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ECLECTIC PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Eclectic Prog definition

The term 'eclectic' in the context of progressive rock describes a summation of elements from various musical sources, and the influences and career paths of bands that take from a wide range of genres or styles. While progressive music can be, in a larger sense, eclectic, the 'Eclectic Prog' term is specially meant to reference bands that trespass the boundaries of established Progressive Rock genres or that blend many influences.

Eclectic Prog combines hybrids of style and diversity of theme, promoting many elements from different sources. The Eclectic category recognizes bands that evolved markedly over their career (in a progressive, evolutionary way), or have a plural style without a clear referential core.

The basic features lie within the music's variety, rich influences, art tendencies and classic prog rock elements. Among the representative bands are KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, and GENTLE GIANT.

- written by Ricochet (Victor)

Current Team as at 12/31/2013

Rob (Epignosis)
Logan (thellama73)
Sagi (Sagichim)

Eclectic Prog Top Albums


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

4.60 | 2992 ratings
IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
King Crimson
4.52 | 2311 ratings
RED
King Crimson
4.50 | 1368 ratings
GODBLUFF
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.42 | 1472 ratings
PAWN HEARTS
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.40 | 1944 ratings
LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC
King Crimson
4.35 | 1124 ratings
IN A GLASS HOUSE
Gentle Giant
4.36 | 543 ratings
THE SILENT CORNER AND THE EMPTY STAGE
Hammill, Peter
4.31 | 1115 ratings
H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.28 | 1013 ratings
STILL LIFE
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.26 | 1285 ratings
OCTOPUS
Gentle Giant
4.27 | 1021 ratings
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
Gentle Giant
4.27 | 1014 ratings
FREE HAND
Gentle Giant
4.24 | 1003 ratings
ACQUIRING THE TASTE
Gentle Giant
4.21 | 914 ratings
VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
Hackett, Steve
4.27 | 334 ratings
ANABELAS
Bubu
4.29 | 287 ratings
MEMENTO Z BANALNYM TRYPTYKIEM
SBB
4.25 | 325 ratings
BANTAM TO BEHEMOTH
Birds And Buildings
4.20 | 527 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART TWO
Beardfish
4.17 | 571 ratings
SPECTRAL MORNINGS
Hackett, Steve
4.35 | 133 ratings
1000 AUTUNNI
Ske
4.10 | 1323 ratings
DISCIPLINE
King Crimson
4.11 | 856 ratings
THREE FRIENDS
Gentle Giant
4.18 | 336 ratings
MOTORPSYCHO AND STĹLE STORLŘKKEN: THE DEATH DEFYING UNICORN
Motorpsycho
4.09 | 1479 ratings
LIZARD
King Crimson
4.26 | 176 ratings
SI PARTIE 1
Nemo
4.30 | 142 ratings
SBB (WOłANIE O BRZęK SZKłA AKA SLOVENIAN GIRLS)
SBB
4.18 | 259 ratings
BORIS
Yezda Urfa
4.18 | 224 ratings
MULTIPURPOSE TRAP
Birds And Buildings
4.15 | 250 ratings
IN CAMERA
Hammill, Peter
4.18 | 191 ratings
PAMIęć
SBB
4.05 | 692 ratings
THE LEAST WE CAN DO IS WAVE TO EACH OTHER
Van Der Graaf Generator
4.13 | 237 ratings
BARBARES
Nemo
4.07 | 430 ratings
UK
UK
4.28 | 110 ratings
DETTA HAR HÄNT
Gösta Berlings Saga
4.19 | 156 ratings
ZE SłOWEM BIEGNę DO CIEBIE
SBB
4.30 | 95 ratings
