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CROSSOVER PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Crossover Prog definition

Crossover Prog contains progressive rock music that, though 100% progressive, may have a musical connection to popular music-- whether it be the lack of emphasis on extended compositions, or an influence from mainstream music in addition to classical, jazz and folk. Compositions, however, still exhibit a high degree of sophistication, sometimes outright complexity, and the musicianship and virtuosity is often on a par with established Prog acts. Much like their kin in the established prog sub-genres, these groups will incorporate many major parts of what defines prog rock: the fusing of rock with the structures and discipline of more traditional musics, the use of syntheisizers and new technologies, intelligent thematics, and the expansion of the form.

The defining characteristics of Crossover Prog are a pop music influence that is largely vacant in typical prog rock. Songs tend toward shorter, more concise presentations though still reach beyond the typical verse, bridge, chorus pattern. The harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic structures may be more easily digested in Crossover while not losing the musical integrity that a prog listener expects. Whereas Prog Related bands are generally commercial groups with certain prog elements or players that were involved in prog acts, Crossover Prog artists are predominantly progressive with elements of popular music.

The most representative examples for this genre include The MOODY BLUES, SUPERTRAMP, DREDG, CINEMA SHOW, RADIOHEAD.

- written by micky (Michael) and Chus (Jesus)

Current Team Members as at 01/01/2014

Marty McFly (Martin)
Evolver (Scott)
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tszirmay (Thomas)

Crossover Prog Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Crossover Prog | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.34 | 993 ratings
CRIME OF THE CENTURY
Supertramp
4.34 | 807 ratings
OMMADAWN
Oldfield, Mike
4.33 | 974 ratings
THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING (AND OTHER STORIES)
Wilson, Steven
4.25 | 678 ratings
DOOMSDAY AFTERNOON
Phideaux
4.26 | 302 ratings
~
iamthemorning
4.22 | 559 ratings
PETER GABRIEL (3 - "MELT")
Gabriel, Peter
4.21 | 712 ratings
ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART ONE)
Big Big Train
4.19 | 1093 ratings
GRACE FOR DROWNING
Wilson, Steven
4.18 | 634 ratings
SNOWTORCH
Phideaux
4.18 | 511 ratings
THE UNDERFALL YARD
Big Big Train
4.14 | 500 ratings
DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED
Moody Blues, The
4.13 | 498 ratings
ENGLISH ELECTRIC (PART TWO)
Big Big Train
4.14 | 409 ratings
NIGHT
Gazpacho
4.20 | 161 ratings
QUICKLY QUICKLY QUICKLY
Tea Club, The
4.26 | 108 ratings
THE SHAMING OF THE TRUE
Gilbert, Kevin
4.20 | 148 ratings
ACT I: THE LAKE SOUTH, THE RIVER NORTH
Dear Hunter, The
4.16 | 181 ratings
THE HEMULIC VOLUNTARY BAND
Ritual
4.11 | 290 ratings
PASSION
Gabriel, Peter
4.22 | 116 ratings
LOVE REMAINS THE SAME
Von Hertzen Brothers
4.05 | 729 ratings
TUBULAR BELLS
Oldfield, Mike

Crossover Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Crossover Prog experts team

THE LOST ART OF TIME TRAVEL
Presto Ballet
2. (ODCIEń CISZY)
Wozniak, Tadeusz
FOLKLORE
Pez
ONE OF SEVERAL POSSIBLE MUSIKS
Livgren, Kerry

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Latest Crossover Prog Music Reviews


 Nu Närmar Vi Oss. by AVGRUNDEN album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Nu Närmar Vi Oss.
Avgrunden Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In Sweden much of the progressive music scene was highly political, ranging from socialist views to outright communist. The political message seemed, at times, more important than the music. I, for one, love this music. It is both charming in a sometimes naive way and very much of it's time. Some bands are extremely good (Trettioĺriga kriget, Samla Mammas Manna etc.) and some were really bad, though not always uninteresting.

Avgrunden (The Abyss, in swedish) was a band from the south of Sweden that released one album of folky, jazz-tinged progressive music with political lyrics. Just take a look at the cover. The swedish flag has this red star in it's center, proclaiming the band's (and the swedish progressive music scene's) vision of the future. Struggle and strife will result in the downfall of capitalism. A new world in the morning, as it were.

The album starts and ends with "Signaturen" (The theme). It then kicks off with allt the signature trademarks of Avgrunden. Jazzy, folky and really competent. There are lyrics about the computers taking over (Datamaskin) and the swedish country-side and what's happening there. All politizised and kicking against the establishment with it's capitalist minds.

Though not one of the best albums of the era, Avgrunden made a really pleasant album. Now I don't mind left wing policies myself but if you do, you ought to focus on the music. It is really a quite original blend as far as Sweden is concerned. Well written and very well executed. I think that the mix of genres (folk, jazz, rock) is really something. The electric piano is very present, making the jazzy side of things really stand out.

When I got this album on vinyl back in the early 90's it spent quite some time in my Walkman. I have fond memories of this album and I do listen to it every now and then. I wish it would be released on CD in the future but I doubt it.

All in all a very pleasant, quite original and well constructed album.

