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Man On Fire - Man On Fire CD (album) cover

MAN ON FIRE

Man On Fire

 

Eclectic Prog

3.51 | 11 ratings

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Greger
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the record that won "The Prog-Net 1998 Album of the Year Award". Well, is it really that good? I have to admit that it is surprisingly good. This is intelligent dark 80's neo-progressive rock mixed with 80's new-romantic synth pop oriented groups. Here you got strong melodies, good musicians and interesting arrangements. You can hear similarities with ABC, DEPECHE MODE, DURAN DURAN, EURYTHMICS, Peter GABRIEL, JAPAN, Nik KERSHAW, PINK FLOYD, POWER STATION, RUSH, SAGA and SCRITTI POLITTI. A mix you haven't seen that often in progressive rock. That is also the unique thing about MAN ON FIRE. The classical trained keyboard player and singer Jeff Hodges and guitarist and bassist Eric Sands under the name SECTION 8 formed MAN ON FIRE in 1986. The group is still a two-man band with guest musicians, among others the drummers Warren Z, RJ Vealey and Jimmy Mouton that share the drumming on this album. Eric Sands bass playing is influenced by Mick Karn of JAPAN. The vocals are sometimes close to Geddy Lee of RUSH. Some tracks that's worth a special mentioning are the opener "Internal Combustion" (with RUSH influences), "Just Out of Reach", "The Rain and the Rainbow", "Like A Star" (with influences from JAPAN and RUSH), "In Motion" (influenced by JAPAN), "High", "Not Just for America", "One to Live, One to Die" (a mix between JAPAN and DURAN DURAN) and "No Surprise". MAN ON FIRE may not be one of the most innovative progressive groups, but the overall feeling is convincing. One thing that may be a problem is that they are to poppy for the progressive listener, and to progressive for those who like pop. They are somewhere in between those genres. I think that many of the tracks could have had a chance on the charts if this album was put out in the 80's. Maybe it's an advantage if you've got a wide musical taste to get into this album. Apart from that, this is one of the most impressive debut albums from 1998, and a must have for all lovers of neo-progressive pop. I will definitely listen to this many times in the future. Recommended!
Greger | 4/5 |

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