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US - Reflections CD (album) cover

REFLECTIONS

US

 

Neo-Prog

2.95 | 12 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Heading towards the fifth studio album, Us' core started to become instable.Ernest Wernars started having doubts about the project's viablility due to lack of money and the mixed reviews the band was receiving.Even this way Us managed to finish the album ''Reflections'', another family affair of Jos and Ernest Wernars (again with Marijke Wernars in some vocal parts), released in 2007.

The bad vibrations around the project's future seem to have had an impact in the inspirational section, as ''Reflections'' is definitely the weakest album of Us so far, still not weak enough not to qualify as a good album.Split in three mid-length compositions and three long epics, the Dutch duo offers again elaborate, lush arrangements with definite GENESIS leanings, however the sound of the programmed drums starts really to become annoying.Combined with the vocals, which were never Us' strong point, these make up the most negative factors of ''Reflections'', possibly along with the lack of some trully striking melodies.On the other hand the experience of Wernars' brothers led them to compose well-crafted and interesting pieces with a balanced sound and some really captivating themes.The new album follows the same receipt the group proposed over the years, muddy and old-fashioned Neo/Symphonic Progressive Rock, full of organ , Mellotron and synth runs and some lovely HACKETT-ish guitar lines.While the atmosphere follows mainly a mellow path, there are also plenty of bombastic explosions with a grandiose instrumental delivery to keep the listener's attention.Changing climates and sudden breaks are always in the menu, leading from intense and rich textures to more vocal-based and lyrical passages.

Us seem to pass over a dangerous crossroad at this point.Their work remains qualitive and interesting, but some of the magic is lost somewhere during the process.Anyway, this is not their strongest effort, but it has major possibilities to satisfy any fan of Classic-styled Progressive Rock.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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