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Colin Tench Project - Minor Masterpiece CD (album) cover

MINOR MASTERPIECE

Colin Tench Project

 

Crossover Prog

4.01 | 81 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars An exceptionally well produced album of confident and masterful songcrafting which somehow comes up short-- especially emotionally--when compared to last year's amazingly powerful and relevant collection of songs on Hair in a G-String (Unfinished but Sweet). Whereas that album never led me to question its inclusion within prog world, this one, I fear, had me often asking myself if the music here was truly representative of progressive rock music; Minor Masterpiece feels as if it belongs more clearly within the realms of classic rock music.

1. "See How She Runs" (4:46) a fairly proggy soundscape is here used to tell a story in a Beatles-kind of way--at least until 3:23 when the sound shifts to a more straight on rock to its end. Solid but nothing new here. (8/10)

2. "Darkness Falls" (2:33) I really like the pathos in the lead singer's voice for this song--it alone is very engaging-- almost to the exclusion of the rest of the music and instrumental performances. (9/10)

3. "Didn't Even Wanna Do It. Did It Anyway" (7:30) the instrumental section between the vocals are the high points of this one for me. The song during the verses sound a lot like Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" verses. The orchestrated end section is great. (8.5/10)

4. "He's Gone" (1:31) another little Colin Tench lament for the loss of someone...but whom? (4/5)

5. "Waiting for Gordo" (4:01) opens as an awesome semi-orchestral (keyboard generated) soundtrack piece. More, please! (You do write awesome soundtrack-type music, Colin--going back to that first Corvus Stone album!) (9.5/10)

6. "Still Solemn After all These Years" (1:51) piano, guitars, and synth-orchestra weave of pretty music--a kind of jazzy soundtrack ode. It could go on. (Maybe it does: the next song) (5/5)

7. "Gran Finale" (4:26) a Spanish-infused or even -grounded song that bristles to life in the second minute as first one and then two and even three electric guitars vie for the listener's ear. In the middle of the third minute piano and acoustic guitar take a little walk on the wild side before the electric axes jump back in to try to assert themselves. Vocalise from multiple voices try to join in. This one, too, could have jammed longer--especially to explore further that interesting infusion of vocals. Still, a CTP masterpiece. (10/10)

8. "Welcome to Your World" (4:48) a late-night friendly bar song with multiple voices, multiple instrumentalists. Could almost be an Alan Parsons Project or Jimmy Buffet song. (8.5/10)

9. "Squeaky Door Time" (3:07) a spicy Latin-infused instrumental showcasing Colin's lead guitar prowess--on both electric and acoustic! The rhythm tracks of this song are so lively and fun that it makes you want to be there watching them, dancing with them, playing the cowbell. (9/10)

10. "Under the Conker Tree" (2:51) an instrumental with multiple acoustic guitar tracks. Nice background music. Colin's excellent sound engineering is so evident on songs like this. (8/10)

11. "Viva Vitale" (3:11) obviously a showcase for drumming legend Joe Vitale (BARNSTORM, JOE WALSH, EAGLES, CROSBY, STILLS & NASH). The song allows for many subtle fills and flourishes while the rest of the band play a nice instrumental Latin-blues-rocker over the top--Colin again performing his wizardry on multiple tracks on multiple guitars, both acoustic and electric. I find myself listening to this one purely for the wonder and awe of trying to comprehend the planning and editing of those guitar parts. (9/5/10)

12. "Your Song is a Nightmare" (4:00) for me, the violin and multi-instrumental melodies steal the show on this one (though the vocals do a nice job of not over-performing--at least for the first half). The tongue-in-cheek self- deprecating humour can only be played out for so long. (8/10)

13. "Now Get on Your Way" (5:18) a total album-ending finale (with its repetition of the opening song's "we won't get fooled again" line), there is, unfortunately, nothing here that would have be play this one again. A little too murky with the wild, bar-room chorus feel of the vocals. (7/10)

Four stars; a polished, great-sounding collection of rock songs--several of which are sure to provide repeated listening enjoyment.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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