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Topic Closed3rd Rd. Moderns: Frequency v. Spirit of Eden

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Poll Question: pick Spirit of Eden.. the power of the Mick compels you damnit...
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
23 [41.07%]
33 [58.93%]
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: 3rd Rd. Moderns: Frequency v. Spirit of Eden
    Posted: August 15 2015 at 09:00
another heavyweight match...Clap

in this corner.. bah.. nice review though..

IQ - Frequency CD (album) cover

FREQUENCY

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

4.12 | 714 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FragileKings
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4 stars "Frequency" is the most recent release by neo-proggers, IQ, and the first of their albums to join the ranks of my CD collection. It was one of the purchases I made during what clearly became a record-setting year for me in CD purchases and music exploration, largely due to the influence of this very site. Now, as a person who desperately needs to diet, I have put myself under a strict CD purchasing regime that I intend to adhere to lest the wife find out and confiscate the bank book and seize my earnings. But on with the album review.

It opens with "Frequency" and within the first couple of minutes the stage is set for what promises to be a very good album. There's a great instrumental intro with Mellotrone, synthesizer atmospherics, and heavy guitar. A recorded news report speaks about the first atomic bomb drop: "The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base". I wonder at the irony of the reporter trying to justify the dropping of an atomic bomb by saying that Hiroshima was a military base, as if people should feel better not knowing about the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and casualties. Did IQ pick up on this? The mood goes gentle with electric piano as the vocals begin, but the heaviness returns later. The vocals are smooth and very pleasing. There are some great keyboard sections and the drumming intense. The song maintains an odd beat that is very hard to tap your foot to. Overall, this song is already the first stand out track from the album. But more's to come.

"Life Support" is slow and gentle with nice piano and synthesizer. It's not too long but good music. You'll notice drummer Andy Edwards cannot be content maintaining a plain beat. He keeps breaking out in shuffling fills in spite of the song's slow tempo.

"Stronger than Friction" is a multipart song that changes pace and mood. There are gentle parts and aggressive parts. The band makes good use of their instruments and sounds and styles. The drumming again is remarkable. Fills, eruptions, quick shuffles. Like a drum solo put to a song.

"One Fatal Mistake" actually begins as "Friction" fades out but the track change occurs when Friction has completely faded. Slow acoustic guitar, piano, and synth. Very pretty. It's a relatively short song that segues into "Ryker Skies" with aethereal synth and a synth choir. Clean electric guitar joins. There is a lot of praise for this song by some but good as it is, I always lose concentration while this plays. It still is good as I listen to it now, making notes for my review. Nice organ, electronic effects, heavy beat. Some outstanding moments. On the strength of this song I would have bought the album, even though it is the least memorable for me.

"The Province" is quite likely the highlight of the album and the longest track at over 13 minutes, though I find it difficult to declare it the highlight with so much good music elsewhere on the album. There's an acoustic beginning that evolves into a great epic with many changes in tempo and mood. Intense heavy parts with Hammond organ offset the acoustic sections. It could be my favourite track though others are also really enjoyable to me.

The album's closer is "Closer" (as in I am now closer to buying another IQ album than I ever was). It's sweet sentimental music. Very pretty. The song goes through some changes while keeping the mood. One the wife might appreciate. It's a bit like "One Fatal Mistake" but still different. Very powerful music and vocals. The drumming here is often swift and exciting as the song draws closer to its conclusion. Andy Edwards must have hot coals under his seat.

I really like this album. The three stand-out features for me are the music compositions and use of guitars and keyboards in general, Peter Nicholls' wonderful vocals, and Andy Edwards' ants-in-the-pants drumming. I have already lined up three more IQ albums for purchase this year. If I want more than that I will have to cut some other ones off my 2013 list. I am glad to see the high rating for this album. One of my top ten purchases of 2012! Not quite five stars but I am glad if other people give it a full rating. I would be happy with a 4.5 rating honestly.



and in the far corner.... everything music should be.. could be...

great review by another sorely missed old friend... LINUS!!! Heart

Talk Talk - Spirit Of Eden CD (album) cover

SPIRIT OF EDEN

Talk Talk

 

Crossover Prog

4.10 | 276 ratings

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LinusW
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5 stars Grace, minimalistic clarity, surprising grandeur and impressionistic disintegration of structure haunts the unique ambience of Spirit of Eden. A slow, dreamlike and meandering journey that elegantly and deliberately has nestled its way to being a milestone of my musical life.

