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IQ - Nomzamo CD (album) cover





2.80 | 325 ratings

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3 stars Things turned around for IQ after the ''Living proof'' live release.The heavy live schedule and the bad relationship of Pete Nichols with the rest of the band led to his departure.It's hard to believe that they were disagreements regarding the style of the band,as the new Nichols' band ''Niadem's ghost'' was even more poppish than anything IQ ever released.Anyway,he was replaced by the young Paul Menel,who even had an active role,writing lyrics and co-writing music for the upcoming album ''Nomzamo,released in 1987 on Mercury.

The presence of a new vocalist brought many changes on IQ's style.The band would lean towards the commercial and fairly accesible style of Neo Progressive Rock,like presented in the opening ''No love lost''.The symphonic keys of Orford are there,but the overall structure is very simple and catchy,while Menel's voice,despite being sensitive and expressive,lacks the depth and theatricism of Nichols' one.Listening to the first five tracks (with exception of some moments of the self-titled track),you will hardly believe this band created two excellent Symphonic Rock opuses a few years ago.Plastic digital synths,cheesy vocals,a strong amount of pop tunes and cliche song structures.This doesn't mean that the tracks are bad,they are quite good actually,but they are also very far from the band's real abilities of composing grandiose music.Fortunately by ''Human nature'' the old spirit will wake up.Dreamy symphonic keyboard work,spacey soloing by Mike Holmes and certainly Menel's best performance by far.''Screaming'' is really awful,badly played synth Pop-Rock of the lowest quality.With ''Common ground'' the album will close in a sensitive way,a fantastic ballad with sensational vocal lines and the trippy guitar and synths of Holmes and Orford respectively in the background.

The decision of the band to remove from their symphonic past is of course respected,but time would show that it was not the best thing to do,as even their sellings were not that high.Yet,I do not think that ''Nomzamo'' is a black hole in IQ's discography.Their ability to create memorable tunes and the few great signs of their old sound make this album worth owning.Recommended for fans of the accesible face of Neo Prog.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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