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Marc Carlton - For Imagination CD (album) cover

FOR IMAGINATION

Marc Carlton

 

Crossover Prog

4.33 | 2 ratings

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The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "For Imagination" is the 8th album by prog, experimental, purely instrumental artist, Marc Carlton. This album was released back in 2012 and sees Carlton explore more musical avenues as he pushes the boundaries further in this compisition. Like his other records Carlton plays all instruments on this album as well as producing it.

The structure of this album is quite intriguing. It is essentially 3 long tracks. And when I say long, I mean long with track 1 "Cityscape" - 25 minutes, track 2 "Someniare Aude, Sapere Aude" - 20 minutes and track 3 "Outward" - 28 minutes. But within these tracks there are a lot of ideas going on and you can see why Carlton split them into different parts. As often within these tracks they go off in all sorts of directions. This stops repetition and keeps drawing the listener in. But at the same time the parts are connected within each track giving flow. Track 1 is 8 parts, track 2, 6 parts and track 3, 4 parts. So it could have been a 17 track album but that would ignore the fact that the different parts within each track flow into each other. Just talking about this makes me realise that for a lot of albums this isn't a talking point because it doesn't happen on the majority of albums I listen to. This is a testament to the amount of thought and time Carlton spends connecting all of the pieces of this amazing jigsaw together in such a long piece of music.

The heaviest point of the album comes in track 1 - "Cityscape" between part 5 - "Heavy metal poisoning (including Antidote)". This is appropriatley titled as it is the hard rock section of the album and sounds amazing. A real highlight for me. I wish it would last longer this part but perhaps the shortness of it makes it more special. Its quite an interesting transition between this part and the next bit of the track which is part 6 - "Trivia-blinded". As it goes from a heavy hard rock part to quite a tranquil melodic part. I almost see it like mountain biking on a ridge high up in the mountains and the transition representing the downhill to the more tranquil easy biking. The transition is like a steep downhill and you have to pump the brakes from making you go too fast and fall off. It does feel slightly out of control but you just about stay on the bike and are now into the relaxing easy cycling.

The 3rd track "Outward" sits at 28 minutes long and I think is the most adventurous track I have heard of Carlton's. At points you feel there is not a lot going on and it takes a while between ideas. There is no explosions of sound of anything that really leaps out I would say. The ideas and the flow of the track I would say are quite subtle. If you are the kind of person that gets frustrated when a bus is 10 minutes late I don't think you would like this as you need to be patient and have an attentive ear to appreciate it. While being long I wouldn't say you need to really take 20 listens to get it. I think even on first listen you can get to grips with it but as I say you do need to be patient. The first two tracks, "Cityscape" and "Someniare Aude, Sapere Aude" are quite contrasting to "Outward". There is a lot more going on in these tracks at all times as Carlton mixes between guitar and synths. The changes of direction happen quicker while still letting the ideas of each part flourish. "Outward" on the other hand is more synth based and is like one long, dreamy, atmospheric outro.

Overall this is not an album you will be blasting full volume in your car or even generally if you are out and about. I think it really requires you to be somewhere with no other interferring sounds when playing this. That way you can fully discover the complexity and it will allow you to be taken on a journey that you can full appreciate this way.

There is a blurb in the inside sleave of the CD of this album with the last sentence saying "While the process of truth is the authority I live by, it is imagination that I live for". This really does sum up what Carlton is about. The way he keeps stretching himself and comes up with new ideas. Everyone has an imagination but few use it and implement the ideas in a way that Carlton does. And that is what makes "For Imagination" so special.

The Rain Man | 4/5 |

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