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Paul Cusick - Focal Point CD (album) cover


Paul Cusick


Crossover Prog

3.35 | 40 ratings

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3 stars I accidentally bumped into this release and remembered that it was in PA's featured albums a few months ago; and quite rightly so. Paul Cusick is a one-man band (except drums) and does really well in what he tries to deliver to his selected audience. His crossover prog is closer to the recent Porcupine Tree sound and Steve Wilson's personal projects.

Saying that, there is no attempted mimicking of any of the abovementioned, but there seems to be a natural tendency towards that direction. This is clearly a Briitish-sound influenced album - from the 70's to the 90's and back again. There are some characteristic touches from Floydian tunes, ambient atmospheres and commercial "methodologies" as in the case of Everblue. The title track stands out as the most experimental and adventurous, while Fade Away strongly resembles to The Wall. The rest of the album borrows many elements from Porcupine Tree (see Soul Words and Big Cars).

Compositionally, the album is well-thought and well-executed. Cusick delivers some exceptional melodies, primarily through solid vocal performance (Scared to Dream, Hold On). Pianos and keyboards add to the melancholic atmosphere. My main "complaint" is the shadowing of the experimental or progressive elements by a dominating commercial sound.

This album would definitely appeal to fans of Porcupine Tree, Blackfield (or any other Wilson project) or (mellow parts of) Dream Theater and friends of new ambient crossover sounds. Nonetheless, this is a nice and pleasant album of high quality music; promising for the future provided that Cusick decides to explore more adventurous paths.

aapatsos | 3/5 |


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