Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Unitopia - The Garden CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.59 | 168 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Garden that is lacking delights

Unitopia is definitely a hard band to categorize, well at least this album is. Unitopia is a band that likes a big variety of styles, and really wants to play them all, sometimes all together, or sometimes seperated. They include to their music jazz fusion, world music, pop, hard rock/metal and of course prog, mainly Symphonic, however not in the straightest sense, since you cannot expect the mellotron neither abundant synths, yet the compositions and influences are more in the Symphonic vein, making it valid to call them that to some extent. Though, like I said, the band really wants to play lots of genres, and not really focus in only one, so you can't expect a full-blown Prog album, if not a crossover of the already mentioned styles.

The band, as you may have already guessed, takes influences from a wide variety of bands, however, sometimes, they take way too much from a band and really ripping it off. It's the second ''epic'' I'm talking about, Journey's Friend, and the song that they rip-off is All of the Above by Transatlantic, however it's not in it's entirety a carbon copy, but the intro part and outro of Journey's Friend are so similar that really makes you skip the song, even if musically it's really good. Luckily the two middle parts, save the song from total ''copycats''. Despite that, on the other hand, you got a completely unique ''epic'' by them, the title track, The Garden, in which unifies all the styles mentioned on the first paragraph, all these styles are played fantastic, and the structure is almost 100% theirs! That is, the exception of the last part of the epic, 'The Way Back Home', while it's really good, you can't stop thinking about the last section of Supper's Ready. Unitopia could have cut the song to 17 minutes, ending with the fabolous section, 'Realization', which has the necessary strength to end such a great epic, and it would have really ended wonderful like that, still it is, just that I skip that last section I mentioned before....

Anyways, despite the 2 long song, the rest of the album, is pretty non-substancial. Only 1 of the rest, being a Prog song, Angeliqua, which shares a fair bit with Heavy Rock, in the end being a great song, though could have been more elaborated, despite what the length seems to offer. There's Inside the Power, with again the presence of the string-section, which is pretty good; then there's Give and Take, a enjoyable pop song with world music roots; also, Don't Give Up Love is a well done mix of world music and pop, very much like The Messenger by Yes, ocassionaly, on their World music inspired album. But then, there's Amelia Dream, a arabic-esque instrumental, which really doesn't fit at all with the album's sound, however it does fit with the cover-art and the CD package, which seems pretty much like a video-game package, in which coincidentally, Amelia's Dream does sound like a soundtrack to the video-game 'Pharaoh'. The rest is pretty much like the already stated songs in this last paragraph: enjoyable to some extent, though not really something you're expecting from a Prog band.

To end, I must say, the band is very competent and I'm sure they can do much better as songwriter, since as musicians in their respective instruments they're not lacking anything, but as song-writers, they do have to improve a lot with the exception, of the already highlighted, The Garden, which is truly fantastic, and makes the album worthwhile, and should be the right path they must follow for future releases. I must give a honorable mention to Shireen Khemlani for her always present jazzy bass, which gives a lot of diversity to the music of Unitopia.

A decent album in general, in which they could have made a compilation of the best of both discs into one, to make a stronger release as a whole. Still worthwhile music those for fans of The Ladder by Yes due to it's world music influence, as well as for modern symphonic prog fans, which are looking less in-your-face symphonic epics, as well as with a fair share with pop music in general.

The Quiet One | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this UNITOPIA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives