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Simon Says - Tardigrade CD (album) cover


Simon Says


Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 215 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars A passage in Macan's 'Rocking the Classics' compares the complex quality of Rick Wakeman's solo albums with those he contributed to as keyboardist for Yes. The former albums, Macan suggests, display Wakeman's impressive technical skills across a wide range of keyboards but ultimately, , "there is not much substance beneath the surface brilliance" with the music becoming a pastiche of ideas" which "are seldom developed and tend to run into one another rather haphazardly". By contrast, the albums of Yes carefully 'develop', 'rework' and 'vary' melodic themes to achieve an impressive 'intensity'. My initial listening to 'Tardigrade' left me to believe that 'Simon Says' were treading the same virtuosic but directionless path as Wakeman in his solo work. It seemed that the group had become more virtuosic and more confident in exploring different musical styles and ideas than in their previous albums and that they had acquired access to a truly monumental range of different instruments and studio gadgetry. Yet, was the music suffering through a desire to employ everything at their disposal regardless or not it contributed to its overall cohesion? After a few repeat listens to the album, however, I now realise that this first impression was a little unfair. Tardigrade, like the group's previous album, is a masterful example of Genesis inspired Progressive Rock and with its undoubted epic qualities provides a model to which so many other groups can only aspire. Ideas, to borrow Macan's words once again, are developed, reworked and varied: and listening to the album is a rewarding experience. Nevertheless, the nagging doubt remains that the musicians have become a little too obsessed with what the various buttons on their instruments and studio equipment can do rather than accepting that sometimes, in the pursuit of musical intensity, less is more.
Kiwi1 | 4/5 |


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