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IQ - Subterranea CD (album) cover





3.98 | 675 ratings

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2 stars The group's most ambitious work to date is, unfortunately, also the one which see's IQ eschew their complex, Genesis-inspired neo-prog sound in favour of a more straight-forward 'rock' approach. 'Subterranea' features over 100 minutes of music spread over two discs, yet there are only a handful of stand-out tracks, such as the 'The Wake'-lit title track and the energetic 'Tunnel Vision'. The overall sound is light and airy, with the group's musical nucleus of keyboardist Martin Orford and guitarist Mike Holmes seemingly particularly un-inspired. Some have written that 'Subterranea' is the apex of IQ's career, but just because the album is long and features a complex story does not automatically mean it can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the other great concept abums sch as Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' or Thick As A Brick' by Jethro Tull. 'Subterranea' pales in comparison to IQ's classic albums, the superb 1983 debut 'Tales From The Lush Attic' and it's seminal follow-up of two years later 'The Wake', and it's a real shame because it seems that the group have thrown everything including the kitchen sink into making this mammoth, double-disc release a reality. Overlong, dull and instrumentally rather bland, 'Subterranea' is a rare dip in form for this otherwise excellent and iconic neo-prog band. Every group has their weaker moments(just ask Genesis about 'And Then There Were Three' or query Yes about their awful '90125' comeback 'pop' album), and, sadly, IQ's has come when they seemed to be trying hardest. Pity. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 2/5 |


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