 LOVE.BLOOD.LIVE by TRANSPORT AERIAN album cover Live, 2014
4.00 | 2 ratings

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LOVE.BLOOD.LIVE
Transport Aerian Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Math Rock Team

4 stars True artists are difficult to find nowadays. I don't mean people that can simply make music, even well. I mean the real deal, those people that are saturated with eccentric-ism, and those people around the world that have an aura of creativity and imagination in everything they do. Hamlet Transportinae is one such individual, and he is rather proud of that fact. His 2013 album "Bleeding" was an excellent example of his eclectic, unique style, and that album even received an HD re-release through Melodic Revolution Records a few weeks ago.

So, on the heels of all that, Transport Aerian has released his first live album, "LOVE.BLOOD.LIVE". As you might have guessed, this isn't your normal live album. There are no cheers, applause, or any crowd noises at all. Plus, the entire show is put on by only two people: Hamlet and his friend Stefan. These two put on a fine show that includes plenty of real-time triggered programming, but also plenty of amazing instrumentation and splendid vocals. Like I said, "LOVE.BLOOD.LIVE" is not your normal live album.

But how does all this translate? Incredibly, the show goes on without a hitch, and it's often difficult to tell where the programming starts and ends. Another thing I've noted on each listen is how different the music sounds. Transport Aerian's sound is a rather unique mix of darkness, melancholy, wonderful guitars that range from riffing to soaring solos, synth that sounds unlike any I've heard, and Hamlet's accent-laden, rich voice. Yet, he messes with the structure and sound of many of the tracks, to great effect. The music sounds warmer, more inviting, and incredibly sophisticated. There is a poetic vibe to the whole "LOVE.BLOOD.LIVE" experience that sucks you in, and I think much of that may even come from the excellent sound and mix.

The track list is also a real treat. Some of my favorites off of "Bleeding" make an appearance, such as "Love", "Inspire", and "Winter", but also tracks that I'd never heard, such as "Minor Moody" and "Radio Void". The former three are tweaked and polished to perfection. Of greatest note is "Inspire", an excellent song that has been made into something even more spectacular through the use of a great mix, awesome programs, and a rethinking of some parts. It may be my favorite on this live album, especially because I appreciate the incredibly unique synth solo that is simultaneously catchy and hard to follow. The latter two tracks range from atmospheric to astonishingly bold and even heavy at parts. All the while, Hamlet excels in the vocal department, as his live voice seems to have even more personality and depth.

Transport Aerian's first live album, then, is a true success. "LOVE.BLOOD.LIVE" is interesting, never dull, and keeps even the fans on their toes. Whether it be the poetic readings of "Triangle Town" or the meatier version of "Winter", this album mixes up everything to a level of elegance, maturity, and refinement. If you are interested in unique, fresh progressive rock, I highly recommend this fine live album.

 Fog Electric by NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.50 | 30 ratings

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Fog Electric
North Atlantic Oscillation Crossover Prog

Review by LakeGlade12

4 stars 3.5 Stars. Expert with high energy

Fog Electric is the second album from alternative-prog band North Atlantic Oscillation and sees them settling down into a more focused and consistent sound compared to their first album. This comes with the benefit of better flow and a concept-album feel, however they could also be accused of writing songs with not enough variety between them and they are definitely predictable. This is a fast paced and noisy album, the band loves to shower the listener with hard hitting but catchy electronic rock while Chris Howard sings with in a level headed, almost robotic voice.

"Soft Coda" begins with some haunting wordless harmonies before settling into a fast and restless rhythm. There are fluctuations in energy between the verses and choruses but the general nature is a controlled hyperactivity with lots of things happening but the band never let things become chaotic. The song finishes with a intense instrumental. Its worth saying that the music on this album is never aggressive, only very energetic and LOAD.

"Chirality" begins much more delicately and has a almost ballet type feel to it at the beginning. Emotion is present here but the sleek production and Howard's voice gives it a artificial tone. Not necessarily in a negative way but this may put off some listeners. The intro is short lived and the second half of the song ia a steady build-up which gives way to another noisy closer. The lyrics on this song and album are very complicated (Yes without the new-age) so unless you have a passion for literature don't expect to understand or fully appreciate the words.

"Mirador" has a more epic type feel compared to the other songs even though its length is average. The song focuses on drama instead of noise and is the most coherent song so far. The lyrics refer to the title of this album and "fog electric" is probably the best adjective to describe this track. There is a ominous and mysterious feel, but there is plenty of energy and brightness to the sound. Cool song.

"Empire Waste" is a song of two halves. The first is another fast paced electronic rock track (getting a bit bored at this point) which is at maximum volume. The second half is very different as the band finally settle into a gentle and beautiful melody. I wish there were more quiet moments like this on the album because they do have a talent for beautiful songs. At least they draw out this section so it can be properly enjoyed.

"Savage With Barometer" snaps you out of the gentle atmosphere and blasts you with gritty and harsh noise, in fact this is the noisiest song on the album. It reminds me of God Speed You! Black Emperor's most recent album where they craft songs out of chaotic noise, although this song does not go to such extremes. Behind the noise is a relatively simple but catchy song and again the singing is very controlled and restrained. It makes for a interesting and quite unique contrast when compared with the chaotic and random noises.

