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Perfect Beings - Perfect Beings II CD (album) cover

PERFECT BEINGS II

Perfect Beings

 

Crossover Prog

3.92 | 205 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band PERFECT BEINGS is a fairly new player on the progressive rock scene, the initial start of what ended up as a new band took place in 2012, recordings for their first album commenced in 2013, and their acclaimed debut album that was the result of those sessions appeared in 2014. Just over one year later they released their second studio production, simply named "II", through My Sonic Temple.

What was a striking feature about the debut album by this band was the manner in which they managed to create accessible songs within a progressive rock context, creating material that had the ingredients needed to spawn interest also beyond a progressive rock interested audience, in essence creating a contemporary version of what one might describe as the art rock bands of the 70's. Just one year later it would appear that Perfect Beings is a band in rapid development in many areas.

Initially this album continues very much in the manner of their first one. The compositions are accessible but sophisticated, with subtle details and arrangements more elaborate than what you initially hear the order of the day, and with the stellar vocals of Ryan Hurtgen arguably adding an even more powerful, emotional drive to the material than what was the case first time around. The songs play out in a melodic and compelling manner, mainly using subtle effects rather than more dramatic ones to maintain tension and interest, always with a focus and aim at crafting and exploring sophisticated yet accessible material that, by and large, can be described within an art rock context just as much as a progressive rock one, for those who consider those as separate expressions.

This album develops however, and for me fifth track Volcanic Streams, which is my personal highlight on this production, strikes me as a transitional cut. The instrumental opening half of this song, revolving around a striking, compelling and achingly familiar sounding piano motif with a liberal amount of psychedelic-tinged details surrounding it as this section develops, is one that showcase a band willing and capable to add more challenging details to their material as well, and combining this first half with a gentler, striking and highly accessible second phase containing the vocal passages afterwards is a stroke of true brilliance in my book. The following track The Yard showcase that this is a band that know their way around some jazz-oriented details as well, including those in a song with a bit more of an art pop focus, while the following piece Go is a creation that opens up as a synth pop tune not too far removed from the likes of Tears For Fears, with a slight topping of Frankie Goes To Hollywood in the more intense parts of the song, and then takes a sudden left turn into rather more challenging and psychedelic-tinged landscapes, before returning to the synth pop oriented parts again.

Descriptions of a similar nature can be given to the remaining songs on this album as well, with compositions that alternates between one or more compelling and arguably broader appealing sequences, and then pairs them off or develops them into material of a somewhat more challenging nature. Radiohead was a band that came to mind in terms of this general approach at times, albeit in terms of approach and not all that much in terms of style and expression I should add.

Personally I regard Perfect Being's second album as a quality creation. Arguably a production that won't have quite as much of a broad appeal as their debut, but also one that showcase a band developing their style. They maintain a focus on and a foundation in accessible and rather broadly appealing songs within a progressive rock context, but on this occasion with a somewhat stronger focus on challenging details and sophisticated elements.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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