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Eddie Jobson - Zinc (Green Album) CD (album) cover


Eddie Jobson

Progressive Electronic

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having played for the prog bands UK and Jethro Tull, Eddie Jobson decided after to start a solo career, and "Zinc" is his first album. Absolutely progressive, the tracks are often loaded and dynamic. Jobson even provides the lead vocals, which are really not bad. He plays some excellent electric violin parts, as always. The main strength are his keyboards arrangements: I've rarely seen a musician mastering so well the keyboards!! The keyboards sounds are EXTREMELY varied, very modern for the year and absolutely futuristic. Jobson is able to create many spacy, mellow & very dreamy atmospheres, with a sci-fi approach: the pleasant textures generate an indescribable trance state which you will not want to lose; Jobson's technique partly resides in inserting a gentle & melodic sequencer through some floating ambience. He plays an OUTSTANDING piano solo a la Patrick Moraz: do not miss it! The rock dimension is very present, almost hard rock, as reveals the sharp electric guitars and acoustic ones (Gary Green, of Gentle Giant, is a guest musician on couples of tracks). The drums and the bass do an excellent job. Eddie Jobson still proves here that he is one of the best keyboardist of the prog scene.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Report this review (#49622)
Posted Saturday, October 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Before I bought this album I wanted to kill my curiosity: "How would it like if Mr. Jobson composed his own music through his own album?". This happened after I was amazed with his contribution in UK especially through live concerts "Night After Night" and "Concert Classic Vol. 4". My expectation of his solo album was very high because I truly admired him being in studio album of UK as well as concert album. What I found at first spin was a great disappointment. Not because of his musicianship or performance. Yes, I admit that he is a virtuoso in electric violin as well as keyboard. I admired him as I did the same with Jean Luc Ponty, Didier Lockwood, or Jerry Goodman on violin part of his talent. But, making his own music is a different ballgame, I would say. Listening to this album at first time was a bit flabbergasted for me personally - not to mention I was a bit upset. It's probably my fault on putting high expectation about him. If he did a great job in UK while he had to share his play with Holdsworth on guitar and Wetton, or Bruford, it would be really great if he did it all alone.

The major flaw of this album is on composition and harmonies. I don't see the flow of music in this album is cohesive as the arrangement sounds like being "forced" sounding like this. If I might compare the style, this album is pretty similar with Tony Banks' "The Fugitive" with pop touches. Zinc is not that pop as The Fugitive but from the vocal department it's pretty clear that it's like a pop rock arrangement. Yes, for those of you who like his style with UK, his keyboard work sounds like that - but it's not as fashionable like Time To Kill in UK. I do not consider his involvement with Jethro Tull something that's really remarkable - because as the Tull album "A" was supposed to be an Ian Anderson's solo album. So you can imagine the extent of contribution Mr. Jobson was in the "A" album.

Is it a bad album? Nope! Not at all . I still can enjoy this album, especially during the time (recently) when I heard that this album would be added in this site - I played it many times in its entirety. But, I still found something is missing. I thought the inclusion of Gary Green (Gentle Giant) on guitar would help a lot - it's not that obvious. So, I should categorize this album as collectors / fans only. If you are a truly fan of Jobson, definitely you will enjoy it. But, I would not recommend this album to prog newbie. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#49635)
Posted Saturday, October 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Progressive electronic???This is npt my genre and I really prefer the sound of Pink Floyd or Genesis, more traditional and not unusual as this work...I prefer the 'natural' sound of the guitar of Stve Howe, or the drum of Giles, or the voice of peter hammil...But this is only an opinion.
Report this review (#65638)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
3 stars Eddie Jobson - Zinc. This album, to me, is difficult to assess. The musicianship is quite high (as you would expect from E.J. - no, not Elton John...) - but fails to actually jump out and 'grab' these ears. I would have to put it down to the overall production - it's quite 'plastic' and very 80's. This album reminds me strongly of Genesis' self-titled album from the same year. Surprising is the guest appearance of former GENTLE GIANT guitarist Gary Green, but his contribution is minimal and doesn't add much to the music unfortunately. The compositions themselves are fine (especially the instrumental pieces and the longer cuts) but there are some very 'pop' moments on the LP which bring down the score somewhat. From Eddie's work with Curved Air (the absolutely fantastic 'Air Cut'), 3 high quality U.K. albums, his collaboration with Tull (the fantastic album 'A', which cops a lot of negative raps) and he also added a lot more good than bad to Roxy Music's mid-70's albums. He did some sessions for the legendary Frank Zappa as well ; you would expect this album to be oozing with splendour, but it seems to be a 'product of the times' kind of album. 2 & 1/2 stars rounded up (out of respect).
Report this review (#89230)
Posted Friday, September 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars It'really hard to rewiev this album... Why? Because I have always appreciated Eddie Jobson as a great keyboards player (and violinist) and also as a composer. He had a big contribiution in creating U.K. album bringing perfect skills in playnig and unusual music ideas in composing (alongside with John Wetton).