"Interval" is rich in atmosphere and suspension and is effectively one big build-up. It has a almost psychedelic sound due to the heavy distortion and sound effects although the modern sleek edge that dominates this album is never lost. Sadly the fantastic build-up leads to nothing which is a shame as it could have been something amazing.

"Expert With Altimeter" is the most cheerful and poppy song here and would fit very nicely in many alternative rock albums. While being just as noisy as most of the other songs there is a greater focus on melody and vocals which explains why it is more assessable. This should be a great crowd pleaser during tours.

"The Receiver" is probably the most Proggy song on the album and is made of multiple sections that are all well joint together. While being more complex then the other songs the journey is the same, a quiet beginning with a steady build-up which finishes with intense post-rock style playing at the end. That does not stop it from being a enjoyable song and there are links in themes to previous songs, therefore making it the climax of the album and a highlight for sure.

"Downhill" as the name indicates is a gloomier finish to the album. Unlike the other songs it is low energy and much more restrained, however this matches the lyrics which are about the gradual ruin of the machine that keeps the crew men alive. Its not a Prog song by any means, just alternative rock with some smart elements. There is also a reprise of the vocal harmony that started the album which makes for a nice finishing touch. There is a bonus track which consists of mainly ambient music and is nothing special.

Rating this album is difficult as objectively I would give this 3 stars due to it not being essential in any way and Prog purists won't have enough to sink their teeth into. However I listened to this album a lot in 2012 when I got it and despite being repetitive and predictable I was not easily bored which is a credit to the band. 3.5 stars is exactly what it deserves but I will round up this time because they are talented and deserve some more exposure.

Recommended for listeners who want intelligent but easy to absorb and energetic rock. I would also strongly recommend it to people who are also fans of alternative rock. While not amazing this album is very solid and stands up well to repeated listens. Give it a go!

 On The Threshold Of A Dream  by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.71 | 229 ratings

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On The Threshold Of A Dream
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In the 1960s, there wasn't such a sharp line between the tripped-out aesthetic of psychedelia and the high ambitions of progressive rock, and with On the Threshold of a Dream the Moodies do a great job of straddling that line. Dear Diary finds the band at their most earthbound - taking the beat sound of the mid-1960s and applying it to the evocation of a dreary daily rut - whilst elsewhere their trippy poetry and experimentation with early prog song structures finds them gearing up to explore higher worlds. It's a little muddled and the concept isn't as well formed as on the previous or subsequent albums, but it's a collection of solid Moody tracks that nicely demonstrates how varied their sound could be.
 Something Magic by PROCOL HARUM album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.91 | 77 ratings

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Something Magic
Procol Harum Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I really don`t know but maybe by 1977 the members of PROCOL HARUM were tired of being ten years recording albums and of being on tour. Maybe this album was only a "contractual obligation" to finish the contract with the record label, and it is similar in some ways to ELP`s "Love Beach" album from 1978, which was clearly a "contractual obligation album" after which the band finally split for several years. But if "Love Beach" showed some shorter songs more oriented to Pop Rock than to Prog Rock (plus a long "Suite" in the side two of the LP, like this album), in this album PROCOL HARUM still tried to show some Prog Rock songs, some of which really sound as previous reviewers mentioned: pretentious, bombastic, pompous, etc. As a whole the album is not so bad, but it really shows signs of being recorded while being tired.

For this album, there were some "new" things. First, bassist Alan Cartwright left the band, so Chris Copping returned to play the bass, and new member Peter Solley added synthesizers to the sound of the band and used a Farfisa organ instead of a Hammond organ. The Hammond organ became very identified with the "old" sound of the band, so its absence made the sound of the band change a bit. There are also some orchestral arrangements, well done, but a bit pompous. Also, the album was recorded in Miami with the Albert Brothers doing the production job (a production team which at the time was producing albums by the BEE GEES and other similar bands from the Disco Fad). I even read an interview done with Gary Brooker some years later saying that the Albert Brothers did not like the songs very much but anyway they worked with the band in Miami. Even Brooker had some doubts about the quality of the songs then! But maybe the record label wanted a "new" PROCOL HARUM sound so they suggested to the band to work with those producers. I think that the combination finally did not work very well.

So, this album sounds "uninspired", even if the band still sounds well, as the songs are very well played, arranged and produced. But maybe Brooker and Reid were looking for a "way out" for the career of the band, at least for some years. So they agreed to work with those producers and to make a "polished" and a more "late seventies modern album" to finish the recording contract. The band even toured in 1977, but without Chris Copping, who was replaced by Dee Murray, a bassist who worked a lot with Elton John`s band. PROCOL HARUM finally split by mid 1977.

The main "problem" in this album for many people is the long "Suite" called "The worm and the tree", which has the lyrics recited by Brooker instead of being sung. Musically, is not a bad song, but maybe the idea of reciting the lyrics was not very good after all.

Peter Solley (previously an ex-member and the main composer of the band PALADIN in the early seventies) is a very good keyboard player. Unfortunately his style maybe did not fit very well with the band`s style, but his playing is very good anyway.