AEROLIT
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.11 | 221 ratings
LAST EPIC
A.C.T
4.05 | 351 ratings
SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART ONE
Beardfish
4.14 | 158 ratings
DIAGONAL
Diagonal
4.08 | 225 ratings
LE VER DANS LE FRUIT
Nemo
4.05 | 253 ratings
LADY LAKE
Gnidrolog
3.97 | 847 ratings
THE POWER TO BELIEVE
King Crimson
4.09 | 182 ratings
TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA
Utopia
4.05 | 216 ratings
NIGHTINGALES & BOMBERS
Manfred Mann's Earth Band
4.05 | 205 ratings
IN EXTREMIS
Days Between Stations
3.97 | 459 ratings
MAMMOTH
Beardfish
4.02 | 238 ratings
CHAMELEON IN THE SHADOW OF THE NIGHT
Hammill, Peter
4.23 | 81 ratings
THE APOCALYPSE INSIDE OF AN ORANGE
Rodriguez-Lopez, Omar
4.01 | 248 ratings
THE MUSIC THAT DIED ALONE
Tangent, The
4.00 | 248 ratings
LE SACRE DU TRAVAIL
Tangent, The
4.12 | 109 ratings
SKYMIND
Taal
4.16 | 93 ratings
HAIKARA
Haikara
4.21 | 79 ratings
NIL NOVO SUB SOLE
Nil
3.99 | 239 ratings
SOLAR FIRE
Manfred Mann's Earth Band
4.15 | 94 ratings
PICTURES
Island
4.01 | 197 ratings
THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS
Traffic
4.10 | 117 ratings
EVER AFTER
Sanhedrin
3.95 | 343 ratings
DESTINED SOLITAIRE
Beardfish
4.05 | 141 ratings
NOT A GOOD SIGN
Not A Good Sign
4.12 | 103 ratings
SNAFU
East Of Eden
4.23 | 70 ratings
ECHOES OF FALLING STARS
Daal
3.98 | 222 ratings
OVER
Hammill, Peter
4.01 | 178 ratings
DODECAHEDRON
Daal
4.07 | 122 ratings
IMAGINARY FRIENDS
A.C.T
3.89 | 1244 ratings
STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK
King Crimson
3.99 | 183 ratings
THE SANE DAY
Beardfish
4.33 | 51 ratings
KOROWOD
Grechuta, Marek
4.16 | 79 ratings
STRANGE IS THIS WORLD
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.03 | 125 ratings
SI PARTIE II - L'HOMME IDÉAL
Nemo
4.15 | 77 ratings
MOVIN' ON
Circus
4.04 | 116 ratings
IN CASE OF LOSS..
Areknamés
3.98 | 174 ratings
REWOTOWER
Profusion
4.02 | 129 ratings
IN SPITE OF HARRY'S TOENAIL
Gnidrolog
3.86 | 833 ratings
GENTLE GIANT
Gentle Giant
4.23 | 58 ratings
ZALMOXE
Sfinx
4.36 | 43 ratings
SHESHET
Sheshet
4.19 | 63 ratings
PHANEROTHYME
Motorpsycho
4.15 | 71 ratings
ET CETERA
Et Cetera
4.08 | 88 ratings
BELIEVERS & DECEIVERS
Brighteye Brison
4.03 | 102 ratings
MARGARET'S CHILDREN
Manning
4.03 | 99 ratings
ENIGMATIC
Niemen, CzesŁaw
4.24 | 50 ratings
MOTORPSYCHO + JAGA JAZZIST HORNS: IN THE FISHTANK 10
Motorpsycho
4.03 | 96 ratings
MERCATOR PROJECTED
East Of Eden
4.15 | 61 ratings
MARIONETKI
Niemen, CzesŁaw
3.87 | 312 ratings
THE VOID
Beardfish
4.17 | 58 ratings
SENOGUL
Senogul
4.20 | 53 ratings
DIALOG S VESMÍREM
Progres 2
3.95 | 144 ratings
2ND HANDS
Gourishankar, The
4.30 | 42 ratings
ONDE, QUANDO, COMO, PORQUĘ, CANTAMOS PESSOAS VIVAS
Quarteto 1111
4.05 | 85 ratings
SODOM & GOMORRAH
From.uz
3.87 | 296 ratings
NOT AS GOOD AS THE BOOK
Tangent, The
4.11 | 66 ratings
LALLE LARSSON'S WEAVEWORLD
Larsson, Lalle
3.85 | 365 ratings
GENESIS REVISITED II
Hackett, Steve
3.87 | 284 ratings
REVOLU$ION
Nemo
4.06 | 76 ratings
SENNA
Mahogany Frog
3.85 | 319 ratings
BEYOND THE SHROUDED HORIZON
Hackett, Steve
4.02 | 87 ratings
PRÉLUDE Ŕ LA RUINE
Nemo
3.87 | 220 ratings
JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE
Traffic
4.51 | 27 ratings
PLAT DU JOUR
Plat Du Jour
4.31 | 37 ratings
SONGS FROM A SOLITARY HOME
Major Parkinson

