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IQ - Ever CD (album) cover





4.05 | 710 ratings

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3 stars Perhaps there is something that others are getting from this album, based on the proportion of those who say that Ever is IQ's best album, but I have to say that if I listed my top 3 albums from the band, Ever would definitely be left out (maybe even left out of my top 5). Historically it is important in that IQ reunited when it seemed unlikely there would be more output from them, but I hear a band that is still finding its new direction. Nicholls continues to improve his delivery, the production is improved, and the compositions--especially the extended ones--are tighter, but all of these factors would noticeably improve on this in later albums.

The Darkest Hour is the highlight, and it ranks up in the top 10 or so tracks released by the band, in my opinion. It's catchy, bouncy, and was also very fun to see live. Great way to kick off the album, and to announce that IQ is back with great music.

However, the rest of the album is more mixed to me. The longest piece, Further Away, has some solid moments, such as the heavy 6/4 section, but the softer parts are just not exciting enough to sufficiently lead into or out of the exciting bits. On other tracks, such as Fading Senses and Leap of Faith, there are some decent melodies and somewhat creative varying of time signatures, but in my opinion the tempo is simply too slow. Compared to Seventh House, when IQ would nicely kick up the tempo when they had a rocking line, in these tracks, they just don't seem confident enough to give it the gas that the material deserves.

So, the seeds for future prog greatness are planted with Ever, but they just needed a few more years to really begin to bear fruit. Certainly some solid neo-prog, but for me, the music on Ever fits the phrase "good, but non-essential" like a glove.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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