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The Tangent - Not As Good As The Book CD (album) cover


The Tangent


Eclectic Prog

3.87 | 387 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A fine collection of well crafted tunes proving-- to me at least-- that when it comes to the world of symphonic-prog, The Tangent is just about the best band out there, and Not as Good as The Book keeps the group's stellar reputation intact.

This time around, Tillison delivers songs of a (slightly) less critical nature, focusing on the disillusion and frustration of middle-age. Deeply personal but still easy to relate to, his lyrics and voice are superbly suited to the tone of these songs, which range from the sardonic to serious. The dynamics typical of the genre are here in fine style, performed with a mixture of styles and tempos; lots of variety throughout. The musicianship is top-notch, myself enjoying Reingold's lightning dexterity on the bass much more here than in the saccharine slop of the Flower Kings as well as Manning's thoughtful guitar work. The alternate, jazzy instrumentation helps distinguish The Tangent from the lot. Of course, the Tillison's keyboard almost steals the show; very impressive soloing and textures.

The first half of the album is the better half, with excellent, catchy songwriting-from anthem-life A Crisis In Mid-Life or tongue-in-cheek Bat Out of Basildon, which has a faux-hard rock feel; these songs easily rate amongst the band's most enjoyable yet. The second half is a little less approachable, being two 21+ minute epics which fall apart under their own length and ambition; they lack the punch and memorability that is all over the first half. Nice moments, but not the group's best extended length tunes.

All in all, an outstanding release-- derivative be damned, "Not As Good As The Book" is a great listen!

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |


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