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Phideaux - Number Seven CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.03 | 529 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It probably comes as no surprise to anyone, given the title, that is the seventh album from Phideaux Xavier (looks like everyone, Phideaux included, discounts his very first release some 11 years before the next, which was more a series of demos than an album). I have only just come across his work again, having not heard anything since 2007's 'Doomsday Afternoon', so this 2009 album is for me a 'new' release and the first think that went through my mind when playing it was that I had actually forgotten just how damn enjoyable his music is! He has again brought together a cast of musicians and singers to create an album that is incredibly layered, with lots going on, yet at all times is just so very easy to listen to indeed.

The use of different instruments to repeat musical motifs is inspired, while bringing in sax and violin adds a real sense of richness to the palette. In many ways it is hard to work out where to begin with this, as there is just so much going on, and so many different influences being brought to bear in what is an incredibly complex and rich piece of work. Some of the more obvious are Greenslade, Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd, Rick Wakeman and VDGG, but to be honest it is possible to point at lots of different progressive rock bands and say that they have had a part to play in the end result. But, the one thing they all have in common is that they were in their heyday in the Seventies, and in many ways that is where this album belongs. The songs are commercial and catchy, and while there is little in the way of bombastic swathes of music, there is the impression that the sheer refusal to settle into any one particular style or form is taking us back to when it never really used to matter. It is almost as if punk never happened an instead we have highly trained and adept musicians delivering music that can only be played by such, no three chord wonders here, while all the singers have a distinct part, whether they are taking the lead or providing harmonies.

As I write this, I see that according to ProgArchives this album is currently #22 in the 2009 charts, but to my mind this should be far nearer the top than that. This is a gorgeous well rounded release that has really reminded me of just how strong an artist Phideaux is, and I look forward to hearing more in the very near future!

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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