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Aquaplanage - Aquaplanage CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 35 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars This album deserves at least one review. I like what I heard at the beginning of the album. The band definitely has some skill in the vocal department. The second song on the Album, The Sands of Time, is perhaps one of the more Arabic prog song I've ever heard. Oh sure, they've all tried to do them--but the singer almost pulls off the quarter tones, and at least successfully blends prog and that vocal style.

Add to that the CSNY-style vocal harmony in the early sections of the opener, Ode to Grey Mornings, and you can better appreciate their ability with vocals. The song goes a number of places in it's fifteen minutes, but the early section sounds as if Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were singing to Tull prog-folkisms, with Andy Latimer providing some anthemic licks here and there.

They can also play. The fourth song, Solara is a nice keyboard-driven pastoral, starting out on piano, and moving with various theme and tempo changes to synth. Very nice piece. Followed up by the title track, which is a steady progression played mostly on the acoustic guitar and strings. It has a light planing (planage?) motion.

The album mostly goes downhill after Aquaplanage. The first half of the album contains a eclectic overture, an arabic-prog thing, a decorated guitar-driven rocker, in Nature's Sunday and the last two songs mentioned.

The next two songs are pretty cheesy. Heaven's Gate is a sort of decorated pop. And A Song to Stand Above Them All stands above about none, with its rocky, bouncy pop feel, and makes me think of Yes at their most naive-sounding. (Tormato?)

The instrumental Theme brings it back to respectability for 3 minutes. But at the end of that we are back to prog-pop of a bright and bouncy variety with One Star. But even that is a cut above the middle of the album. And despite the oppressive perkiness, that the phrase "Christmas Day" does appear in the song, can kind of account for tone.

My bottom line is that this is a talented band, capable of making about 60% of a good record, an impressive suite that opens up the album, which reminded me of Big Big Train in their ability to move from fluidly from one influence (or pastiche motif) to another. The first couple of songs will definitely see my player again. It's about a 2.5, with the first half being solidly in 3 territory.

axeman | 3/5 |


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