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Brand X - Product CD (album) cover


Brand X


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.32 | 158 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars Bland, despirited, uninspired, schizophrenic.

Perhaps Brand X was trying to be as successful as Genesis, maybe they were trying to become the first jazz fusion big band, maybe they were wanting to disband, and maybe they were wanting to do all of this at once.

Product is, basically, goodbye Brand X the quirky British jazz-rock band and hello Brand X the derivative fusion outfit. Percy recalls this as an ambiguous and divided time for the band, which was in fact two groups with only Goodsall in common, and he's right, one band (Collins/Lumley/Goodsall/Giblin) playing one type of music and another (Clarke/Robinson/Goodsall/Jones/Pert) playing a different type of music altogether, leading to an unovercomable feeling of lack of focus and emotion just because this is what the real case is. Legend has it that there was a lot of arguing about what would be the next direction, but whatever it was, it seems neither worked simply because Brand X became a mess.

Sure, the musicians involved are still top-notch, but all of it just seems to be virtuosity for the sake of it and more weaknesses than anything else, and most of the time they just don't seem where to go: one time bland pop ("Don't Make Waves", "Soho"), the other time badly-written fusion ("Not Good Enough/See Me", "Rhesus Perplexus") and then directionless experimentation ("Wal To Wal", "April"). That said, what prevents Product from becoming just what the title implies (souless and boring) are the diamonds in the sulphur mine, "Dance Of The Illegal Aliens", "Algon", "...And So To F...", not really Brand X's masterpieces but very nice stuff if put in the context of the album, where they shine and save it from oblivion.

After the release of this record it became clear that Brand X wouldn't last longer, and indeed, their next records of this phase are just releases of leftovers.

JackFloyd | 2/5 |


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