"The Green Album" seems like a little confusion. I have to admit that it sound not like U.K. or Curved Air albums but more like ... The Buggles. A Lot of electronic sounds, simple vocal harmonies, impecunious arregement - that's what Eddie Jobson presented on this album. Songs like "Green Face" or "Listen To Reasons" with their climate could be released by Trevor Horn and Geoffrey Downes on "Age Of Plastic" album.

But the good thing is that Eddie sounds better in instrumental tracks like "Prelude" (soundlike ELP's "Fugue" from "Trilogy" album) or gently "Nostalgia" which included beautiful violin solo. Also I have to distinguish instrumental intros of "Resident" (U.K. in the flesh !!!!) and "Turn It Over" (if you like "disciplineted" King Crimson).

Summing up: if You will listen to "The Green Album" with too many expectations You may be dissapointed. Must expect and accept not to ambicious songs prepared by Eddie Jobson on this album.

Report this review (#89508)
Posted Tuesday, September 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Ooooh, brother. Bad, bad move. In spite of his magnificent chops, I'd never been convinced by Jobson as a melodist, and here's the proof. In 1982-3 progsters everywhere were jumping on the pop bandwagon, if only to keep body and soul (and record deal) together. Some did it well - Banco's 1983 self-titled album is quite pleasant, Anyone's Daughter's Neue Sterne (1983) is perhaps the best-ever combination of classic symphonic prog and 80s pop and... er, that's it. Jobson struggles manfully, but the utter cheesiness of what even then sounded like cheap and nasty electronics lets him down. For a guy who has so often sounded in control, it really doesn't feel like EJ knows entirely what he's doing here, save for the immaculate delivery (and, I concede, some decent singing). At least he gave Gary Green a gig.
Report this review (#97879)
Posted Thursday, November 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've read a mixture of pros and cons reviews for this album, and, without repeating anything, I'll add this: There are moments on this album that are absolutely brilliant! Awesome displays of compositional/performance prowess. If strung together, they'd make a classic montage that everyone would rave about. As an overview, I consider this album essential prog. It takes a few listens, but I consider an overall gem. There was a narcissistic, self-indulgent element to Eddie, from my perspective, that I suspect has since waned, so the power of his youthful passion/obsession is fascinating. Why he has created so little (to my knowledge) is sad, to me. I so admire his keyboard/violin playing. His explosive solos and textures on this album (as well as UK) are breathtaking. Synopsis: there are diamonds-in-felt on Green that send chills down the spine.
Report this review (#127055)
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Jobson's own UK

In many ways Eddie Jobson's first solo album can be seen as a continuation of the band UK. For their first album, UK had four members, before their second album they lost half of the original band. Now 'UK' is again cut in half with only Jobson left. Musically there are some similarities with UK but this is perhaps a bit more electronic and adapted for the 80's. But there are also acoustic and electric guitars, piano and real drums so this is far from an all electronic affair. Pieces like Prelude and Nostalgia are rather classical and not at all electronic. There are other numbers that sound slightly like the Synth Pop of the early 80's. Almost like Depeche Mode but with violin solos and much more elaborated in structure. The eclectic mix of that electronic style with many other styles not normally considered compatible makes this interesting and enjoyable.

