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Cherry Five - Cherry Five CD (album) cover

CHERRY FIVE

Cherry Five

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.94 | 179 ratings

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Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Before Goblin made their rounds with their eerie horror-themed prog and extensive soundtrack repertoire, there was Cherry Five. Although they'd soon go on to re-brand, it's great that they put out this sole album as this incarnation, because it's really something of a classic!

What we have on display here is well-done symphonic prog that puts the "rock" back in progressive rock. While not being a heavy album in the slightest, there's still a youthful exuberance that permeates the whole record that stands out, giving it that extra bit of rock n' roll edge. I suppose that the "closest English equivalent" to Cherry Five's work would be "The Yes Album". Positive, upbeat music with active, in-your-face bass parts and blistering keyboards (someone had been studying up on their Rick Wakeman!). More Yes comparisons can be drawn, but I don't feel that it does Cherry Five much justice. The vibes are similar, but there's a different, more down-to-Earth element that comes across on this album. Another commonly addressed tidbit is that the vocals here are sung in English, which was atypical of Italian bands. Surprisingly, though, they turned out quite well. No embarrassing accents, and the delivery is convincing and powerful.

Really, I have nothing much more to add here than praise. "Cherry Five" is a concise, well-paced, well-arranged, well-performed collection of songs that are fun to sing, dance, and air-keyboard along to. I'd also highly recommend this as something to put on while going for a drive out in the country; the upbeat pace is perfect for the open road. There are plenty of other buttons that it hits, though. The interplay in the band is superb. It never feels like there's any competition between players, even in the busier sections; Cherry Five really comes across as a tight musical unit. There's even a bit of storytelling that goes on, notably on the opener "Country Grave Yard", which is spellbinding, but never outlandish. Although the whole album is consistently strong, I think that a standout section would be the instrumental opening of "The Picture of Dorian Gray". The way it builds from pastoral tranquility to a frantic prog workout is really something!

Personally, I'd give this a 5 (maybe even 6) star rating any day of the week. And although a personal favourite does not a prog masterpiece make - well what the heck! An album this groovy deserves some extra recognition. I'd recommend this endlessly to fans of joyful music, and especially Yes aficionados looking for something fresh. Great tunes and excellent vibes!

Magnum Vaeltaja | 5/5 |

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