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Transatlantic - Whirld Tour 2010 - Live From Shepherd's Bush Empire, London CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 230 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars There's so much about Transatlantic which ought not to work. Their album covers are among the tackiest in the business. Their lyrics make me cringe. (The song titles immediately reveal what pseudo-mystical sentiments are expressed within. "We All Need Some Light". "Bridge Across Forever". Nuff said!) Again and again the band attempt to rewrite "Supper's Ready", with ever grander climaxes. Oh, here's a completely new version which goes on for 28 minutes and 31 seconds. Here's a 30-minute version! And - wait - here's a version which goes on for SEVENTY-NINE MINUTES AND FIFTY-TWO SECONDS. Unbelievable. (The last-mentioned just comprises the FIRST CD in this overpowering triple-disc set.) Giganticism on an unseen scale... The worst of the Flower Kings and (old-style) Spock's Beard combined???

Well no - not the worst. Definitely not. As soon as I listen to the actual music, all (ALMOST all) my reservations disappear. The tunes are THAT catchy. The tempo changes are truly exhilerating. The solos (on electric guitar, retro-synths or WHATEVER) sound vivacious and inspired. The rocky bits just carry you along, the ballads bring a tear to your eye, and all the grand climaxes simply make you wish you were right there among the fans, in the concert hall.

In the past twenty years or so many acts have tried to recreate the thrills and triumphs of classic symphonic prog. Many bands have attempted to reach those rare heights but collapsed under their own weight. Transatlantic themselves, I think, would be the first to admit they're not achieving something original. They're working in a specific tradition but invariably do so in high spirits. It's this which lifts their work above the throng. The music rocks hard. While not exactly refined, it sounds truly uplifting. (And to my relief there are few, if any, attempts at imitating "The Battle of Epping Forest" type of humour.)

It seems unlikely that WHIRLD TOUR 2010 will appeal to anyone in your family (or among your friends) who's not yet a prog-head. But if you need a soundtrack for your next three-hour car journey ALONE, this album might be just what you need.

fuxi | 3/5 |


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