Eclectic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


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

DIAGONAL
Diagonal
KRYWAN, KRYWAN
Skaldowie
SNAFU
East Of Eden
NOT OF SOUND MIND
Zapotec

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Latest Eclectic Prog Music Reviews


 Last Epic by A.C.T album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.11 | 221 ratings

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Last Epic
A.C.T Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Last Epic" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock/metal act A.C.T. The album was released through Atenzia Records in January 2003. "Last Epic" was re-released through InsideOut Music in 2007 and thereby given a wider distribution and publicity.

The music on the album is an interesting combination of 70s influenced art rock and a soft type progressive metal. The band are incredibly skilled musicians and pull off both complex rhythmic playing and more mellow type playing too. The vocals are especially impressive with both skillfully executed choirs and harmony vocals. I´m often reminded of the theatrical nature of Queen but actually even more of 10cc. There´s a tongue in cheek kind of humour about the music that points in the direction of the latter mentioned. The progressive metal element isn´t dominant on the album but when it appears the band can actually play some pretty heavy riffs and intriguing instrumental parts. I´m reminded slightly of early Dream Theater in a much more simple form. The predominantly brief instrumental parts are usually cleverly placed in the otherwise predominantly vers/chorus structured tracks. There are several highlights on the album, but I´d mention tracks like like "Wailings From a Building" and the wonderful "Mr. Landlord" as some of my personal favorites.

The sound production is clear, powerful, and detailed and suits the music well. So "Last Epic" is overall a quality release and while I sometimes feel the band could have cut down on the more ballad type tracks in favour of more hard rocking tracks (which is where I feel the band excel), even the ballads are a means to an end and upon conclusion "Last Epic" is a pretty well balanced album with a good flow. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

 00:04 by EKSEPTION album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.71 | 41 ratings

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00:04
Ekseption Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars By 1971 singer Steve Allet had left Ekseption and from this point on the band would more or less switch to a fully instrumental sound.Leader Rick van der Linden would travel to London, UK and record ''Piccadilly sweet'' with the support of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Command Studios.Additional parts played by the rest of the band were recorded as long as the tapes were back to The Netherlands.The fourth album of Ekseption was titled ''00:04'', released in October 1971 on Phillips.

This was yet another convincing mix of Classical Rock with Jazz for Ekseption, side A features some of the sweetest melodies ever produced by the band, always highlighted by a deep Classical background and flavored with spicy, jazzy instrumentals, based on saxes, trumpet and horns.Van der Linden makes another memorable performance, especially lovely are his harsichord parts, but there is some incredible work on Hammond organ and piano to be found as well.The music alternates between a FOCUS-like symphonic grandieur and easy-listening Jazz/Horn Rock with some psychedelic and even Avant-Garde atmospheres thrown in for good measure.The second side is more of the same, ''Choral'' is absolutely great Symphonic/Jazz Rock, the only piece to feature some dramatic choirs, sitting next to the Classical melodies and the loose middle-part with the piano and the trumpet in forefront, ''Partita No. 2 in C Minor'' actually sounds like old LE ORME, with strong use of synths next to a psychedelic rhythm section, showered again by good sax and trumpet plays, but the real deal comes with the 13-min. ''Piccadilly sweet'', this piece is what for this album is known for in the first place.You can't expect something else than Classical-drenched music, often having a cinematic feeling, where Van der Linden is often lost in the storm of the backing orchestral instrumrnts.Closer to contemporary Classical Music than Prog Rock to say the truth, but this is another example of Van der Linden's top Classical education and composing ability.

