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The Tangent - Not as Good as the Book CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 423 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Ironically, the title of the album says more then it should.

I thought I'd splurge on this album and buy the special addition that comes with a small novel. I even set it aside to listen to up at my cottage where all great music gets introduced to me. I gave the first album of the two a spin and, I was quite pleased. Then I gave the second album a spin and was carried away. Both albums, first time through made a very good impact on me. Then why the three star rating from me? Allow me to explain:

True, the first impact was a good one. Then I gave the album another spin. It didn't have quite the same 'umph' as the first time. I tried again (I had a full weekend to get into it). The sounds and lyrics painted a very nice picture of the themes of the album. The strong songs separated themselves from the weaker ones, and the album as a whole came together. The overall impact of it was not as good as I had expected.

So to try and redeem it, I picked up and read the small book that came with it, hoping it will convey something that I was missing. I got a kick while reading it (as I'm sure all fans of progressive music will) of all the prog references it makes, shining lights on many great prog bands back before my days that I've grown up listening to (The Sex Pistils? Really? I guess you had to be there.) I really enjoyed this book, more so then the music that came with it. Then I changed my perspective of the album from an album that came with a book, to a novel that came with music. This had an impact to the music, and really made the music come alive, but not to the point of epical proportion.

Maybe it was the fact that I'm in my twenties and the whole concept of middle aged guys wishing to be young again, or wishing the present was more like their teenage lives doesn't appeal to me as a good basis for a story. This could have affected my enjoyment of the album, but the individual songs also don't have a lot to say to me, lyrically and musically.

'A Crises in Mid-life' (oh good, he's reviewing the songs now) sounds little too upbeat for a 'crises'. The instrumental movement near the end of the song is very well done, and I enjoy it enough to not skip the song if it comes up. 'Lost in London 25 Years Later' sounds like something you'd get from a small stage in a jazz club in between jazz acts. 'The Ethernet' is the highlight (for me) of the first disc. It slowly builds up to become a real treat. It's the only song on the first disc that I really and truly enjoy to listen to again and again and it didn't disappoint me that weekend.

'Celebrity Puree' and 'Not as Good as the Book' are very enjoyable songs. I thought the album was starting to pick up, with some very good movements and compositions. Not as good as 'The Ethernet' but it's not getting boring. Then we go to the last two songs of the first album 'A Sale of Two Souls' which I kept thinking they were going to tie back to the grand sound of 'The Ethernet' which it doesn't, and 'Bat out of Basildon' a bland short song you'd hear off a local radio station. These two songs make little impact on me, and after a while become boring. Maybe there's a reason 'nobody writes those Biker songs any more'.

Then we get to the second album with only two songs. 'Four Egos, One War' is definitely a great song. I enjoy listening to it each and every time I put it on, it has great sounds, great build ups, and a great finale. This is what I was missing from the first album. 'The Full Gamut' starts off too beautiful for words. Not since the first listen of 'Firth of Fith' by Genesis, which happened to be live, did I experience the musicgasim such as this (no, musicgasim is not a real word, and yes, it should be). I was lying on my own back, on a cooling dock, watching the stars and it all came together. It was one of those Zen moments. Perfect in all ways. Now if only the song went somewhere with it. The major problem with it is that it just dies at the end. The first 15 minuets of the song are great and build the song up for an epical ending. But, it just dies; this is fine and fitting for the story of the song, but it weakens the musical deliverance exponentially. I was waiting for the song to blast off.and it never did.

So, all in all, this album is really good, as long as you look at it as a novel accompanied by music. But, as the title of the ensemble suggests, the music is not as good as the book.

3/5 stars

mothershabooboo | 3/5 |


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