Some reviewers mentioned Punk as a cause of Prog Rock`s lack of popularity in the late seventies. Well. In my opinion Punk was only another musical fad, but in this case, a musical fad which lacked a lot of quality in comparison to Prog Rock and even with Disco Music and New Wave music. Punk was a fad which did not last and in my opinion did not contribute with anything good to music, with some exceptions like THE CLASH. Like TREVOR RABIN said in one interview which was included in the DVD version of YES`s "9012Live " video, Punk was "rubbish". I agree with him.

This album as out of print for a lot of years since the late seventies. Maybe it did not sell many copies as the label wanted.

 Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins by SPARKS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.41 | 11 ratings

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Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
Sparks Crossover Prog

Review by tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It took a break of six years (during which the brothers were trying to make a Japanese comic strip into a movie) to make it happen, but the brothers finally made another good album. There are some reasons to poo-poo it, of course; the sound makes extensive use of contemporary techno sounds and beats, and on my first few listens I had trouble getting beyond the notion of the duo (it's pointless to call them a 'band' at this point; the brothers handled all of the music and the bulk of the production) as a couple of old men trying to grab onto a music scene that had passed them by (kinda like with David Bowie and Earthling a few years later). This isn't, by and large, my kind of music, and I almost certainly would never find my way to an album like this if it wasn't made by a group with whom I was already familiar. And yet, for whatever issues I might have with the underpinning production choices, I can't help but enjoy a good chunk of this album. It's not on the same level as Heaven (the easy comparison point for this album), but it's about as good as In Outer Space (a less obvious but equally valid comparison point).

It definitely helps that the album's first "real" song (I'm disregarding the silly jokes "Gratuitous Sax" and "Senseless Violins" which open and close the album, even if they're a delight and I wouldn't want to hear the album without them) is the group's best since the 70s. "When Do I Get to Sing 'My Way'?" is a MONSTER of a great pop anthem, with lyrics about the regret that comes from always doing things the way other people expect of you, great keyboard parts on top of the generic techno beat, and a set of glorious melodies. I actually heard this song long after I heard most great Sparks songs, largely because its reputation was so impeccable that I wanted to reserve one last potential treat from the band for as long as I reasonably could, and it's every bit as great as I'd have hoped at the time. If you like Sparks and haven't heard this song yet, please please please find it and listen to it.

It's very easy, after the great opening track, to frame this album as one great track plus a bunch of techno blah, but that's not really fair. What strikes me most about this album is that, once I get beyond the techno aspects, I feel like I can sense the band's actual personality for the first time in a while. The lyrics tend to be genuinely clever and goofy, there's a lot of fun had with layering Russell's vocals, there are some ridiculous (in a good way) faux-operatic moments, there's some variety in the keyboard sounds, and there are clever and unconventional twists in the chord sequences. In other words, I feel like I'm actually listening to a Sparks album. "I Thought I Told You to Wait in the Car" (a lot of monologue interspersed with singing the title in the most overly dramatic way imaginable) and "Tsui Hark" (a drone with sporadic speaking by film director Tsui Hark) largely pass me by (though I kinda like some of the angrier beats in the former), but the rest is delightful. It doesn't get quite the same praise as "When Do I Get to Sing 'My Way'?" does, and the idea of Russell Mael rapping is a little unsettling, but the chorus of "(When I Kiss You) I Hear Charlie Parker Playing" is glorious, and it helps me like the song almost as much as the more famous track that comes before it. I'm also quite the fan of "Now That I Own the BBC" (a lyrical throwback to the absurdity of "I Bought the Mississippi River" with a very playful tune) and "Let's Go Surfing" (with some terrible keyboard sounds playing beautiful keyboard parts while Russell sings lyrics that end up sounding majestic in context).

The other tracks are good enough. "Frankly, Scarlett, I Don't Give a Damn" and "Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil" are each mournful drones, the former featuring a nagging keyboard line echoed by Russell's "doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo" and the latter featuring an atmospheric-as-hell combination of Russell's normal voice and falsetto in the "chorus." Finally, "The Ghost of Liberace" is dinky silliness, but it's dinky silliness in a way that takes me back to the band's peak era, especially in the goofy chorus line of "The ghost of Liberace still has that mystique/If he were alive he'd now be at his peak" or in the "Sometimes he blinds the drivers with his shiny suits/They see that smile and they laugh at him, he don't shoot" couplet.

It would have been very easy for the band to just give up after their flameout in the 80s, but I'm glad they had the desire and material for a comeback. If you're not the kind who minds the kind of production approach they took, you might even love this album, but all Sparks fans should definitely hear it.

 Over by FREQUENCY DRIFT album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 77 ratings

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Over
Frequency Drift Crossover Prog

Review by Aldebaran_Well

4 stars I was not familiar with this German band, so I have to count them as one of the most pleasant surprises of 2014, so far. Obviously, I cannot compare this album with the previous four ones yet but having listened to ''Over'' several times, I confidently believe I can comprehend their art well enough. Frequency Drift describe it as ''cinematic prog rock''. While this is not a false description, it can easily misguide you. The songwriting is quite straight and normal to be considered cinematic and prog elements are usually put very discretely. To my ears, this is an atmospheric metal/rock band in the late 90's style, reminding me in several moments of bands like The Gathering and The 3rd and the Mortal. What really makes their music different and absolutely lifts its quality is the amazing, delightful instrumentation. Rock, classical and ethnic instruments, along with digital and electronic sounds are perfectly and harmonically combined, providing many layers of musical enjoyment. From this aspect, every song hides its surprises and there is always something new to hear.

