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The Syn - Syndestructible CD (album) cover

SYNDESTRUCTIBLE

The Syn

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.51 | 48 ratings

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Squire Jaco
3 stars I feel a bit like a traitor. Sorry Chris.

I could quickly rip off the names of twenty or so master bass players (from McCartney to Wooten) for whose playing I have always had a deep appreciation. None of them have ever thrilled me as consistently or deeply as Chris Squire. For me, his playing has always possessed the greatest combination of tone, speed, melody, creativity and personality of any bass player before or since. So it pains me to write a less-than-gushing review of a cd on which he participated.

Mind you, this "reunion" cd of The Syn (really only Squire and Steve Nardelli from the original group) doesn't sound like a bad idea in theory. ("Let's see what the great Master Squire and company were doing before Yes!") But I'm afraid that classic Yes fans and true progressive rock followers will be disappointed. There's nothing really offensive here, but it's not going to satisfy the typical progger. This is more like medium-heavy pop rock with some progressive tendencies - e.g. melodic bass lines (of course), some keyboards, and longer songs. It's a little bit closer to Rabin-era Yes perhaps, but with the everyman vocals of an oftentimes tired-sounding Nardelli. Again, like the music, his vocals are not bad; they just don't do much for me.

What really had me skipping to the next song in places, though, were the lyrics. Too often they became repetitive, superficial and cliche. Maybe that's in the original spirit of the The Syn from 40 years ago, I don't know. (It doesn't work for me.) Despite my disappointment, there are some redeeming moments on this cd. I like the way it begins with the a cappella "Breaking Down Walls" (which is heard later on in the last track too); "Some Time, Some Way"; and some of the faster instrumental sections of "Cathedral of Love" and "The Promise".

If you like your prog a bit less virtuosic and challenging, you might find this cd enjoyable. (Many reviewers apparently already have!) But if you like 1971-77 Yes (or practically ANY prog group from that era, really), there is nothing here that you will miss. Non-essential for progressive music lovers.

Squire Jaco | 3/5 |

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