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Argent - Circus CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.34 | 75 ratings

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The Mentalist
4 stars I'm afraid I'll have to go against popular opinion and say I believe this to be one of Argent's best album. Unlike most Argent fans, I wasn't too bothered to see Russ Ballard quit the band. I've always felt there was a dichotomy in Argent between Russ Ballard's more straight ahead approach to song writing and Rod Argents more elaborate and progressive leanings. Personally I prefer the direction Rod Argent obviously wanted the band to go in. With 'Circus' he had a free rein to do as he pleased, and in doing so came up with a very consistent and beautiful album.

The album consists of seven songs, each with a circus theme to the lyrics. The music is a ingenious hybrid of progressive rock, jazz rock and various other styles. Highlights include the fantastic and uplifting (no pun intended) 'Highwire', a nine minute masterpiece featuring an exhilarating guitar solo from John Grimaldi, and a nice Mahavisnu Orchestra-type moment with Argent and Grimaldi trying to outdo one another on their respective instruments.

The next track, the beautiful 'Clown' has to be one of the loveliest song ever penned by Rod Argent. I can only describe this gorgeous ballad as Debussy meets Stevie Wonder meets Queen. In my book this is one of the best Argent song, ever, and the stunning synth solo in the middle, accompanied by beautiful Queen-like vocal harmonies is divine. It's not flash, just very tasteful, especially the way it sings out over the Debussy-esque chord progression. It never fails to send shivers down my spine. Nice one Rod! Another highlight, for me, is the second ballad on the album, the whimsical,'Shine on Sunshine' shades of The Beatles about this one. Once Again there's beautiful and unusual vocal harmonies and a lovely gentle guitar solo that's just perfect for the song. It's a shame this album isn't appreciated more. Maybe now that it's finally been released on CD, more people will go back to it and give it the attention it undoubtedly deserves.

Thank you for reading this.From your friend and fellow lover of "The Progressive", The Mentalist. CREED!
. . .And may The Progressive of the history be only not as sin but creed to you all and yours!
The Mentalist | 4/5 |


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