The opening track ''Run'' will perfectly enter you in the world of ''Over''. The violin of the intro softly gives its way to the very rhythmic and melodic basic verse. The female vocals of Isa Fallenbacher are warm and dreamy. Though you may feel like you've heard this kind of voice many times in the past, you won't mind because the melodies are sooo good! (I admit that I imagined Gathering's Anneke singing this and lifting it up to the heavens!) Anyway, the song's structure is great, there is a growing feeling and a beautiful crescendo that leads to a mellow and well balanced prog metal finale. ''Once'' is full of effects and guitar sounds quite similar to post rock aesthetics and when the fabulous solo part comes ? is this the instrument dulcar??- you realize that the band dedicates all its imagination and creativity to the arrangements, aiming to create a colorful musical palette. ''Adrift'' steps in with a darker mood, the almost jazzy drumming is well stretched (brought to mind ''Tears laid in earth'' of 3rd and the Mortal) and by the middle of the song harp and flute take over, leading to a very ethereal direction. The basic guitar part of ''Them'' is very prog-like, strings and samples appear at some time, before the first truly classical moment of the album, the magnificent and dramatic cello/violin theme that ends the song, leaving me thrilled. (I admit, I'm a sucker for string quartet stuff!) ''Sagittarius A'' is a good song, a bit up tempo but too pop for my taste. Pop orientation can be found elsewhere in the album ? no problem with that ? but this also mainstream and I can't relate very much to it, sorry.

On the other hand, the 8 minutes long ''Suspended'' is one of the album's best tracks and contains almost everything: a groovy progressive basic pattern, great chorus, super dynamic changes with fast heavy parts, flute solos, a jamming attitude, excellent! Absolutely a gem. ''Wave'' has a very delicate touch, harp is the protagonist and there is a '70's mood in the synths, a classic prog touch. ''Wander'' with its heavy piano, strings and wavedrum leads to seductive and a bit abstract composition, while ''Driven'' is all about drums! Tribal grooves at the start and the middle, soft electronica sounds and a classical part at the end which, very intelligently transforms the main vocal line into something completely different. ''Release'' is one of my favorites too, being dark and deep. There's a very atmospheric and theatrical spoken word intro ? I believe in Greek ? and at some time the song explodes into an eastern folk sonic journey which I found amazing. The 10 minutes long ''Memory'' is probably the heart of the album, summing up all the elements of Frequency Drift's art. It completely justifies the ''cinematic prog rock'' label, cannot be easily described and can only be conceived as a small odyssey. The album concludes melodically with ''Disappear'' and, yes, it's been quite an experience.

''Over'' demands from the listener to sit back relaxed and peaceful, enjoy the music and the emotions it has to offer. If you do that, you'll be delighted to lose yourself inside a truly very good record, which is masterfully composed and arranged. Frequency Drift offers not any great innovation or technical extremity but real music that is beautiful, creative and deep. If you feel like a good quality music lover who appreciates cleverness and good taste in music, expect a 4 star album. Andreas Hack and co can guarantee you the above, for sure. The only things I could ask for future albums is less duration (not fond of 75 minutes long cd's) and deeper dives into the sea of ethnic sounds. But anyway, thank you guys!

 Peter Gabriel (3 - Studio Album, 1980
4.22 | 559 ratings

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Peter Gabriel (3 - "Melt")
Peter Gabriel Crossover Prog

Review by BatBacon

5 stars "And the eyes of the world is watching now"

To think of the surprise when his fans heard this album for the first time is really interesting, its a long jump from preceding album. But the choice to leave the more rock oriented music for this artpop is great, there seems to be a lot more room to experiment without ineffective guitar riffs and drum fills. Its no wonder the album contains so many classics and favorites, it was a time of doing something completely different, breaking some rules and borders. Good things usually comes out of that way of thinking! And a lot of new fans as well!

The whole album got a new kind of suspense to it, all the songs are daring and adventurous with a lot of atmosphere and drama. First track "Intruder" is a perfect example, a slowly creeping song with Gabriel doing some of the best vocals he´s done since Genesis. With a simple but mighty drumbeat, small noises, disharmonic piano and some screams it sets the perfect mood for this unsettling song. It even ends with a spaghetti western whistling ala Sergio Leone. To me it seems like most of the songs is about people with some kind of mental disorder. "No self control" and "I don't remember" are both about people in absolute panic, "Games without frontiers" is a study of human cruelty and "Family Snapshot" is a both beautiful and exciting story about a killing (well?). Its kind of nice to settle this disturbing theme with the fantastically relaxing and floaty "To lead a normal life". Some nice synthesizers and pianos, some interesting rhythms and the listener is in dreamland.

After To lead a normal life comes the last song, the classic "Biko". A touching tribute to the south african non violence activist Steve Biko, murdered for his beliefs and his fight against apartheid. Its a great symbol, a fantastic tribute and a powerful song to finish the album with.

