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Transatlantic - The Whirlwind CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 936 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Well, I've had some six weeks in which to listen and grow accustomed to the easily most awaited release of 2009. My patience in awaiting the album and in waiting to review it have not been in vain. This is, quite simply, symphonic prog at its most grandiose and will appeal to all fans of the sub genre and also, of course, fans of the bands that make up the component parts of the supergroup.

What other band could, I wonder, come up with a single slab of music lasting some 77 minutes long, and not only get away with it, but also confound all of those critics who instantly assume anything lasting more than a few minutes must be overlong, self indulgent, and, by extension, rubbish?

Because they do, by and large, get away with it. Certainly, there are some, few and far between, moments that stand out as filler, but mainly the piece de resistance comes across as it should - a grand homage to the genre itself.

Neal Morse is, of course, the main driver behind the piece, certainly in regard to the lyrics and vocals, and there is no doubt that his conversion to Christianity drives the lyrics throughout. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so, and certainly I regard his thoughts and moods as poetically relevant as were, for example, Jon Anderson's mystical musings in Yes and his solo career - in other words, they most certainly do not get in the way of the album itself.

All collaborators play their socks off on this work, but special mention really must go to the rhythm section of Portnoy & Trewavas, who really do absolutely belt out their respective parts. This album most certainly does need to be played on a good system to fully appreciate all of the intricacies and noises produced.

As regards CD2, I have enjoyed the four original pieces, none of which could possibly be described as essential, but are most certainly enjoyable. As regards the band's tradition of covers, these are, as usual, hugely enjoyable. Special mention goes to Giant Hogweed, which is quite simply a massively fun tribute to the whole music of that period, but especially A Salty Dog, which I regard as being one of the finest covers of any band's original music ever. The singing and playing on this are simply quite exquisite.

I will not give this the ultimate five stars, but it most certainly rates as being 4.5, and is an excellent addition to any collection. Highly recommended and a very welcome return by one of the genres true legends.

lazland | 4/5 |


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