There is maybe too much Lounge Jazz in here to place this among the peaks of Ekseption's discography.A bit uneven on the way with straight Classical and Jazz parts, but also containing some monumental symphonic movements.Recommended overall.

 Subject Esq. by SAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.40 | 23 ratings

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Subject Esq.
Sahara Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have a soft spot for Sahara and am in the possession of all three albums. I think they show great progress and have a certain charm in many ways. I may not be able to thruthfully say it is brilliant all the way through, because it isn't. That becomes apparent on this, their debut.

The music on "Subject Esq." is what I would like to call progressive jazz rock. Now, jazz rock or fusion is already a genre in itself so what do I mean? Well, simply that Sahara leans more towards "real" prog than some other jazz rock outfits. That's all. Because they do. Their ambition seems to be, genuinely, to really broaden and deepen jazz rock. It works. Mainly.

The album opens up in great fashion. Really raw and energetic piece of jazz rock, that one. And while all of the tracks show their skills I feel that it sometimes is sort of leading nowhere. Or at least not forward in any true sense of the word. I think that they lose track of what they're doing. Not to the point where it all falls apart in mediocracy but more to the brink of making me as a listener to lose interest.

All in all, this is a good album and it shows the promise of Sahara. There is plenty of life in the desert, as they prove. However, being their debut I guess they really hadn't honed their skills enough to really make that an exceptional imprint on me.

Good enough jazz rock but it does not hold it's own all the way through.

 Live Atmosphere by CURVED AIR album cover Live, 2012
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Live Atmosphere
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Atmospheric

Recorded during the band's 2010/2011 tour, Live Atmosphere features a set list full of Curved Air classics all of them taken from their first four albums. As such it plays a bit like a live "greatest hits" album. From the 1970 debut Air Conditioning comes Propositions, Hide And Seek, Screw, Stretch, and It Happened Today. 1971's Second Album is represented by Everdance and Back Street Luv. From 1972's Phantasmagoria comes Marie Antoinette, the title track and Melinda (More Or Less). Finally, Easy has been chosen to represent 1973's Air Cut.

The live album is bookended by two new instrumentals which respectively sets the mood and leaves a good final impression. Overall, this is a great set. If I will raise any complaints it would be that there is only a single track from Air Cut which is my favourite Curved Air album. Concentrating on what is here though, it is hard to complain about the set list. And the performances are full of energy and passion.

The line-up consists of Sonja Kristina on lead vocals, Florian Pilkington-Miksa on drums, Chris Harris on bass, Kit Morgan on guitar, Robert Norton on keyboards, and Paul Sax on violin. Together they recreate the classic songs very well indeed and given that the recording quality wasn't always the best on the band's early 70's albums, many of these songs sound better than ever before here.

A very strong live record and the ultimate source of Curved Air live.

 Gazing the Invisible by PROMETHEAN album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.30 | 6 ratings

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Gazing the Invisible
Promethean Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars Finnish PROMETHEAN were active between 1994-1998 and released two albums, this one being the debut. Interestingly the record deal was made with the Italian Avantgarde Music; back then the Finnish prog scene was struggling for life and was much more ignored by everybody else than today. The melancholic and basically quite pleasant rock of this album has elements from Folk, Gothic Metal and classically influenced Art Rock / Prog, but the depressed and mumbling expression of vocalist Timo Iivari underlines the group's Metal background, and for me is definitely the weakest link.

