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Airbag - All Rights Removed CD (album) cover





4.01 | 524 ratings

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4 stars A wonderful album!

When I listen to bands such as Airbag, I feel relief because we do have new bands that will keep progressive rock alive for so many years. I don't really care if their music is considered a kind of alternative prog, or light prog, not at all, I simply listen to them and let the sounds do the rest. In the end, the experience is really positive. Last year (2011) this Norwegian band released their second studio album, entitled 'All Rights Removed', which contains six excellent compositions that make a total time of 50 minutes.

The album opens with 'All Rights Removed'. In my opinion they couldn't have chosen a better opener, since with this song one can actually feel attracted and let the music do the rest. Though I like the whole album, I would say this track is still my favorite now. This song has a mid-tempo rhythm with a truly addictive sound. I like a lot the constant guitar and the mellow and even beautiful voice of the singer; the song perfectly flows and it is notable how it is progressing little by little because it softly starts and then in the third minute we have an explosive tune, which later vanishes for a little bit. There is a short instrumental interlude here, but then the structure returns and the music takes once again that intense and attractive tune. Worth mentioning that the keyboard plays a primordial role here, the atmospheres and background wouldn't be the same without them. A wonderful song!

'White Walls' has a softer beginning with some laid-back moments. The voice is delicate, mellow and disarming, and it is accompanied by guitars. A minute later bass and drums enter and create an emotional sound, perfectly represented by the guitar riff that comes next. After three minutes we will have a quieter passage where we can perceive the bass notes along with the soft keyboard background, then guitar joins and all of a sudden the song explodes, returning to that emotional sound it brought earlier.

When you think you are listening to the next passage of White Walls, you will realize a new song has actually started. It is 'The Bridge', whose sound may be alike to the previous one, letting us know that the whole album could be a long piece divided in six parts. I like how this track flows (actually how the whole album flows), how you have a mixture of emotions here, and also a blend of sounds and genres because the progressive rock element is here of course, but it also has some kind of alternative rock on it (which is not bad at all). Another positive point is that here I enjoy both, the instrumental passages, and the ones with vocals, it is a really good complement between them.

A longer track comes next with 'Never Coming Home'. Nine minutes of a fresh and tranquilizing music that can be easily loved due to its gentleness and charm. Here we will continue with the soft rhythm and tempo, with a wonderful keyboard atmosphere, the always good voice and a guitar that can change your mood in a split second depending on what it is playing, because it could be making a soft solo that seconds later will turn into a more emotional and disarming one. The music flows so exquisitely, that when you less imagine the nine minutes have already passed. And now a somber, darker piece is offered in 'Light them all up', which is a three-minute instrumental track that will let your imagination fly. After a minute it turns calmer but later a violin appears and produces a spine-chilling sound, which if you are so sensitive, will even make you spread a couple of tears.

Last but not least, an epic 17-minute track entitled 'Homesick' and divided in three parts; a challenging, complex and great song to finish this wonderful album. It starts with acoustic guitars and mellow voice, as you imagine, it progresses little by little, adding different textures and atmospheres, creating that light (but great) side of progressive rock. Later there is an instrumental passage made by keyboards that put a soft and relaxing sound, this is like an ambient music blended with rock. After eight minutes when drums join and keyboards play some notes, I immediately though about 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', I don't know if the band are aware of it, but I noticed a similar sound in that particular moment. Then the instrumental moment continues, but flowing little by little and making a higher intensity until it slows down at minute eleven. The next minutes are delicious: first some moments when the guitar takes the leadership, marking the rhythm and feeling; and later the music returns to that soft keyboard bases sound a la Crazy Diamond. Then, the music slowly fades out, and the album finishes.

What a great album by Airbag, I've been listening to it over and over recently and I can't get enough of it, this is one of those albums whose music grow on you until you are addicted, and though I do not consider it as a true masterpiece, I can say it is a solid example of a well-created release with excellent compositions. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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