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2.93 | 20 ratings

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Squire Jaco
4 stars I think I've got this prog-pop thing finally figured out.

O.K., here's the thing. When unusual prog vocalists (like Jon Anderson, say) came on the scene in the early 70's, we relished their vocals as long as they were singing phrases like "a seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace" in odd meters; it wasn't as welcome when they sang phrases like "I am the Man in the Moon" in 4/4 time. And while prog-pop groups like Asia or GTR did have a great tenor vocalist, their talents were too often wasted on uninspired compositions or the lack of polyphony to which our progressive ears were accustomed.

Enter Alan White's "White" album.

I think this cd strikes a nice balance between progressive rock and classic rock (or AOR rock, if you will), without sounding too commercial. There is decent songwriting augmented by solid musicianship, and it's held together by White's classic drum style - a bit more restrained than his early days with Yes, but always interesting and upfront. I always thought Alan White took too much heat as the replacement for the peerless Bill Bruford, and he provided me with many many moments of rhythmic euphoria on "Yessongs", "Tales", "Relayer", "Going for the One" and others.

Kevin Currie is another reason why this album works. He's got a gutsy voice that bears some similitudes with Peter Gabriel and Fish, and gives this music some soul - something that most prog-pop groups sadly lack.

If you're on a strict diet of prog only, you will probably want to skip this meal. But those of us that enjoy good music done well (with a touch of prog!) will find much to enjoy here.

Squire Jaco | 4/5 |


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