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Brand X - Moroccan Roll CD (album) cover


Brand X


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 265 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Are we there yet?

It happens to all of us from time to time. We come across an album that is praised so highly by so many but it means little to us. You think to yourself do I just not get it? Such is the case for me with "Moroccan Roll." This album is a supposed classic featuring stars such as Phil Collins and Percy Jones. Certainly the playing is technically as good as you'd expect but the music does little for me. The tracks seem divided into two styles. Some of the longer pieces are elaborate shredding wankfests, with quasi-cerebral setups and performances that would inspire carnival barkers a la "ladies and gentlemen, for one dollar step behind the curtain and watch the stars show off!" Harsh yes, but that's how I feel listening to these yawn-inducing displays of flash and pomposity. The other shorter sections offer the contrast of the chill-out moments, where the playing will feature much softer and slower parts. The problem with these is that they don't really go anywhere and they don't move me. Most of these songs sound impressive at first listen, on the surface, but compared to other fusion albums they are just so sterile. There are a few moments where I enjoyed what was going on, usually the spacier sections or quieter moments like the nice but short keyboard piece "Collapsar." It may well be the case that I just don't get "Moroccan Roll" and I admit that possibility freely, but from my perspective this album is a whole lotta chest beating without much of emotional importance to be imparted on the listener. The talents of the musicians are unquestionable but the results are another matter. Just about everything I've heard in this genre lately I find preferable to Brand X. Oregon is more relaxing and organic. Area is more daring and in-your-face. Esagono is more melodic and emotional. Lotus and Ohm are more fun, and Finnforest is much more beautiful. Brand X leaves me with less enjoyment in comparison, the only thing positive I can say is that the players are very talented and I'll give them the third star for that despite my obvious lack of enthusiasm. But remember, most reviewers think this is the cat's meow so I am a lone voice in the wilderness questioning Brand X's infallibility.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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