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Cirrus Bay - The Search For Joy CD (album) cover


Cirrus Bay



3.48 | 66 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The Search For Joy, the fourth release by American outfit, Cirrus Bay is, if you believe the ratings and reviews given thus far, a masterpiece of progressive rock. Indispensable. Right up there in the list of incredible albums released in not just 2014, but all time.

This is why, I believe, our ratings and review system here on Prog Archives really needs to be taken with a massive pinch of salt, and why, also, people who frequent this place for some time tend to filter in and out their "trusted reviewers" when deciding whether to part with hard earned cash for a new slab of music.

I have broken with my normal rule for reviewing this one, my normal rule being that I have either purchased an album, or been provided with a copy by the band to review. I am listening to this via Bandcamp as I write.

So, I went to said site, expecting to have my mind blown away. It is safe for you, dear reader, to assume from my tone that I will not be parting with the $7USD price asked for there on that venerable location.

Does that mean this is an appalling work? Well, no. It is just nowhere as good as those (obvious) friends of the band who have taken the time to rate and review would have us believe.

The music is a clear attempt to provide the atmosphere and structure of pastoral Genesis and Renaissance. Anisha Norflet, who provides the bulk of lead vocals, has a pleasant enough voice, if slightly monotone in parts. Project founder Bill Gillham can clearly play his varying guitars, keys, wind, and string, but, the electric guitars especially, leave me rather cold. It is just not particularly original, with Hackett and Howe flashes especially abounding. Likewise, one man rhythm section, Mark Blasco, can play, but not in such a manner as to make me sit up and take notice. There is a viola in there, apparently, but is rather lost in the mix, I am afraid, for most of the proceedings.

Also, I rather loathe it when a band tries to be just that little bit TOO clever, with a change in tempo or key simply to prove one's prog credentials. A good case in point here is A Door Into Yesterday, a track which started off as a very pleasing instrumental, but, half way in, has the most horrendous change from symphonic pastures to appalling, jazzy, noodlings. Quite what was being thought of here is beyond me, because I really rather liked the start (and the very end, a reprise of what came at the start).

There is, of course, another key to masterpiece. Without an exceptionally produced work, I cannot see for the life of me how a listening experience can be anything but a slight disappointment. In this case, it is more than slight, because the production is simply not that good.

The Search For Joy is a pleasant enough way to spend an hour idling away at home whilst the other half watches some tv, but an essential listening experience? Sorry, no.

Whilst I hate to be disparaging to any act we have here, and Cirrus Joy are most certainly an honest and earnest act, I cannot award this as anything more than an album which would appeal to those who simply must own all of this type of music. There is, of course, quite a bit of it out there, so deep pockets will be required.

lazland | 2/5 |


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