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Professor Tip Top - Hybrid Hymns CD (album) cover


Professor Tip Top


Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.86 | 18 ratings

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2 stars Professor Tip Top is a psychedelic / space rock band from Norway. They were founded in 2011 and, including the album "Hybrid Hymns" released on February 22, 2019, have 5 full length albums in their discography. Currently, the band is comprised of four members; vocalist and lyricist Svein Magnar Hansen, Sam Fossbakk who writes the music and plays guitar and keyboards, Stein Hogseth on bass, and Charles Wise on drums. "Hybrid Hymns" has a total of 12 tracks ranging from just over one minute to 6+ minutes.

The album begins with a short introductory track "Black Holes, Part 1" which begins with a swirling synth patterns and melody. Vocals are spoken and are a series of questions about black holes, the universe and etc. This lead into "An Akward Choice" which continues the synth lead and Hansen's mellow vocals start. The beat and instrumentation is Floydian and sticks with a soft and lush sound. The lyrics are spiritual, but in a non-deity sense since the lead singer is atheist. The guitar solos in the middle and end are nice and atmospheric and backed with smooth synths. "Machine Emotions" stays with the soft lush sound, but moves away from the Pink Floyd inspired sound in this track and make their own sound. The topic of the lyrics is about whether robots have feelings and how would they use them. The vocals are airy and a bit weak and so is the instrumental support here. The instrumental break moves into an Alan Parsons style, upbeat, but soft rock with a slightly progressive feel.

The band strives for a more classic sound on "The Dogs are Coming" with an arpeggio loop on the synth and a move back to a floydian sound with a lush guitar playing a Gilmour style melody for this instrumental. "Data Mining" starts off as a typical prog pop track, but soon switches up the tempo to an almost catchy two-step and then returns to the smooth sound again with a light jazz style guitar solo. The problem is, it is all quite light weight, both the vocals and the music, so it's just not very convincing even with the changing meters. "Light Generator" is a short track with metallic effects and the synths build with a short crescendo. "Turing Machines" attempts for the airy soft-art-rock sound of Alan Parson's "Time". The music tries to create an interesting middle section, but comes off sounding flimsy.

"Passion" is a nice instrumental based around a guitar melody. It is one of the better tracks on the album, but it really isn't very progressive, and except for the middle part, is a bit repetitive, but it is a nice track. "Hybrid Minds" returns to the pop progressive sound and continues to be unconvincing. At least Alan Parsons progressive pop was mostly convincing. "Closer" utilizes a more complex pattern and is connected with string like effects. It is another instrumental, but repeats the same melody over and over with little variation. "The Final Night" has very little emotion evident anywhere. "Black Holes, Part II" finally ends this mostly lackluster album.

I do see what the band was trying to do here. They tried to make a progressive / pop-like album, drawing on the lush PF sound and copying Alan Parsons Project's popular sound, but forgetting to really put much substance into the music. The overall sound is quite mellow and airy, but in a bad way as there is not much emotion anywhere. The lyrics are okay, but get kind of tacky at times. Overall, the album just falls flat and doesn't rise above anything better than just mediocre.

TCat | 2/5 |


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