 90124 by RABIN, TREVOR album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
1.25 | 5 ratings

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90124
Trevor Rabin Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars "A brutally honest first draft"

In 2003 two archival Trevor Rabin releases saw the light, both issued by the Voiceprint label. Someone had dug into the archives and found some older recordings including a live recording from 1989 which resulted in Live In LA and some demos and outtakes of material Rabin had written for Yes between 1981 and 1991 resulting in the present compilation. Out of these two the Live In LA album is the much superior one, recorded on tour in support of the very good Can't Look Away (Rabin's first solo album since he had joined Yes).

The title and the artwork of 90124 obviously refers to the Yes album 90125, the first yes album that Rabin had contributed to, though the unfinished songs included here were not all written for that album but some for Big Generator, Union, and Talk. Most of the songs here will be familiar to Yes fans, but in some cases only some parts of these songs were used by the band.

The album opens with Hold On which here consists of two different demo recordings stuck together into one. Other songs from these 1981 sessions include Changes and Owner Of A Lonely Heart, all of which would end up on 90125. These versions add little of interest to the finished versions. Moving In is a track that was not recorded by Yes, though some parts of the track were incorporated into the finished version of Hold On. The track that is here mislabelled Cinema is actually an alternate, early version of Make It Easy, a track that was written and recorded by Yes in the early 80's but was not included on any Yes album. It was subsequently released in 1991 as part of the YesYears box set and also as a single around the same time to promote that box set. Rabin often used to play part of this song live as an introduction to Owner Of A Lonely Heart. Would You Feel My Love is yet another track written by Rabin for 90125 but was not used. I can understand why!

From the Big Generator writing sessions we get Love Will Find A Way. This version is rather similar to the finished version and adds nothing of interest. Miracle Of Life is an excellent song that Rabin wrote for Union. Again, this demo version adds little of interest and I much prefer the finished album version. Finally, Talk is represented by two tracks here in Walls and Where Will You be. The former features Roger Hodgson of Supertramp on backing vocals and the latter is here presented in an all instrumental version. I enjoy this instrumental version but it can hardly be said to be essential. Promenade is a guitar version of the Classical piece by Mussorgsky (popularised by Emerson Lake & Palmer in the early 70's; Rabin was probably inspired by them). It is unclear to me why it is included here as it doesn't have anything to do with Yes.

If you have 90125 (especially the remastered CD version with bonus tracks), Big Generator, Union, and Talk, this compilation adds little of interest to your collection. It is interesting only as a historical document and it has very little listening value. It is only recommended for hard core fans of 80's Yes and Trevor Rabin's contribution to that era of the band in particular. Rabin himself has expressed scepticism about this release and called it "a brutally honest first draft" which is exactly what it is.

 Interior Design by SPARKS album cover Studio Album, 1988
1.13 | 4 ratings

BUY
Interior Design
Sparks Crossover Prog

Review by tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Simply put, the 80s annihilated Sparks. After Ron and Russell's backing band abandoned them after Music That You Can Dance To, they picked up a new guitarist and a couple of assorted other people, and proceeded to self-produce the blandest and most faceless album of their career. There are some brief glimpses of the Mael lyrical wit of old, but they're only glimpses, and much of the music sounds like it could have come from one of a thousand different synth pop bands at the time. After this album, the band ended up taking a break for six years, and it desperately needed that time off.

There are some songs that stand out from the morass of hopelessly tacky keyboards and general 80s sludge. "The Toughest Girl in Town" and "Let's Make Love" have horrendous arrangements, of course, but I somehow find them kinda touching, and I quite like the silly way Russell makes use of his falsetto when singing "I feel it in my HEART! I feel it in my SOUL!" in the latter. At the same time, I can't make much of a reasonable justification for liking these tracks more than finding them pleasant in comparison to what's all around them. Let's hear it for lowered expectations!

Another song that stands out, though hardly in a way that allows me to call it "good" by any stretch, is the closing "Madonna," which is also done in three other languages in the bonus tracks. Ok, yes, I kinda like the simple-but-stupid chorus that pops up from time to time, but I just have a difficult time understanding why this track has to exist. I guess it's kind of a successor to "Change," in that it mostly features Russell talking over a series of repetitive keyboard meanderings, but "Change" had more interesting lyrics, more varied background and a better chorus. The story Russell tells, of having a one-night-stand with somebody he's pretty sure is Madonna, leaves me feeling more confused than anything else. Is this supposed to be some kind of rip by Ron on somebody who probably had no idea Ron even existed? Is it a fantasy? A satire? Meh.

The rest of the album is gross. I guess I feel a slight admiration for the construction of the various pieces of the opening "So Important," but even that one has such terrible arrangements that I can't imagine ever wanting to seek it out. The rest is full of overdone fake big drama in the keyboards crossed with faux-tough stretches (like in "Love-O-Rama"), and the thought of listening to this album one more time just makes me ill. There's also a two-minute instrumental in the bonus tracks called "The Big Brass Ring," but it's just a bunch of keyboard wanks piled on top of each other over booming drums, and it's no better than the typical material of the rest of the album. I'll probably turn back to the couple of good tracks from time to time, but I'll be glad to be rid of this album for good. Don't buy this before you've bought any other Sparks albums.

PS: For some reason, this received a reissue in 2001 under the name Just Got Back from Heaven. Don't buy that thinking you've uncovered some collection of rarities or anything like that.

