Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Umphrey's McGee - Safety In Numbers CD (album) cover


Umphrey's McGee


Crossover Prog

3.57 | 45 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Umphey's McGee's fourth album "Safety in Numbers" comes after one of their discography highlights "Anchor Drops". For whatever reason, the band opted to take a softer and less progressive approach to this album, but that definitely doesn't mean you should skip over this album. There is still progressive elements at play here, you just have to listen for them. Also, the music, for the most part, still has the unique approach that the band is known for, and it is still quite highly enjoyable. The music is mostly upbeat even if it is softer. It also has a jazzier edge to it making for a nice fusion sound.

Another thing that is noticeable is that there is more of an acoustic sound to the music. Again, this might even be something that you might not even notice as there is still a lot going on, so you can't really call it their "unplugged" album, because it does not sound unplugged at all. The sessions for this album generated a lot of great material, and the band sounds very relaxed, and this all works to their advantage. The album might be a grower for some, and for me, it has taken a few years to really penetrate, but now I find it highly entertaining and enjoyable.

The opening track "Believe the Lie" is one of the more progressive tracks on here, but attentive listeners will notice that it is a bit different from their previous albums. This difference will be noticeable on some tracks more than others, but there is no need to fear as there are still plenty of experimental surprises to keep you interested. Then as you listen to it more, you will notice the subtle progressive tricks and turns. However, there are songs on here that might be considered a bit more geared towards the masses and a bit more radio friendly, as in "Women, Wind & Song" (which even features Huey Lewis on background vocals and harmonica) and "Intentions Clear". There is a sweet little instrumental that hints at the bands melancholic side in "End of the Road". But then there are those that lean a bit to the more experimental side like "Rocker" and "Words". There's plenty here to keep fans engaged and also accessible music that would make this a great album for musical lovers to discover the band with.

There was so much material generated from this album, that they were able to make a 2nd album with it, which would end up making their following album "The Bottom Half" which also includes a 2nd disc with even further outtakes, rehearsals and other horseplay.

No, the album isn't a progressive 5-star gem, but it is still quite enjoyable and interesting with less improvisation, but still a good amount of great music. I still find that I can easily attach a 4-star rating to it as it is not an album to be ignored, but don't expect a high level of progressive or heavy music on this one. It's very relaxed and accessible and the band seems to be having fun.

TCat | 4/5 |


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 UMPHREY'S MCGEE 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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.