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Thank You Scientist - Terraformer CD (album) cover

TERRAFORMER

Thank You Scientist

 

Crossover Prog

3.97 | 243 ratings

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guiservidoni
5 stars

I've been listening to Terraformer for a couple of months religiously every week, trying to come up with a consistent reason why my inner snob tells me this is a five-star album. This is my attempt of explaining it.

This album has been received by critics as a great album, albeit overly technical and lacking some of the emotion present on Maps of Non-Existent Places and, especially, Stranger Heads Prevail. However, here's the thing: Thank You Scientist, at least from my point of view, is by itself an overly technical band from the beginning, seeing the amount of things happening at the same time on any song of theirs (even on interludes), given the amount of members of the band. However, on this album, the duration amplifies that effect.

While listening to any Thank You Scientist album, my brain very easily fades their music into the background because I believe it gets tired of trying to understand all of the things happening at once. If this happens to me while trying effectively to focus, I imagine how easily most people tap out on a casual listening, and that can give the impression of technical wankery. For that, it's a good thing that I persisted on listening to it for quite some time before reviewing it, because this is an album that starts with a bombastic impression (aka Wrinkle), becomes an average album after 2-3 listens, and then starts growing back on you, to the point where you feel like putting it on repeat without feeling the need to pull your hair off anymore. Much like Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans or any Ayreon's cheesy Opera.

I believe the band knows that this is a hard listen, and therefore interludes and breather songs are more in place than on the two previous records, such as the beginning of Birdwatching and New Moon. As it's noticeable, these breathers become longer as the album advances, as you're probably becoming mentally more tired as it progresses.

If you don't lose faith too quickly on Terraformer, moments like Anchor's bridge, or Terraformer (the song) victory-like character really begin shining through, and the impression of over-technicality begins to fade. This is not easy, and definitely does not take less than 10 listens, I'd say. But, once you're able to really appreciate the work that is done here, you might as well believe this is a five-star masterpiece, topping all previous records.

guiservidoni | 5/5 |

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