There's an often present vibrating undertone of an aimless and rather bleak chamber orchestra, or perhaps a rugged and world-weary street ensemble topped off with brass and wood-wind that moans and probes underneath the main structures. Now and then it worms its way out onto the surface as beautifully enriching timbre diversity, a veritable panorama of searching sounds. A choppy and seemingly disconnected baseline of musical driftwood that somehow manages to assemble into an organic, but modern dynamic framework. At times sounds appear, disappear and assemble almost sub-consciously, reaching forceful climaxes in the otherwise tiptoeing and careful move forwards. It's like raindrops on a window, finding their way down, occasionally combining into larger droplets that increase in speed and volume only to dissolve in a dramatic splash in the end. Or perhaps it's like seemingly careless brush-strokes that eventually resolve in a fleeting, but definite, picture.

There are touches of jazz, blues, classical and slight, but non-abrasive, "avant" tendencies. However, what dominates is this marked pop sensibility in the vocal melodies and main motifs of the songs. You can still feel where Talk Talk were coming from. It might be a bit obtuse and slightly cryptic on the surface, but still smoothly and emotionally accessible with enough room for a handful of hooks along the way. So there's that, and an intimately fractured form of rather melodic and expressive ambience, that makes its way through the vast and beautiful emptiness between the instrumentation. There's so much room, so much pause for afterthought and introspection, that the sudden outbursts of crashing, ringing or rumbling guitars and busily explosive percussion stand out in their immensity.

The drums usually present a simple and understated punchy beat whereupon vocalist Mark Hollis can stroke his words carefully and up-close in a melancholy, but touching way. Comforting, soft, textural and spaciously melodic organ and piano lift the weariness and subdued quietude into more hopeful territories, sometimes accompanied by a few guitar strums. A fluttering and clear keyboard fantasy suddenly shimmer discreetly in the background. The more outreaching, but still predominantly tentative, sounds of the guitar gives the proceedings an earthier and more eager flair in their stark, ringing clarity. It can make the music feel desolate at times, but busy and raucously desperate when it joins in with a great deal of fire in the soaring crescendos. At times, you can also find a simmering intensity creeping in, a more pulsing and energetic backdrop, but with maintained clarity and disciplined energy.

It's an irresistible combination of intimate, inviting emotional exploration and alternately sweeping and cryptic musical gestures. Few albums put me right in the heart of it, but Spirit of Eden does, by the power of its vulnerability. It's like you're standing right in its very centre, completely enveloped, and astutely perceptive to every change. The usual defences just turn off. Silence and space makes everything said and heard more acute and piercing. Very, very naked.

One of my favourite albums

5 stars.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 09:00
Tried to vote for talk Talk
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 09:01
Got you covered
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 09:02
My goodness that's a difficult one... Needs weighty thinking...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 09:02
Originally posted by zravkapt zravkapt wrote:

Tried to vote for talk Talk


and noted as always
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 09:19
Talk Talk
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 09:21
easy vote.. easiest non RPI vote of the whole damn tournament hah
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 12:33
Spirit of Eden
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 12:40
Those 2 albums are so different it's literally like comparing apples to oranges......I wish the Mickster would compare albums that have a similar genre style. IMHO that makes more sense than comparing ...say...The Monkees to Hendrix.
Just saying.......

Oh....went with IQ since they need some love and that might be my favorite neo -prog thingie of all time.
A better poll would have been IQ against Marillion...now that makes perfect sense.
Wink


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 12:54
Frequency
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 12:55
IQ
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 14:37
Love both but double talk for me. Hollis is one of a rare few who can pull off completely overemotional vocals. Something a fair few of the modern alternative acts could learn from imo *cough* Radiohead/Muse/Mew/Coldplay/Gazpacho/Anathema *cough*
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 14:52
IQ without any doubt.

And it's not one of their very best.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 15:07
Both great, but I will go with Frequency.
A GREAT YEAR FOR PROG!!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2015 at 15:31
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Love both but double talk for me. Hollis is one of a rare few who can pull off completely overemotional vocals. Something a fair few of the modern alternative acts could learn from imo *cough* Radiohead/Muse/Mew/Coldplay/Gazpacho/Anathema *cough*



never really thought of that... but excellent point. Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2015 at 01:26
Spirit of Eden, though Frequency is great.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2015 at 01:55
IQ
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2015 at 08:37
Frequency is the only IQ album that I really like, but it's a great one.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2015 at 13:50
Easily Spirit of Eden.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2015 at 13:54
High IQ IQ.
http://fryingpanmedia.com
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