Fireworks

The Tangent - 'A Spark In The Aether' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/02/64/f6/the-tangent-a-spark-in-the-aether-21-1438107697.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 28, 2015    
 
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What Prog should be: inclusive, questioning and very entertaining.

We really should cherish Andy Tillison and The Tangent. He would probably hate that, but since the mid-nineties they have been producing eighties-inflected, yet still far ranging, music in the best way of the Prog tradition, sounds that constantly surprise and delight. That may be due to the ready allowance of flutes, saxes and trumpets but also due to a real ear for melody, cynically humorous lyrics and superb playing.

Last time out, 'Le Sacre Du Travail' was a sweeping, masterful piece; it was a lot to take in for one sitting but provided real pleasure. This, a return to 'The Music That Died Alone' concept, is more contained and accessible but still has those gorgeous flights of fancy we know TT love so much.

So the title track clusters around an uplifting riff which is difficult to get rid of even days later, a real tightly packed wonder, followed by 'Codpieces And Capes', which showcases TT's never suppressed Jazzy side, a cheekily refreshing Prog travelogue which visits all those familiar musical tropes but is in no way hackneyed.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The centrepiece is, of course, 'The Celluloid Road'; twenty odd minutes which seem like five that is based around Hollywood and a love of the movies, play the "spot the reference" game, delight in the film narrative whilst the brilliant band give us all the music we can handle. The vibe opens out and closes down, Steely Dan smoothness is invoked and a Roger Waters brittleness is shown. And the middle section? A thing of Funky wonder, all 1970's horn parps and frenetic bass – Tillison has said that Jonas Reingold was delighted when he was given it to play and who can be surprised? This is audacious but expected and utterly sublime, in fact it is revisited in the closing 'San Francisco Radio Edit' and works just as well, underlining what a 'Shaft' homage it is – "who's the band who gets all the chicks... The Tangent... you're damn right"... indeed!

This is played with love and imperious talent by a wonderful band who have all the hallmarks of the time they've been together. And of course Tillison's light shows no sign of dimming, he remains a powerhouse of marvellous music and this album is one of the best in an already glittering canon. Culturally, politically and emotionally, Tillison is what Prog should be – inclusive, questioning and very entertaining. Seek The Tangent out... this is the spark you're looking for.

Steve Swift

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