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Nice Beaver - The Time It Takes CD (album) cover

THE TIME IT TAKES

Nice Beaver

 

Eclectic Prog

3.96 | 148 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is one of those bands that I decided to take a chance with and just get the album. There were so many good reviews about them and it was time to get another modern band into my collection. Though I can't say the album had me doing somersaults from the start, I recognized that there was something here that I would be able to get into. And now, after a few listens plus hearing songs randomly cropping up on mixed playlists, I have found the sweet spot that has so impressed others.

The very opening was easily ear-grabbing. These computer sounds and then this deep, warm bass and slow, steady drums sounded so enticing that I was buckled in and ready for the ride. The slide guitar came in smooth and cool, and I began wondering when was the last time I heard slide guitar on a modern prog album. But the first time through this album I was left feeling a little let down. It seemed to have all the right ingredients but was not truly shaking me up inside. All that has changed now though. This album is as good as others say.

There are a couple of reasons why "The Time It Takes" is so enjoyable. First of all, the production is wonderful. It has a rich, warm sound with all instruments clear and making strong statements. Recently I have noticed that many modern albums deaden the drums when you compare them to some of the albums of the seventies. "The Time It Takes" has a modern drum production but without making them sound like a background afterthought. Bass, drums, guitar, and keyboards all sound excellent. Add to that the fact that the playing and musical composition is more advanced than standard pop rock but not overly technical and in-your-face and you have an album that is enjoyable as a prog album but still accessible even to non-prog music lovers. In other words, I can play this album in the car along with Yes and Spock's Beard and my wife will still like what she hears. Not so with King Crimson or Van der Graaf Generator!

A word about Erik Groeneweg's vocals: he sings with a lower, almost soulful register and it works quite well for most of the music. A lot of prog vocalists go for the higher register style and so it's nice to hear someone doing something that wouldn't seem out of place on a contemporary non-prog rock album. I do feel, however, that something is amiss and I have concluded that, when the band powers up the music, Groeneweg is unable to follow suit vocally. I noticed this particularly in "Sound Behind Sound" which rocks a little more than most of the other tracks. The vocals sound a bit weak here. So I am split on whether or not I like the vocals. For now, more good than bad but not perfect.

It's been difficult picking out a favourite track, and I like all but "Path to My House" which in my opinion sounds like an unsuccessful attempt to do a cover song. It's not a cover, I know, but it sounds like something didn't work out right. Not the same for "Rainbow's End" which is the much better of the two slower songs because this one charges up with strong emotive passages and even the vocals cut loose here.

This is an album that is good to listen to from start to finish ("Path to My House" is the shortest track at under 5 minutes and passes by acceptably soon) and just about any song is worth pulling off for mixed playlists. I give it a confident 4 stars.

FragileKings | 4/5 |

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