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Mystery - The World Is A Game CD (album) cover

THE WORLD IS A GAME

Mystery

 

Neo-Prog

3.98 | 327 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars This is a pleasant surprise--and my favorite Mystery album yet. The musicians are all clicking on the same wavelengths, the songs are sufficiently constructed to raise this band from what I call "second tier" prog into the halls of the real thing. (Obviously, M. David has learned a lot from his experiences with other bands--most notably, YES. And Nick D'Virgilio continues to only get better with the years--his intuitive skill at meshing his drumming with the musicians and ideas with which he works is IMHO unsurpassed in present-day prog. Just look at what he did for BIG BIG TRAIN!) Aside from the two intro/interlude songs ("A Morning Rise" and "The Unwinding of Time"), we have here six meaty songs with mature compositional value and great sound production. This latter aspect is one reason I give this album the bump up to the four star level.

The second song, "Pride" (11:28) (9/10) has a fairly simple construct and nothing terribly surprising--feeling like a cross between RUSH Signals-era and GENESIS And Then There Were Three: lots of catchy melodic hooks and some awesome drumming--though the soft section at the eight minute mark (beginning with the acoustic guitar arpeggio riff from "Midnight Cowboy theme) owes everything to maestro, JON ANDERSON (and a little of LOVERBOY). The individual performances are perfection and are especially noteworthy for the coheseive "team" feeling to it all.

The album's jewel, however, IMO, is the third song, "Superstar" (6:59) (10/10). A laid back tune with heart-breaking melodies much in the same vein as MOTH VELLUM. The vocals, guitar soli, drumming, bass and keyboard work are all absolutely perfect! One of my Top 10 songs for Y2K12.

The title song, (7:57) (6/10), has its gorgeous parts--including the guitars and piano--but the vocal and melody lines feel a bit too syrupy---like the group AIR SUPPLY from the 70s and 80s.Even when it hits third gear at the four minute mark it feels too much like 707, STYX or JOURNEY (three of my "second tier" "prog-wannabees").

6. "Dear Someone" (6:21) (8/10) has quite an awesome beginning (even if it reminds me of one of my favorite JOHN DENVER songs), which evolves into an equally gorgeous DEF LEPPARD-like section, thanks to an awesome electric guitar sound. Great melodies throughout this one--and some really hopeful, heart-warming lyrics (I hear you, Benoit! I have children!) Incredible work sur le batterie, Sir Nick, from the fourth minute on! Love the el gtr, flute and drum interplay at the very end.

7. "Time Goes By" (6:04) (7/10) has a bit more use of odd, thoughtful, melody lines woven together in an interesting and, I would guess, (for this band) risky way. The chorus melody reminds me tremendously of THE BUGGLES' "Rainbow Warrior". This one never really grabs me unitl the last minute in a half when the drums, bass, and guitar start playing off each other in an awesome display of instrumental "inter-PLAY." I appreciate this song's 'adventurousness'.

8. "Another Day" (19:02) (9/10) is one of my favorite epics of the year--mostly because I feel so strongly as if I am back listening to the best stuff from COLLAGE's Moonshine or SATELLITE's A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset. And you will find some awesome work by Nick D'Virgilio here!

The World Is a Game is not a masterpiece that propels the evolution of progressive rock forward, but it is a very solid, excellent sounding piece of prog ear candy--with some excellent group and individual performances. Definitely recommended for 'classic rock' and prog lovers.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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