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Ambrosia - Somewhere I've Never Travelled CD (album) cover




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3.07 | 66 ratings

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2 stars For a few years, I kept reading reviews that gushed about the classy progressive-pop music of US quartet Ambrosia, and thus I was pretty excited when my cousin presented me with this album two years ago. It was an enormous disappointment and I still shake my head with disbelief whenever I read about how great Ambrosia (or this album at least) is supposed to be.

One thing I won't dispute is the band members are consummate musicians. However, instead of being musicians with real character like one would expect from a prog band, these guys sound like sessionists for some sort of soft-rock band. I really don't think much of the songwriting or the sound (which is something like a much watered down version of early Utopia and mid-period Styx). Keyboardist Christopher North probably provides most of the exciting moments here, but even that is mainly in the form of a few flourishes that accompany a verse, rather than a solo or a lead melodic line.

The only aspects of this album that interest me are the outro of the title track, I Wanna Know (which has a very nice intro and an unusual guitar solo but is still not that far away from territory covered by The Eagles or even Survivor), the Todd-Rundgren influenced ballad We Need You Too (and it ain't prog neither!) and what is probably the album's centerpiece Danse With Me, George, a lengthy affair with a few diverse sub-sections that is nonetheless quite flawed.

Even other songs that help qualify this album for prog status such as percussion-heavy The Brunt and Cowboy Star (which has orchestral interludes that are inferior to most other prog attempts at orchestration ... I do believe I heard Bonanza's theme song in there at one point!) are downright annoying.

The vast majority of this album sounds like aimless soft-rock. Think of Bread, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Dan Hill and a few others of that ilk. Now imagine one of their ballads ... take away the main tune ... double the track length ... throw in a few pretty frills ... That's what I hear when I hear Ambrosia. I still can't believe its lofty reputation. ... 25% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 2/5 |


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