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41Point9 - Still Looking For The Answers CD (album) cover

STILL LOOKING FOR THE ANSWERS

41Point9

 

Heavy Prog

3.05 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is the debut album of the American band that was recently added to the database, seemingly on the strength of the second, presumably more progressive album Mr. Astute Trousers (2018); I remember suggestions being made when the debut had come out, but the band was (strangely) rejected or ignored back then. I originally received this album to be reviewed in a Finnish prog magazine Colossus in 2012. I haven't much listened to it ever since, but the CD still happens to be in my collections, so why not review it here.

BTW, have a closer look at the cat on the cover: a buttered toast is tied on his back. This refers to two superstitious beliefs, a) cat always lands on his feet, b) toast always falls the buttered side down. The band invented a mock-scientific experiment, resulting as a cat floating in mid-air, according to the humorous liner notes. Ha ha. In 2015, British Neo Prog band Sanguine Hum released a concept album Now We Have Light, which incorporated the same mock-scientific idea in its adventurous and humorous sf plot. A mere coincidence or stealing of an idea? Anyway, this album is not conceptual, the cat experiment seems to appear only on the album covers. The lyrics here are something I'm not paying much attention to.

The band bio describes the music as a fusion of prog, metal and AOR. That description pretty much hits the nail. The core line-up is bassist Bob Madsen, vocalist Brian Cline (ex-ENCHANT) and guitarist-keyboardist Kenny Steel who joined a bit later. Without a permanent drummer they have recruited SPOCK'S BEARD men Nick D'Virgilio and Jimmy Keegan, among several other guest musicians and backing vocalists. Not being familiar with Enchant, the vocals strongly remind me of Neal Morse, another reason to have sonic connotations to Spock's Beard. 41POINT9 play energetic rock with the mentioned prog, AOR and metal elements, without being highly progressive on this album. I haven't listened to their second album.

The songs, when evaluated individually, are not bad at all. They will please you for sure if you fancy the style and the bands mentioned. There's the typically American feel, bold and catchy. The playing is good, that can't be denied. The problem, if there is one, is the the lack of originality, and the fact that with Spock's Beard and several other modern American prog bands you'll get rather similar music with a notably bigger variety in compositions, in a word, more progressive. 41POINT9 favours the AOR side instead of an eclectic prog approach such as the Gentle Giant influences you hear in Spock's Beard. There are some fine details, but they remain very small. Among nine tracks there's one instrumental, 'Surface Tension (A Drive Thru the City)', and one song which could be described as a ballad ('Promise the Moon'), but for the rest of material a tired feeling of sameyness sets in. A classic 3-star case: good but non-essential -- and so unoriginal.

Matti | 3/5 |

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