On the other hand, even I sometimes seek dark and sad emotions in music, and for that purpose I certainly prefer Iivari's understated, low key approach instead of more powerful and aggressive vocals. However I can't help thinking how much better this music would be with a "normal" singing. Especially with a suitable female voice it would probably be very delicious.

The sound is semi-acoustic, but it's mainly the flute that brings Folk ingredients (and also makes the frequent Jethro Tull and Camel references for this band, even if that may be an exaggeration in the end). Some tracks such as 'Gazing' feature also guest appearances for violin and cello. 'The' and 'Invisible' - not-so-clever wordplay on titles - are the instrumentals this album sincerely needed too. Without the vocals one can imagine listening to fairly good Prog Folk with classical music flavour in the arrangement.

The songwriting itself doesn't get very proggy. Another highlight with those instrumentals is 'The Kiss of All that Remained'. It's very atmospheric and sort of meditative with its percussion pattern, and the vocals in it are actually spoken (in fact they do approach spoken voice throughout the album). The final track 'Flowing Downwards' (10:37) stops as a song after 6˝ minutes and continues quietly with only some water sound effects; it's debatable if that makes it any better listening experience, but as another remainder of the more artistic goals it's OK.

Judged against the starvating state of Finnish Prog of the time, PROMETHEAN were pretty interesting - and promising, though they ended perhaps too soon. By the way, a decade later, ORNE shares many features with them: the deeply melancholic and dark emotion, an audible Metal background especially on the vocals, appearance of flute, and two albums released by an Italian label.

 Going For A Song by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
1.99 | 6 ratings

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Going For A Song
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I suppose it is some sort of achievement, the rapid decline of Culpeper's Orchard. Rarely has a band gone through such a development and I would say that no band ever has survuved such a decline. Going from the ever so brilliant debut, to the "alrighty then" second and ending with this. It is depressing.

On "Second light" they emphasized their country-folk leanings, leaving some of the progressive elements behind. On "Going for a song" they left everything but their country-rock side. What is left is a collection of lacklustre songs recalling The Band and others of that pedigree. Now, there is nothing wrong with The Band and there is nothing wrong with country. It could be argued, even, that there is nothing wrong leaving the progressive train and embarking on a tram, or whatever. The real problem lies in the substandard songs and the lack excitement. This is really not exciting music.

All in all, this is not terrible but not very good music either. It is definately not prog and I think that the lack of success and change in direction lead to the band's demise. Pity, considering the excellence of their debut and the promise of the second.

 Love Hate Round Trip by AREKNAMÉS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.77 | 70 ratings

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Love Hate Round Trip
Areknamés Eclectic Prog

Review by brainsuccasurgery

4 stars After a first album in 2003, critically well respected and appreciated, and responding to incongruent expectations of those who dreamed of hearing VDGG interpreted by a group from the Canterbury scene, Areknames gave us Love Hate Round Trip, two-headed, so obviously between the monstrous and the all too human. On the cover of the booklet, a picture of a suburban street; probably from a Anglo-Saxon town. Close-up a flight of four steps of a gray-brown staircase, bordered by a same color stone wall, leading, as a line of flight, to a funeral store background. The letters of the sign of the shop appear upside. Gillman Funeral Service. In the foreground, written on the wall with white paint, the album title: Love Hate Round Trip, a real announcement of what it contains. The reality is a yo-yo, the constant change alone. From love to hate, dark to light, a permanent round trip. "The vortex of passion / Makes us alive and dead / At the Saami time". Inside the booklet there is the same aesthetic state of mind. The text of each song is illustrated by a picture or a dark and mystical painting, the image of this painting by Balthus or Bosch that can not leave us indifferent. A photo of the group in silhouette in the evening light closes the book. We do not even distinguish the faces. This mysterious shot overcomes the traditional list of acknowledgments where one crosses a multitude of names, some known and famous, whose presence here seems logical (Colosseum, Frost, Man, Wicked Mind of course), or seems surprising (Agitation Free, Wishbone Ash, Chocolate Watch Band, Mahavishnu Orchestra). The booklet also tells us that we will hear trumpet on several occasions. Stefano Colombi is this time sought full- time guitarthrough beautifully subtle arrangements, very technical and inventive soli. Then it will be found that the main difference with the previous album is the most important place given to this instrument even if keyboard parts are important (except for the melloton who is more discreet). Despite these changes, these innovations, music Areknames may seem familiar (especially for fans of VDGG). First we think to know it by heart, but that's not counting on its mutability, the way to change according to the strength and condition of our soul. Depending on the angle of approach (by car, concert, with friends or alone with our pain), its appearance is changed by what happens to us.
 Ex Tempore  by VITAL DUO album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.18 | 19 ratings