Data cached

Crossover Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
17 PYGMIES United States
3 United Kingdom
3 LEGGED MONSTER United States
3RDEGREE United States
7TH KIND United States
90 DAY MEN United States
A.L.F. Brazil
AARDVARK United Kingdom
AARDVARK' Finland
THE AARON CLIFT EXPERIMENT United States
ABACUS Germany
ABARAX Germany
ABBFINOOSTY United Kingdom
ABIOGENESI Italy
LEE ABRAHAM United Kingdom
ABSENTE H Spain
ABSINTHE JUNK United States
ACANTHE France
ACTIVE HEED Italy
THE ADDICTION DREAM United States
THE ADVANCEMENT United States
AFTER... Poland
AGATHORN Denmark
AHOORA Iran
AKIN France
AKROPOLIS Denmark
ALIAS EYE Germany
ALL OVER EVERYWHERE United States
ALTERNATIVE 4 United Kingdom
ALUX NAHUAL Guatemala
AMAROK Poland
THE AMAZING Sweden
TORI AMOS United States
AMPERA Norway
ANALOG MISSIONARY United States
THE ANALOGUE United Kingdom
ANANTA Venezuela
LAURIE ANDERSON United States
ANGULART Chile
ANOTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTION Canada
ANTARES Italy
ANUBIS SPIRE United States
ANYWHERE United States
APATHEIA Czech Republic
APOCALYPSIS Greece
APOGEE Germany
APPLESEED Poland
AQUILA United Kingdom
ARCHANGELICA Poland
ARCHIVE United Kingdom
AREA 39 United Kingdom
ARGENT United Kingdom
ARGO Lithuania
ARNIOE Australia
BRADY ARNOLD United States
TONY ARNOLD United States
THE ARS SUPERNOVA United States
ART BY NUMBERS United States
ART CINEMA Denmark
ART DECO Finland
ARTLAND Israel
ARZ United States
AS TALL AS LIONS United States
ASFALTO Spain
ASGARD United Kingdom
ASIDE BESIDE France
ASTRONOMY United States
ASZENSION Canada
ATARAXIA Japan
ATIK MAZE Portugal
ATLANTYCA France
ATMOSPHERA Brazil
AUDIAC Germany
AUDIOCRACY Multi-National
THE AURORA OBSERVATORY United States
AUT' CHOSE Canada
AUTOGRAPH (AVTOGRAF) Russia
AUTOMATIC MAN United States
AUTUMN CHORUS United Kingdom
AUTUMN PEOPLE United States
AUTUMN WHISPERS Multi-National
AVALON Canada
AVGRUNDEN Sweden
AVIARY United States
DAVID AXELROD United States
AZURETH Multi-National
BADWATER FIRE COMPANY United States
DAVE BAINBRIDGE United Kingdom
KEN BAIRD Canada
BAKU Germany
ANDRE BALZER France
BANDA DO SOL Brazil
TONY BANKS United Kingdom
BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST United Kingdom
NICKLAS BARKER Sweden
BARON United Kingdom
BARROQUEJON Chile
M.M. BARTULICA Bosnia and Herzegovina
COLIN BASS United Kingdom
BAT LENNY United States
BATISFERA Russia
BAUER Argentina
BE BOP DELUXE United Kingdom
BEAD GAME United States
BEAM-LIGHT Poland
DAVID BEDFORD United Kingdom
BEDUÍNOS A GASÓLEO Portugal
BELGRAD Poland
THE BENZENE RING United States
ROBERT BERRY United States
BIG BIG TRAIN United Kingdom
BITTERTOWN Netherlands
BJÖRK Iceland
BLACK CAT BONES United Kingdom
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BLACK MOUNTAIN Canada
BLONDIE FOX Italy
BLOW UP HOLLYWOOD United States
THE BODY POLITIC Canada
BORAY Sweden
LINDSEY BOULLT United States
BOX OF CRAYONS United States
THE BOX Canada
VICTOR BRADY United States
BREATHING SPACE United Kingdom
BREZOVSKY-ROZSA Slovakia
BRIDGES Norway
THE BRIMSTONE SOLAR RADIATION BAND Norway
STEVE BROCKMANN AND GEORGE ANDRADE Multi-National
PATRICK BROGUIERE France
DUNCAN BROWNE United Kingdom
BUKE AND GASE United States
BULBS United Kingdom
BUNCHAKEZE United Kingdom
TARA BUSCH United Kingdom
DAVID BYRNE United Kingdom
BYRON Romania
CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO United States
CANAMII South Africa
CANNATA United States
CANTURBE Argentina
CAP OUTRUN Sweden
CAPABILITY BROWN United Kingdom
CAPTAIN MARRYAT United Kingdom
FRANCK CARDUCCI Netherlands
MARC CARLTON United Kingdom
CARVED IN ASHES Finland
CASTLE CANYON United States
STEPHEN CAUDEL United Kingdom
CEILING UNLIMITED United States
CHANCE France
CHANCE:RISIKO Italy
CHANGES Switzerland
CHANGING IMAGES Germany
THE CHANT Finland
SPYROS CHARMANIS Greece
CHASM Norway
CHILDREN IN PARADISE France
CHIMPAN A United Kingdom
CHOICE Germany
CHOKE THE WORD United States
CHROME HOOF United Kingdom
CHURN MILK JOAN Multi-National
CINEMA SHOW Brazil
CIRCA United States
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CITADEL France
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STEVE COCHRANE Canada
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COLOR Hungary
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ROB COTTINGHAM United Kingdom
COZHE Finland
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CROSS Sweden
BEPPE CROVELLA Italy
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CUPRUM Czech Republic
PAUL CUSICK United Kingdom
THE CUSTODIAN United Kingdom
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LAREN D'OR Hungary
NICK D'VIRGILIO United States
DAEMONIA Italy
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DAYMOON Portugal
DDNZ Serbia
MARCO DE ANGELIS Italy
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FRANCIS DECAMPS France
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DISTRICT 97 United States
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DR FOLAMOUR France
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DREDG United States
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EDEL Multi-National
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ELEND France
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KEITH EMERSON United Kingdom
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EMPIRE United Kingdom
