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Tony Banks - A Curious Feeling CD (album) cover


Tony Banks


Crossover Prog

3.42 | 216 ratings

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3 stars Recorded during Genesis' downtime between And Then There Were Three... and Duke, A Curious Feeling is a concept album loosely based on the classic science fiction story Flowers for Algernon, and features Banks (ably backed on drums by Chester Thompson) exploring a number of aspects of his keyboard playing - many of which will be familiar to Genesis fans, but some of which got a first outing on this album.

The tender, quieter moments and dramatic flourishes that were so much a feature of preceding Genesis albums get an outing here, but at other points Banks adopts a classical style reminiscent mainly of the work of Robert John Godfrey in the Enid. Compositionally speaking, Banks keeps the songs accessible whilst retaining the progressive spirit of his band work, with occasional techniques and flourishes which remind me strongly of the neo-prog albums which would soon come to the fore.

Indeed, the more albums I listen to from the transition period between the golden age of symphonic prog and the rise of neo-prog, the more it seems that the invention of neo-prog was an evolutionary rather than revolutionary matter - with accessible-but-progressive albums by the likes of Rush, Steve Hackett and Banks from the late 1970s and early 1980s suggesting a musical direction which the likes of Marillion, Pendragon, IQ and others were only too happy to pursue. So, on the whole I think A Curious Feeling's place in prog history has been played down a little too much, and it's also on the whole an underappreciated disc which is well worth a listen for anyone who enjoys Banks' contributions to the early Genesis sound. That said, whilst I consider it underappreciated, at the same time I don't think it's necessarily been underrated - the "Genesis Lite" style that's taken for an excursion here is a bit too transitional and sketchy, and the album is diminished rather than enhanced by repeated listens.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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