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Apple Pie - Crossroad CD (album) cover


Apple Pie



3.82 | 120 ratings

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5 stars So What makes it a great prog rock album?

Chops? Check.

The songs are guitar driven and when there are solos, the man plays right out of his heart and not out of a Gilbert or Petrucci instructional video. With absolutely superlative phrasing and intonation this guy steals the show whenever he gets to play the solos. The songwriting is pretty ****ing smart, it doesn't give room for cliched trade-offs or jam/wankery spots when the rest of the band lays back to providing just a backing track. When there are solos here, be it the guitarist, the keyboardist or any other instruments, they're extremely melodic and are essential parts of the songs. The drummer is pretty good too, reminds me of what Portnoy was doing on his non-DT projects though without much of the ****ing around, which is a good thing all said and done.

Songwriting, melodies and vocals, the tones, sounds and the production? Big check.

F***ing epic man. Lots of moog and 70s styled keyboards but doesn't get too symphonic. On calmer moments, it's beautiful with catchy melodies ala Steven Wilson, warm acoustic guitars and fretless bass. The heavier and aggressive moments is when it sounds like a modern prog band with the prominent metal influences. It generally gets to this point when the songs peak or as a groove-kicker and it eventually adds dynamics to the songwriting. To round things off nicely, you've got superlative arrangements and warm production that allows everything to breath nicely. There are clear influences from the big 70s bands but it's also sonically close to what Spock's Beard was doing at its peak.

Is there any variety in this thing? Can it stand out as a whole album? Check.

Like any great album, you listen to this from the first track till the last one. I used the term dynamics before. This album has got so many ups and downs, mood swings and parts always resolving brilliantly. It isn't a cut and paste job of random ideas, but it's full of dynamic songs that end up working as a whole album. I'll explain.

Moving to 4th track of the album. Nothing begins with an electronic beat which goes into a beautiful acoustic/fretless-bass driven verse, then to a brilliantly phrased guitar solo before returning to the verse again. The drums come crashing-in after the second verse with an amazingly beautiful sax solo over the sweet chord progression to end the song. That's it, no extra bullshit to extend the song any further. Over to a loud jazzy funky big-band song in Temptation which also has a kickass phat-toned blues solo. Brilliant to have put the two tracks in this order then follow up with a more manic and distorted Escape and then Still got my faith in you which is a total nod to the old r&b/soul-music with just the guitar strumming and the ladies doing the backing vocals. This of course leads to three more epic-as-fuck prog rock songs before the album comes to a perfect finish. One couldn't have gotten the track order better than this.

It didn't surprise me that such an out-and-out great album had to come from a bunch of musicians who have kept their regular jobs and released this album. The least they could do is to put up a website and let us know where to purchase their album though.

More complete review on my site

eugenicscum | 5/5 |


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