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Citizen Cain - Playing Dead CD (album) cover


Citizen Cain


Symphonic Prog

3.35 | 76 ratings

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4 stars Actually, I'm being just a tad generous with my rating here: the album probably deserves three-and-three-quarter stars (if we are to consider it in light of the entire prog-rock genre). And like "Disturbance" by Versus X, I feel like I'm being somewhat "bamboozled" here, and that the band seems (in some places) to be "making it up as they go along." However, unlike "Disturbance" (which I panned), it is simply impossible to deny the sheer creativity of this album - even if they ARE making it up as they go along. There are influences (Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, maybe a bit of Crimson), but they are largely "subsumed" into the whole. The overall "style" (if there is one) is probably most akin to Genesis, in as much as the instrumentation, some of the arrangements, and especially the vocals (which are shamelessly Gabriel-esque) reflect that (even the lyrics remind me of Genesis). But on much of this album, these guys are WAY too far out there for Genesis; in fact, they are SO far out there sometimes that one gets that sense that there is not even a "direction" or "inner logic" to some of the sections. (In places, the effect is so frenetic that it sounds like what you would get if you played a Genesis album, a Gentle Giant album, and a Yes album simultaneously on different stereos, and tried to pay attention to all of them at the same time.) Although all the tracks are good, two of the most interesting are the short instrumentals, "Fallen Angels" and "Inner Silence." The former is actually one of the most creative prog-rock instrumentals I have ever heard; the latter less so, but nevertheless unique. / The reason I am giving this album a higher rating than most is not because I believe it is equal to some of the "classics" that receive that high a rating from me. Rather, I am impressed not only by the creativity of the album, but by the fact that it is essentially brand new: i.e., I am just so pleased that ANYONE can still be so creative in prog-rock as to almost defy description or categorization. I strongly urge all my colleagues to give this one a listen and "report in."
maani | 4/5 |


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