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Astronomique

Sharp Divide

Review by Gary Hill

This new release from Astronomique is quite entertaining. There is one song that doesn't exactly work for me, but the rest certainly do. It leans toward space rock and modern prog in some ways. Overall, though, this is probably closest to the electronic pop music of the 1980s. Whatever you call it, the female vocals and keyboard driven arrangements combine well to create a compelling set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Forefathers
There is a bit of an 80s music vibe to this in some ways. Yet, it's also set in a modern prog rock zone. I dig the female vocals. The driving percussion element is classy. The keyboards lend some great textures. All in all, this is a particularly cool piece of music.
Side of Your Mind
I dig the funky groove on this piece. There is an almost space rock sort of dreamy element to it. Yet, overall this makes me think of Blondie more than it does anything else.
We Disappear
That 80s kind of thing is all over this. It's another that makes me think of Blondie in a lot of ways. There is a pop kind of sensibility here, but also a more rock and roll edge. Add in some trippy stuff, and you have the basic recipe for this number.
Losing Our Control
Another cool rock tune, this has plenty of electronic pop vibe built into it. It's danceable and a lot of fun. The comparisons to Blondie aren't out of the question here, either.
Sharp Divide
The title track comes in more hard rocking. There is a definite 80s vibe to this, along with some hints of modern prog. I think this was a good choice for title track because it is definitely one of the most interesting pieces on the disc.
Smoke
Keyboards start this. The cut works out to a cool electronic pop styled number that has a lot in common with the music of the 80s. I love the waves of keyboard textures on this.
Unspoken
Another that starts with keyboards, this almost feels like prog rock the keys only introduction. As the rhythm section joins, and the cut drives forward there is some funk along with 80s electronic pop built into the mix. It's another classy tune.
Bleed Me
The keyboards that open this don't win me over quite as well as a lot of the rest do. I'm not crazy about the voicing on them. The tune has another 80s electronic pop vibe to it. This is a bit more stripped back in terms of energy. I don't like it as well as I do the rest of the music here. Still, it has its charms.
Hardly Deliberate

Not a huge change, this is another cool slab of electronic pop drenched sound. That said, this number is more complex than some of the rest. It's one of the pieces that lean toward modern progressive rock. There is a percussion break down movement built into the piece. The harder rocking jam later in the piece is really cool.

Heading Nowhere

There is a slightly left of center vibe to this cut. It has a dreamy kind of pop rock vibe to it. It's a cool groove that works really well. This is another that wanders into proggy territory. It has a bit of a modern prog turned space rock feeling to it, particularly in the later sections. It's one of my favorites here.

 
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