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Seventh Wave


Review by Gary Hill

This 1975 album is pretty cool. I'm reminded quite a bit of Klaatu a lot of the time, but this was actually contemporary (more or less) to that band. There is a healthy helping of funk built into a lot of this. Some of it makes me think of Frank Zappa, too. Whatever you call this, though, it's quirky and quite entertaining.

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Track by Track Review
Return to Foreverland
The keyboard sounds that start this make me think of some of Rick Wakeman's solo stuff. The cut moves out from there to sort of a bouncy kind of mainstream meets prog jam. There is some funk in the mix along with some space rock. There are equal parts of Beatles, Klaatu and Frank Zappa built into this number. The piece has some intriguing changes and movements. It's a fun and quirky piece, making it a good choice for opener.
Roads to Rome

This comes in a bit more dramatic and serious for the introductory movement. It drops to some trippy psychedelic styled stuff based mostly on piano and voice after that. Klaatu is a valid reference point here, too. This grows out in style from there. There is a lot of classical music built into the construction of this piece. It's another creative and unusual number.

More than the first minute and a half of this is made up of a cool keyboard solo. That section is space rock oriented in a lot of ways. They fire out from there to a quirky fast paced jam that's almost part new wave and part prog. Some of the backing vocals again make me think of Zappa. As it approaches the five minute mark it again works out to space, but this time something even more purely spacey. That eventually ends the track.
Loved By You
There is a lot of R&B and soul music built into this number. It makes me think of both Todd Rundgren and (for some reason) David Bowie. There is a lot of gospel music built into this, and it's definitely not prog rock.
Only the Beginning
Coming in a bit trippy and spacey, some serious funk invades as it begins to build outward. While this has a lot of funk, there is still enough prog to keep it within that genre. I dig the jazzy meets space groove on this piece. It gets incredibly powerful as it works forward.
Aether Anthem
Cool keyboard textures create a fanfare sort of vibe here. This is just a short (a bit less than a minute and a half) keyboard interlude.
Astral Animal
Weird prog, stripped back almost Parliament like stuff and Frank Zappa elements seem to merge on this cool cut. It's funky and yet very proggy. There is a good contrast between mellower and more rocking stuff.
El Tooto
Another keyboard based instrumental, this is more purely proggy. There are definite elements of flamenco music at the core of this, but it also feels rather classical.
Camera Obscura
This piece is an epic that runs ten minutes. It starts with a prog meets new wave kind of vibe that's fast paced and again calls to mind Klaatu in a lot of ways. It has a mellower section that runs counterbalance. This really uses that extra space quite well. There are a number of differing movements here. Sometimes it works toward space. At other points we get more of that Klaatu like stuff. I dig the cool trippy jam movement that comes in near the end of the piece.
Star Palace of the Sombre Warrior
Starting mellower, this seems to come right out of the previous piece. It's got a vocal and keyboard arrangement at the start, but works out to more of a full treatment beyond that for the purpose of accentuation. The piece is powerful and dramatic. In fact, it's one of my favorites here. It's dynamic and so cool. Again I hear some Klaatu on this piece.
Bonus Track
Manifestations (Single Version)
This skips the extended introduction moving straight into the rocking movement. While this is effective as a single, it's not as interesting as the album version.
Only the Beginning (Part 1)
I dig this single edit quite a bit. It works pretty well in this format
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