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Ex Tempore
Vital Duo Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The gap between the 97' and 03' albums of Minimum vital can be explained by the fact that the Payssan brothers around the time had focused on an emerging side-project called Vital Duo, where they would get into a more Folklore approach on Prog Rock.Jean-Luc played various string instruments like classical and electric guitar, mandolin, a 16-string sitar, while he also handled most of the percussion parts, and his brother Thierry launched a keyboard fest including a sampled church organ, synthesizers, a couple of pianos and a Hammond organ.The sole album of Vital Duo was recorded between July 99' and September 00' at the Mahatma Studio in Bordeaux and released the next year on Musea Records.

If you call this something like Medieval Prog it's fine, the Payssan brothers just prooved how diverse they were, taking MINIMUM VITAL's follkier parts and pronouncing them with the dominant use of keyboards and acoustic instruments.Medieval-styled tunes, performed through keyboards and strings, supported by some great choir parts, and a pallette of flexible moods, depending on the electroacoustic and keyboard instrumentals.All these lost-in-time atmospheres come in evidence through the troubadour-like vocal lines, the ability of Thierry Payssan to adapt Medieval Music in his keyboard themes, especially the digital church organ, and the acoustic depth coming out of Jean-Luc Payssan's acoustic variety.Echoes from the Baroque, Renaissance and Medieval periods and stylings are revisited with a contemporary sound, which still contains a lot of electric atmospheres.If you have ever listened to MINIMUM VITAL's music, you have an idea of what to expect.Take the smooth electric tunes of the main band, throw in a stronger dose of archaic, European melodies, and reduce the instruments to keyboards and guitars (next to some sporadic drumming).Impressive reincarnation of old music principles, leading to nice, mostly instrumental stuff.

Just before the Payssan's refocused on their main band Minimum vital, they also released a great live performance of Vital Duo's music on the DVD ''Le jardin hors du temps'', which comes also recommended.A unique entry of electroacoustic Medieval-styled Prog Rock, strongly recommended to say the least...3.5 stars.

 North Star by CURVED AIR album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.47 | 37 ratings

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North Star
Curved Air Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars It happened today!

North Star is the first Curved Air studio album containing new material for nearly 40 years (1990's Love Child contained material recorded in the 70's). The new songs are mostly excellent and several are every bit as good as the band's best classic material if not better! My favourite tracks include Time Games, Images And Signs, Interplay, Spider, and Magnetism. The sound is most similar to 1973's Air Cut which is my favourite Curved Air album. The violin heavy passages also remind me of the Symphonic Prog of Kansas.

After many listens I would gladly have given this album a higher rating if it wasn't for the fact that it also contains several re-makes and cover songs. Why couldn't they just have concentrated on the new songs alone? The re-recorded versions of Situations (originally from 1970's Air Conditioning), Puppets and Young Mother (both originally from 1971's Second Album) are all good, but unnecessary. The same must be said of the cover of The Beatles Across The Universe which has been done by so many others.

