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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Just Offshore

Just Offshore

Review by Gary Hill

If you like keyboard based instrumental music you really need to check this one out. The music here is most often in the vicinity of Vangelis, but yet there’s other elements, too – like Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe, Rick Wakeman solo, Keith Emerson and Kraftwerk. Music like this tends to be a bit monolithic and this album isn’t completely immune to that, but it does get quite a bit of mileage out of the formula before it starts to choke.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Ocean Storm
Cool electronics open this, and the cut grows in a mode that calls to mind Tangerine Dream and Synergy. This is a great introduction to the album weaving exceptionally cool electronic prog music.
The Possibility Exists
Acoustic guitar – reminding me a lot of Steve Howe, leads this off. Turning more classical this motif continues the track for a while and then keyboards come in over the top. This track is pretty, but also quite short as it sits in the three minute range. It’s got a definite classical music nature to it.
House of the Rising Sun
As this comes in feeling like Kraftwerk you might think that the track only has the same name as the song by The Animals. As they bring in the melody, though, you’ll realize it is, in fact, a cover. I’ve always loved the song, and this version, which feels like a combination of Kraftwerk, Vangelis and Rick Wakeman, brings a new dimension to it. It’s a cool piece of music.
Meditation Medication
Although in some ways this is very much like Kraftwerk, there’s a bit more of a jazzy element to a lot of it. It’s another good keyboard piece that has some serious electronica laced into it. There are some points where the keyboard soloing reminds me quite a bit of Keith Emerson, but others where I think of Rick Wakeman. Further down the road it moves out towards RIO territory at times and then there’s a section that makes me think of The Doors.
Endless Journey
This feels very classical in nature and also seems like it would be at home in a movie soundtrack – for a science fiction film, anyway. Around the four minute mark this becomes a little psychedelic and then a hard edged guitar line rises up and moves the track in new directions. This part reminds me a lot of Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe. 
Galactic Construction
This relatively short track (just over four minutes) is all keyboards and rhythmic structures. It’s good, but not a standout.
From Here to There
A keyboard solo piece, this is good, but the format’s beginning to feel a little overused. I can hear some Gary Numan and some Kraftwerk on this.
24-7
This is a mellower track, but otherwise doesn’t vary a lot from the rest of the music here. Personally, I would have closed the disc with one of the tracks that rocks a bit more – and I would have tried to throw a bit more variety in as this gets lost in the anonymity.
 
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