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Neo - Neo CD (album) cover

NEO

Neo

 

Crossover Prog

4.34 | 23 ratings

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Raccoon
5 stars First, I'd like to thank 'tszirmay' for locating and sharing this gem.

Now, I'll attempt NOT to repeat what tszirmay's already said, so I'll brief over these comparisons: Van der Graaf (because of the sax and sense of looming doom), Novalis (that synth!), Clearlight (not much, though), and DEFINITELY Nektar (just look at the cover!! Remind you of something...?)

Imagine A Tab in the Ocean mixed with the Canterburian-spaciness of Clearlight or Gong. That's what you have with Neo's Neo.

This isn't a clone in ANY way, I'll be clear: This is original, and hard-hitting. The crunch of Andre's guitar, the jazz-fusion-speed drumming, and, in the same regard, The Mad Sax (just listen to "Neoplasme"). What snapped my attention of tszirmay's review was the mention of that sax. And oh, don't get me started... (just check out "Sortie", goosebumps!)

Osibirsk starts with a BANG! One second of silence, guitar solo, steady and quick drumming, then... Sax. Keyboards floating in the background. From the first minute, you know you've hit gold. Second minute comes, the tempo slows down to showcase that impressive sax a little more. Don't get too comfortable. A burst of energy comes back, and this formula's continued till minute 4. The synths are flaunted, reminding me of The Colony of Slippermen.

By the way, all these songs are on Youtube. Deep within Amazon, you'll find this album for $8.99. It may be a little challenging to find this gem anywhere on the internet, being that both the album AND the band's conveniently named the same as: The One, Keanu Reeves, the emotionless dweeb from The Matrix, and the Progressive Movement in the 80's. So best of luck on your travels...

"Scene" starts in the same style, following the same pattern but focused on Schlapp's keyboards. Mr. Sax comes in to tease, but it's only background noise to the quick-paced riffs and cymbal-heavy drums. Possibly my least favorite song, for the sole reason that though the melodies are different, the song's played in the same style as "Osibirsk". Slow, fast, slow...

But don't fret!! "Joiwind" comes swooping in, a wave of synthesizer. One of my favorites. A synth wave, you lose track of time. You're lost in Neos' world. Towards the 2nd minute, the wave breaks and the melody appears. For some reason, I'm reminded of those quiet moments in Blade Runner while listening to "Joiwind." Such a captivating set of emotion, probably why I think back to "Rachel's Song" and "Love Theme." The drums start up, then stop. It's no momentous conclusion, a single synth key hits and the song ends. Though, it's a perfect ending, because you'll remember it. A desire for more. Again, one of my favorite moments in this album.

"Neoplasme" sounds like some psychedelic Santana; a belting guitar and thick keyboards. The pace quickens, the guitars have lost all sanity, and then... Sax. That Mad Sax. The song abruptly ends, then glockenspiel...

"Sortie" starts, and shoots for the stars. You think, "It can't get any better than this." Guess what? Soaring sax, higher than you could possibly imagine at 1:30. You SEE the stars. And you know what I see..? 5 stars. Guitar and sax take turns. A french melody comes into play at 2:40, though not for long. The keyboard gets impatient, every member of the band goes wild. How they keep up with their ever-changing pace is beyond me.

Finally, "Plage II" showers us with some much-needed synths. After that manic "Sortie," it's a sense of relief. Like if Jade Warrior tripped out and went to space. It ends with the sound of crystals smashing on the ground (at least, that's what I hear). Alien chimes.

And so, ends the 'regular' track listing. Altogether, it's like visiting an alien planet for 36 minutes. Everything's unfamiliar. Gone are the typical guitars, gone are the vocals of Mick Jagger. Gone is humanity. A mysterious recording, a sheer masterpiece. I'm not fond of writing reviews, nor am I skilled at playing an instrument. I just want to spread some awareness. Best album to come out of the 80's. 5 stars.

Raccoon | 5/5 |

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