Other songs that have a history is Colder Than A Rose In Snow which apparently first appeared on Sonja Kristina's self- titled 1980 solo album, and the two covers Spirits In The Material World and Chasing Cars by The Police and by Snow Patrol respectively. I haven't heard any of these songs in their original versions so I cannot comment on how these versions compare to the originals, but even though I enjoy listening to them here I can't help but to feel that this album would have been better had they focused on only new material of their own. Especially as their new songs are really good I don't understand why they felt the need to include covers and re-makes of older songs. Just over 40 minutes of new music would have been enough!

Curved Air is yet another classic progressive Rock band that has returned to the stage in excellent form in recent years and thus proving that the genre is very much alive.

Recommended!

 Second Sight by CULPEPER'S ORCHARD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.27 | 22 ratings

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Second Sight
Culpeper's Orchard Eclectic Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When I first acquired the debut of Culpeper's Orchard I couldn't believe my ears. At the time (circa 1992) there was not even the remotest chance for me to find out anything about the band. The reissue I bought lacked not only general information about the band but the yyear aswell. Odd, one might say. I dare say that would not happen today. Internet was strictly speaking not in operation, which means that that particular well of knowledge wasn't only dried up, it had not yet begun it's flow. I took a guess based on sound and structure of the songs and concluded it was made back in 1971 or 1972. Pretty good guess.

While the first album is one of my Top5 albums and has been rated five stars by me, the decline seemed rapid for Culpeper's Orchard. The first album is flawless in my opinion. Their brand of hard rock, prog, folk and a slice of countryfied rock was and is superb. This, their second effort, is, while not bad, not all that good. In particular that is true when compared to the brilliance of album number one.

What is the matter, then? For the most parts the details that made up the tapestry of the first album are here. There's blues, hard rock, prog, folk and country all mixed up and presented in a fine fashion. The problem lies in the material. Soundwise it is an improvement on the first album, though I really appreciate the rough and raw sound found on that one. The material on "Second sight" is simply lesss urgent, less forceful and less intriguing.

The opening, "Julia", is a lovely folkstruck little thing I enjoy. It is pretty and the voice of Cy Nicklin is wonderful, as ever. "Keyboard waltz" is also a nice track and holds alot in common with the songs on ttheir debut. "Classified ads" is a hard rock stomper, which also holds similarities to their debut.

The main problem on this album really is "Late night woman blues". I have not quarrels with the blues but in this case it seems like an easy way out. Stretching out for 6.36 minutes it is really nothing more than a piece of bluesy jamming. It disrupts the flow.

"Autumn of it all" harks back to the debut, once again. A nice, little folky thing and one of the better songs on the album. It would really have suited the debut. "Mind pollution/Weather report" is the highlight, really. Nigh on 10 minutes long it is divided into two distinct parts. The opening folky one and the hard rock closing section. Really great song. Inspired and intriguing. The last track is the very countryfied "Satisfied mind" which sees them in some sort of CSN or Grateful Dead mode. Good one, especially as an ending song.

Overall one has to say that this album holds great musicianship but the problem is the material in itself, being really not that strong or intriguing as those tracks on the debut. I believe one has to judge each album on it's own merits and so I do. Even if I was to look at this album as one made by a band that never recorded another track the judgement would be the same. Nice but not that thrilling. I have struggled with this album over the years and every time I get the same experience and draw the same conclusion.

This is an album for those already into Culpeper's Orchard. I would not recommend this album anyone else. It's not bad, just not that special either. Three stars.

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Eclectic Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
16 DEADLY IMPROVS United States
17F Switzerland
4/3 DE TRIO France
8 DAYS IN APRIL Germany
A.C.T Sweden
ABRETE GANDUL Chile
ABSOLUTE ELSEWHERE United Kingdom
ABSURDCUS Romania
ACADEMIE OF FARSIDE Indonesia
ACINTYA France
ADVENT United States
AFFINITY United Kingdom
AKO DOMA Slovakia
AKRITAS Greece
AKT Italy
JEAN-PIERRE ALARCEN France
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