Jobson's vocals might not be very distinctive but he does a decent job. There are some parts reminding me of the sound of Yes' Drama. Jobson's vocals are somewhat similar to those of Trevor Horn and also the keyboard sounds are sometimes similar to those of Drama.

The quality of the compositions is far behind those of UK and some other groups Jobson had worked with. Jobson is clearly not the songwriter that John Wetton is. However, over several listens some nice melodies reveal themselves. Zinc is a very eclectic work and there are many interesting styles and sounds to be found here.

While I find this album very listenable it doesn't leave any lasting impression. It is a good but non-essential album that might appeal to fans of UK.

Report this review (#226720)
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of my top ten for sure. With this one eddie not only cemented his rep as a performer, but also introduced a new facet as a bona fide composer (Yes, Yes he contributed here and there, but this is his own solo product from A to Z). Just about everything in the album is perfect. As mentioned the compositions stand on their own. The musicianship is top notch, and what's more the sounds wrung out of his keyboards (notably the CS-80 and the minimoog) are often baffling, as well as their integration into the song framework. I can't say I have the same fondness for Eddie's vocal talents unfortunately, which constitute the only weak point AFAIC. Whatever, as mentioned he shines on all instruments, with particular insistence in this work on the violin. Highlights are too many to mention but Prelude, Turn It Over, Who My Friends..., and Listen to Reason are all more than worthy of your progressive attention (this last one is remarkable for the violin solos). No desert island isolation would be complete without this one.
Report this review (#253566)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars What a disappointment!

This is the same Eddie Jobson who played amazingly with Curved Air, with Frank Zappa, with UK, with Roxy Music, with Jethro Tull... The key word apparently is "with".

On this, his first solo album, his main problem is composing. Nearly every song has a great intro. Some have great solos. But as soon as the verse sections begin, the music lapses into 1980's synth-pop. Think Gary Numan trying to be upbeat. And those vocals. Jobson almost has a good singing voice. But not quite. Everything come out just a bit on the shrill side.

It is good to hear Gary Green from Gentle Giant, and the two tracks he appears on are the best of the lot. But that's not saying much.

Report this review (#275815)
Posted Thursday, April 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Like many other reviewers, I find that this release never really "grabs" me. Jobson is, without a doubt, a great musician, as evidenced by his work with Roxy Music, UK, and Jethro Tull, but on this record he falls flat, in my opinion at least, as a composer. There is nothing bad here. However, there is nothing that great either. His voice is only average, and maybe a different, more powerful singer could have added to make this a better release? After many listens, I still can't say I remember a single melody or song on this album. It is good, but bland. In Eddie's defense, I am not a big fan of progressive-electric music, so maybe I am missing the boat, here. But, I can only recommend it to those who want to explore some of the "others" behind a few great prog groups. 2 stars. (Really 2 1/2)
Report this review (#280732)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really don't understand the low score for this impeccably wonderful piece of work.

To me this album encompasses the ultimate of the ultimate form of progressive music. Just like the Rupert Hine-trilogy (not on this site), Edwin finds a way to combine pop, rock, jazz, fusion, avant-garde, minimalism, ambient into an adventurous album, which I keep coming back to.

The album features some progressive rock-song with vocals but has some short instrumental interludes as well as an intro and outtro to the album.

Edwin may not be an excellent vocalist, but I prefer him to John Wetton. The most beautiful part of this album is the three-song epic Prelude-Nostalgia-Walking From Pastel wich features gorgeous piano and violin work by Edwin.

The songs Easy for You to Say, Turn It Over, Easy for You to Say and Listen to Reason are the most pop-rock influenced songs, bu with some really progressive/fusion elements.

The songs Resident and Through the Glass are the most difficult songs, especially drummer Barsimanto is a star in these songs. Other musicians on the is album include Gary Green (Gentle Giant).

As said the music has elements of progrock and jazzrockfusion. I want to add synthpop to it. So maybe it has a "dated" sound. But I really like that sound. As with Rupert Hine's trilogy of the same day and age.

I can really, really recommend this adventurous album and must emphasize it's an absolute masterpiece.

Report this review (#1597953)
Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2016 | Review Permalink

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