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IQ - Ever CD (album) cover





4.05 | 676 ratings

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3 stars I bought this album recently, after purchasing The Seventh House. (Already reviewed by me.) I had heard that this one is regarded by some as their finest album. Well, it is certainly a decent effort, and it is hard not to like it. The opener, The Darkest Hour, starts out briskly enough, with nice guitar over keyboard, then settles into a steady paced rhthym, overlaid with a pleasant melody. There are some hints of Genesis here, both guitar wise and vocally, but they are only faint ones. The song has some nice textures and changes throughout, and the keyboards fill out the sound smoothly. I suspect that Martin Orford is the dominant member of the band, although Peter Nicholls does have a distinctive voice and Mike Holmes is a technically gifted guitarist, although he remains in the background much of the time. The track ends quietly and the album moves on to the second cut, Fading Senses. This is divided into 2 parts, the first part being the vocal, which has some nice gloomy lyrics - right up my street! The second part is instrumental, and very melodic at that, well constructed and easy on the ear. Then comes the 3rd song, Out Of Nowhere, which is my least favourite on the album. Drums and keyboards fade in nicely, but then the guitar comes in with a blatant copy of Queen's Now I'm Here. In fact, I found myself singing the first couple of lines to it. Now I quite like Queen, but this riffing doesn't suit IQ at all. Once the song gets going, it is in fact not bad, but seems hastily put together, and is, in my opinion, the closest the band has come to 'filler' material. It seems almost 'poppy'. However, the next track is the epic Further Away, lasting nearly 15 minutes, with intricate changes and nice lyrics. A well crafted piece of music which shows the band at its best. All the musicians work well here, and the song ebbs and flows. A good one! Track 5 is Leap Of Faith, which is another favourite of mine. Although the melody is rather obvious, the guitar solo at the end is very well put together and is eminently listenable! This leads, finally, into the last track, Came Down. For some reason, this reminded me of Afterglow, off Wind And Wuthering. From the way it is lead into, to the pace and style of the song. Not bad however! My three faves are The Darkest Hour, Further Away and Leap Of Faith. None of this is essential, but I would have given it an extra half star if it had been possible. The Seventh Hour is far superior, in my opinion, but then everyone thinks differently! If there is such a thing as 'middle of the road' in prog, then IQ, and latter- day Marillion must be the leaders in it. The music is safe, pleasant, almost easy listening. Technically excellent but without providing anything new to the genre. Worth a listen though!
chessman | 3/5 |


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