seems to be paying tribute to their influences, and almost all of them must be other eighties bands.

This is a slightly obscure Swedish outfit who apparently recorded this and another album in the eighties with the support of Gong’s Pierre Moerlen, but this music is much more subdued and less ambitious than the stuff Gong did.

The first couple of tracks remind me a little of the gentler side of Gentle Giant, and even a bit of Happy the Man, a band that has received quite a bit of critical acclaim over the years for reasons that escape me personally.

“Climbing to the Top” on the other hands sounds remarkably like an Alan Parsons Project tune; a repetitive keyboard sequence combined with a simple bass line and some melodic guitar to accentuate the arrangement. Really not much more than that – I have to wonder if the band had a stack of APP records with them in the studio for inspiration. And Gideon Andersson on drums could almost be mistaken for Mick Fleetwood circa Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album, or maybe even ‘Bare Trees’. “Unknown Destination” could be taken for a Parsons composition as well, with maybe just a little bit of a borderline Giorgio Moroder thrown in for good measure.

The pièce de résistance (sort of) is the twenty-plus minute title track. I say that rather loosely since in this case the lengthy arrangement really only further reinforces the band’s style of understated, restrained acoustic and keyboard noodling. Around the ten minute mark things pick up with a slightly martial beat and flute, followed by a bit of a percussion jam that is mildly interesting but never really builds to anything definitive. The bells and choral ending is sort of anti-climactic, and barely worth the investment of time it takes to get that far listening to the album.

File this one under ‘I understand why it is in the stacks at the public library’, as in – nobody liked it enough to steal it. A decent enough instrumental album with potential as mood music on a sleepy evening when you don’t want to invest much energy or mental effort in your music listening. But not essential by any means, and only mildly progressive. Recommended without much enthusiasm to folks who get into Gentle Giant, probably Camel, Happy the Man, or Alan Parsons. But that’s about it. Three stars.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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