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Aviary - Ambition CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.96 | 26 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The debut album from "Aviary" (released some... twenty-four prior to this one) was a very good surprise and this follow-up just digs further into the same good old music influences. Inevitably, a song as "Hello" will remind you the Fab Four thanks to brilliant vocal arrangements. But this was already a major asset of the band during their self-titled release.

"Ambition" can't be considered as brilliantly innovative because of its links with past glory, but I am keen to listen to such a work which virtually brought me back in the mid-seventies. Which were my teenage days.

This album is a fine melodic piece of music all the way through. Their leader, Brad Love, is truly phenomenal in his singing role. A strong but sweet voice at the same time, a passionate person. And I appreciate passionate people.

Some tracks are more upbeat and enthusiastic, like the "Queen" oriented title track. When I say "Queen", I refer to their early days of course. It is one of the most achieved songs out of here; the one that consists of many theme changes, versatility and fantasy. A highlight.

When I listen to "You", it is as if Jeff Lynne would sit aside of me. So catchy, so pleasant, so emotional. One can of course categorized this as regressive music, but again, I have such a pleasure to listen to this song. It is just superbly organized, crafted and beautiful.

We are of course not talking of complex, intricate music. No, just easy listening and well performed songs. At least, it is the feeling that prevails until "Desert Songs/ Pharaohs March" starts.

The epic of this album (clocking at over eleven minutes) is a wonderful vocal performance again: at times sweet, it turns into a more solid rock part with strong background keys. But the highlight remains the vocal brilliantness of their leader. The closing of the first movement is truly fantastic.

The second part ("Pharaohs March"), has some ELP flavour (no wonder with such a title!). It is bombastic, pompous, imposing and grandiose. This is a well spent musical moment. At least it speaks to me. It is of course another highlight of this very good album.

The weird "Evas Birthday" has all of what a "10CC" fan can expect: the brilliant arrangements, some disjointed vocal parts, and such a sense of joy. This album is so British in its essence. It might not be the best track but it is so original.

This album features a bunch of solid and creative tracks. "Working Girl" is another one of these. It is really incredible how this band didn't have more recognition. I understand that they could hardly be successful in the US because the music they play is sooooo European but they should have done better in terms of sales over here. Maybe a promotion problem. I even read on their web-site (or better said on Brad Love's one) that they did a support tour for "The Stranglers" in '79. Not really in line with their music.

The closing song "Yes & No" is another sublime melody which is 200% "Queen" oriented. Great vocals as if you were in Mercury's boots and such power from the band. It is a wonderful way to close this excellent album.

Aviary IS a hidden gem. They really deserve your attention if you are into the best of "ELO", "10CC" and "Queen".

Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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