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ENNĎS TÓLA Australia
ENTITY PARADIGM Pakistan
EOS Chile
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ESAGIL Greece
ETHERS EDGE United Kingdom
EVELINE Italy
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EVENT United States
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EYEVORY Germany
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ALESSANDRO FARINELLA Italy
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LA FE Chile
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FIELD MUSIC United Kingdom
PIOTR FIGIEL Poland
NICOLAS FIGUEROA Chile
SEAN FILKINS United Kingdom
HEATHER FINDLAY United Kingdom
FIRE ON DAWSON Germany
FIREHORSE Germany
FISH ON FRIDAY Belgium
FLAUD LOGIC United States
FLICKER United Kingdom
FLOOD United Kingdom
FLORA Italy
FLOWER CORONET United States
FLOWER FLESH Italy
THE FORMER LIFE Italy
FORWARD SHAPES United States
FOURTEEN TWENTYSIX Netherlands
FRACTAL MIRROR Netherlands
FRACTAL ROCK United States
FRAGILE Estonia
FRANC ALBIR Spain
FREDDEGREDDE Sweden
FREEDOM TO GLIDE United Kingdom
FREELIGHT United States
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HASSE FRÖBERG MUSICAL COMPANION Sweden
FRXHO Mexico
FSB Bulgaria
FUCHS Germany
FUTURUM Czech Republic
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PETER GABRIEL United Kingdom
GALIJA Yugoslavia
GALLERY Norway
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GAZPACHO Norway
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GLORIE United States
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MARK GREEN United Kingdom
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GROUP 309 Russia
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GUNGFLY Sweden
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MARK HOLLIS United Kingdom
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IGAYON Israel
IGNATIUS Spain
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INDEXI Yugoslavia
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INTENTIONS Netherlands
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INTO THE PRESENCE United States
IOEARTH United Kingdom
IRRGARTEN Canada
ISLANDS Canada
ISZIL Chile
IT BITES United Kingdom
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J21 Spain
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JET BLACK SEA Netherlands
JODY GRIND United Kingdom
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JONO Sweden
JORM Sweden
KADDISFLY United States
KAOS MOON Canada
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KAYAK Netherlands
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KEEP IT DEEP Belgium
KEL LOCH & GOLD United States
MIKE KERSHAW United Kingdom
KEVLAR RED United Kingdom
KIMURA France
KING RAT United Kingdom
KINO United States
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KISS KISS United States
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KOI Sweden
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LABORATOR France
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LAYRA Italy
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GUY LEBLANC Canada
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JOHN LEES United Kingdom
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LIFE Sweden
LIGHT Netherlands
THE LIGHT AFTERNOON United Kingdom
LIMPID GREEN United States
LING TOSITE SIGURE Japan
A LIQUID LANDSCAPE Netherlands
LIRD VAN GOLES Switzerland
LIVES AND TIMES United Kingdom
KERRY LIVGREN United States
THE LIVING Canada
LOBATE SCARP United States
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LOST WORLD Russia
JEAN-PIERRE LOUVETON France
LOVE DE VICE Poland
ARJEN ANTHONY LUCASSEN Netherlands
THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL United States
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LÜÜP Greece
WILLIAM LYALL United Kingdom
LYRIAN United Kingdom
MACARTHUR United States
MADAME BLAVATSKY OVERDRIVE United States
THE MADCAP LAUGHS United Kingdom
MADRIGAL United States
MAID MYRIAD United States
BRUCE MAIN United States
MAJESTIC X United States
BARIS MANCO Turkey
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IL MANISCALCO MALDESTRO Italy
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ŃU Spain
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OCNOS Spain
OCTOBRE Canada
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ODESSA Italy
OF SOUND MIND Canada
OG MUSIQUE Belgium
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BARTOSZ OGRODOWICZ Poland
OH NO ONO Denmark
OH. Greece
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THE OLD MAN & THE SEA Denmark
OLD ROCK CITY ORCHESTRA Italy
MIKE OLDFIELD United Kingdom
SALLY OLDFIELD Ireland
OLIVER United Kingdom
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ONGKARA Russia
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ONTOFIELD United Kingdom
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THE OPIUM CARTEL Norway
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OVERHEAD Finland
OX.EAGLE.LION.MAN United Kingdom
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CARL PALMER United Kingdom
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THIERRY PAYSSAN France
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ZOZIMO RECH Brazil
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