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Orion - Orion 2.0: Virtual Human CD (album) cover

ORION 2.0: VIRTUAL HUMAN

Orion

 

Symphonic Prog

4.26 | 42 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars A surprisingly refreshing release from a pair of French artists, Patrick Wyrembski and Janusz Tokarz, founders of the prog band, Orion, back in 1975, who'd left the prog scene for over 30 years. The new incarnation of the band has compositional and production input from Patrick and Janusz but a whole cadre of new musicians performing the songs. Whereas I lambasted their previous release, Le survivant, for its poor production and simplistic compositions, this album has definitely seen the band step up into the big leagues. The album is replete with strong melodies, tight and interestingly constructed songs, all indicative of artists who have a mature understanding on what's important in a song. Though stylistically they're still a little scattered, the sound production is very good.

1. "Virtual Human" (5:24) awesome opener sounding like a cross between an old Big Big Train song (The Difference Machine era) or one from 3RDEGREE, The Long Division album. Great singing voice (in English!) and lyrical delivery. (9.5/10)

2. "T.O.W.U." (3:48) mature, poppy, tightly constructed with great melodies, harmonies, instrumentals and vocals. Quite similar to the sound, feel, and style of New Jersey band, 3RDEGREE. Great song! (10/10)

3. "Run For Life" (5:54) piano-based, a little jazz-bluesy, amps up after a few. Nice melodies. Interesting and innovative that the music sparsens for the delicate "jazz" vocal section. (8.75/10)

4. "Le Nuage" (4:31) I hear a lot of NEMO and its guitarist, Jean-Pierre Louveton, in this music. (8/10)

5. "Silicon Cirkus" (6:00) Is this what Jeff "Skunk" Baxter-era STEELY DAN would sound like in the 21st Century? (8/10)

6. "Silicium" (7:45) a late 1970s pop smooth jazz/jazz fusion song in the vein of Hubert Laws, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Narada Michael Walden, and . Beautiful music with great melodies and harmonies, if a little simplistic. (12.5/15)

7. "Shagreen" (7:01) initially interesting and always pleasant, the song is diminished by its monotony and simplicity over the course of its entire seven minutes. Too bad! (12.5/15)

Total Time 40:29

Despite some great songwriting and delicious melodies, the collection of songs here fail to maintain either the strength of the openers as well as a stylistic consistency to which we can attach an identity.

Four stars; an excellent album of eclectically-inspired poppy progressive rock music.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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