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The Tangent - The Music That Died Alone CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.99 | 348 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of the BEST prog albums in 2003!!!

Three Generations of Progressive Music: Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), David Jackson (Van der Graaf Generator) and Andy Tillison (Parallel or 90 Degrees) - One Remarkable Album. That's actually what got printed at the album cover.

"Originally conceived as the first solo album by Andy Tillison, this album became a more collaborative venture as time went on. The enthusiasm of the musicians turned this combination of three generations of progressive virtuosity into a cohesive whole .. " [sleeve notes]. Who in this earth would not be interested to purchase this CD? I did not want to miss it, for sure! And in fact, I was really satisfied with the music the geniuses offer in this album.

Here is my personal view about this album .

In Darkest Dreams

It comprises eight parts that has been sectioned by the CD into track 1 - 8. I was amazed by the opening organ work at track 1 "Prelude - Time for You". It's very dynamic, sound-wise, and it flows into an uplifting style in relatively fast tempo. It sets the overall tone of the whole epic, even the whole album, I would say. I was very happy with the opening track even at the first spin of the CD. Jonas Reingold! - uuughhh . I like your style man.!!!! You really made my day! "Night Terrors" brings the music into a jazzy nuance with the Flower Kings-like music in relatively medium tempo. "The Midnight Watershed" sets the music in a very dynamic mood with stunning guitar solo and . again . Mr. Reingold .!! Uuughh . you make me smile with your powerful bassline man .!!! Yeah ... It then flows to a very nice jazzy piano - followed by fantastic organ solo and keyboard/synthesizer solo. This third track is damn excellent! These guys are really masters in stirring up my emotions! Really great!

The fourth track "In Dark Dreams" is a quieter music passage in completely jazzy nuance with powerful low register note of vocal line. It's a TFK-like music combined with Po90 (oh, how come I have not reviewed any album of Po90 yet? - For sure, I will do later . it's an excellent band!). This fourth track is composed nicely as a break in the epic as it's a mellow track - hey, there is a classical music influence as well in this track!! Look at the flute passage! "The Half-light Watershed - On Returning - A Sax In The Dark" extends the previous track into a spacey and ambient music - quieter - reminds me of Ozric Tentacles. It is followed with an acoustic guitar / mandolin outfit. Melody- wise this track is an extension from previous track as when the voice line enters it sings similar tagline melody. I personally don't like sax, but the solo sax performed here, augmented with heavy bassline is really great. The epic is then nicely concluded by "Night Terrors (reprise)" that basically shares the melody of second track with improvised sax. It's a very enjoyable epic that in the traditional 70s epic I might associate it with Yes' "Close To The Edge" [structurally, of course; because music-wise the two are totally different vein].

The Canterbury Sequence

What a wonderful outfit this one! Hey man .. If you like things like HATFILED AND THE NORTH, NATIONAL HEALTH, etc .. I bet you would love this badly man!! Oh my God . I do really enjoy this track even from its "wonderful" opening where jazzy flutes (Tull- like) accompany the jazzy vocal line. I don't have other word that is better describe this track "Cantermorabillia" is SUPERB!!! It flows to Hatfield's song "Chaos at the Greasy Spoon" with a top notch composition! All instruments played very skillfully in this tribute track. The flute, guitar, bass, keyboard / organ, drums are all wonderfully played! It flows nicely to "Captain Manning's Mandolin" in increasing mood that satisfies my mind's listening pleasure ..

Up-hill From Here

It's probably the track heavily influenced by Po90 style; performed energetically in fast tempo. Very uplifting and unique sax sound (VdGG style?), stunning guitar and dynamic drumming . Excellent.

The Music That Died Alone

Opened with an excellent piano touch in "A Serenade" backed with spacey / ambient keyboard. Very good piano solo. It continues with a slow jazzy tune "Playing On ." with a flavor of avant-garde music, excellent flute and sax works. It continues with "Prehistory" in an excellent jazz vein. It is concluded with "Reprise".

CD Production

On top of music, this album is packaged very nice. The artwork for its cover, the disc and sleeve was done by Ed Unitsky. It's really top notch!!! This album is dominated by blue colors while the second is more on green but with similar design. Great design and it's really a collector's item; it's very nice to be put in your prog collection. It's really a prog design, I would say. I think, Ed Unitsky is the millenium's Roger Dean. The CD package has influenced me a lot on the kind of music that I expect the band would perform. And, yeah .. the band performs as my expectation when I listen the album in its entirety. [It reminds me decades ago when I first saw Gentle Giant's "Octopus" cover by Roger Dean. If the cover is that wonderful in details, the music must be very great!].

The other thing is on sonic quality- it's an excellent sound quality with great mixing technology. I always play the CD LOUDLY for my ultimate enjoyment of the music.

My Overall Recommendation

Highly recommended! This album deserves five stars rating - immaculate composition! Keep on Progging .!!!"

Progressively yours,

GW - Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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