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United Progressive Fraternity - Fall in Love with the World CD (album) cover


United Progressive Fraternity


Crossover Prog

3.88 | 100 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars UPF stands for United Progressive Fraternity, and originally came about after the demise of Australian band Unitopia. Mark Trueack (vocals), Matt Williams (guitar, bass, vocals), Dave Hopgood (drums, vocals) and Tim Irrgang (percussion) then joined forces with Guy Manning (Manning, The Tangent etc.), who brought in Marek Arnold (Toxic Smile, Flaming Row, SSTTGG etc.) and with bassist Daniel Mash the line-up was complete. There as then the short matter of bringing in ten guest musicians, including such unknowns as Jon Anderson and Steve Hackett?

The use of Marek's saxophone is probably more prevalent on this than on his other releases, and the album certainly benefits from it. Musically this is crossover prog, with some interesting percussive and world influences, and in many ways it is quite different to what else is out there, although at the same time it contains some passages that are quite simplistic yet always melodic. I don't know how much impact Guy and Marek had on the writing of the music, but it is clear that they had a large amount to do with the arrangements. I haven't previously come across Unitopia, but I am certainly intrigued to hear what the band used to sound like, as this is an incredibly immediate and accessible album, and it is just a shame that it has taken me four years to come across it. The use of Jon Anderson on fourth track "The Water" on backing vocals is quite interesting, as before looking up the details I hadn't been aware who had been involved but he stands out a great deal, and puts a stamp of approval on proceedings. Hopefully his appearance will attract fans of his to try this out, as that song itself is yet another great melodic AOR progressive rock number which makes me smile each time I play it. Overall, fun and commercial with small world influences here which make a big difference when they appear. Ecological, and great fun to boot!

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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