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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Farpoint

From Dreaming to Dreaming

Review by Josh Turner

In this album, they've finally found the winning ticket and they cash it in for a fun-filled romp in Willy's Chocolate Factory. They take the sophisticated songwriting from First Light and combine it with the pleasant production of Grace. Farpoint has finally reached a new level with this album. As keyboardist Kevin Jarvis says, this release blows the other two away.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Lux Universum Part 1
The album sets off like so many progressive rock albums. The track is an array of strange, yet serene sounds. It's short and ends in an abrupt manner.
Autumn Sky
This is an indication that the previous two albums have come together to sanctify their marriage in holy matrimony. The song takes folk up a notch with a vigorous and upbeat tempo. Dana sings like Mostly Autumn's Heather Findlay. The instrumentals, however, are more along the lines of Yes. Right off the bat, this is better than anything they've done before.
Anything At All
If this was interchanged with one of the subdued songs off Mostly Autumn's Passengers album, nobody would be the wiser. In general, fans of that album will surely like this CD. This just happens to be the universal litmus test for this particular hypothesis.
Universal Light
There is irrefutable evidence this was influenced by The Rolling Stones "Jumpin' Jack Flash". To imagine this song, just think of Keith Richards strumming along with The Rolling Stones' rhythm section. It also shares some of the flair one would find on the Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing".
Here and Now
There are multiple melodies that occur in tandem. The drums and bass hold a bouncy beat. The keyboards demonstrate an unanticipated ability to tap-dance. Dana and Clark take turns at the lead and even share a handful of heartfelt harmonies.
Crying In The Rain
While the guitars and bass carry a more serious tune, the keyboards offer up a little mischief. The middle section is extremely progressive. After floating in deep space, the gravity of the guitar solo quickly draws us back in.
Sojourn
The start is slow and unhurried. An acoustic guitar enters the empty landscape. There is an upsurge of sound as the others join in. The band is at its best when their compositions are varied. Some passages are subdued while others are substantially more dynamic. This is Farpoint's most diverse song, which also makes it their best.
Nothing At All
This returns them to their folk-inspired roots. The tempo remains constant throughout the track. Clark's vocals stand out. The keyboards give us gospel while Dana's backing voice lends encouragement to the congregation.
O Lost
There is a bit of Enya in Dana's singing here. The connections to Mostly Autumn continue as well. Mike Avin's guitar sounds overwhelmingly like Bryan Josh. Instrumentally, this is somewhat like the music score found in Lord of the Rings. It is mostly a Celtic affair with a touch of light rock.
Ashley's Song (Sail On)
This is a modernized take on the material from the debut. While the beat would be at ease on that album, the sound quality is a bit more mature. This song takes a simple melody and turns it into one enchanting tune.
Lux Universal Part II
We return to the atmospheric sounds first encountered at the beginning of the album. Soon after, Dana is chanting a number of poetic verses. This is a peaceful gathering at the end of an ambitious adventure. The CD covers many states of emotion. The action is fast-paced at times, but lingers at others. Farpoint incorporates the earth tones of the first album with the vibrant colors of the second. They even manage to keep the listener intrigued in ways not experienced during their past two albums. I'm eager to find out what sights are scheduled for future excursions. If you liked First Light or Grace, it is pretty much guaranteed you'll like this one. From Dreaming to Dreaming is literally the best of both worlds and so much more. I must concur with Kevin on this one. This album blows the other two away.
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