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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Forever Einstein

Racket Science

Review by Gary Hill

I know it's early in the year, but I can say with certainty that Forever Einstein have cinched at least a couple of titles with their latest release. The winner for 2005 for the most unusual and creative song titles (and longest ones, too) will almost positively go to Forever Einstein. In the category of most quick movements in a song, they look to be a shoe in as well. Overall the disc continues their tradition of creating unique and very listenable guitar based prog that draws on many varied musical sources for inspiration. And, as usual, it's all delivered with a sizeable sense of humor.

An album like this is always a challenge for a journalist trying to do track by track analysis. The songs make so many rapid fire changes that you don't have a chance to get all your ideas down before they are three or four changes down the road. To quote on of the song titles on the album, it leads me to wish I had me some of them miracle smart pills.". While that may make for a lot of backing up on the CD player for me, it makes for an ever-changing musical landscape to challenge and entertain most listeners. They don't vary much from the tried and true, but when you are as creative as these guys are, every song is a new experience. This one should be a treat to fans of the band and another opportunity for a first listen for those who like creative guitar dominated progressive rock.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 1 at https://garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2005.

Track by Track Review
How Come the Wrong People Are Always in Charge?
This starts with a Crimsonish riff, then shifts into a new Crimsoid jam for a time. Next a riff that feels a lot like Steve Howe takes it. The band merges this with the earlier KC-like tones and carry on in this direction for a time before shifting to a mellower mode which they then shift back up to the Crimson-like vein. After a time it moves back to the Howeish territory to begin the cycle again. The familiar themes continue to rotate throughout until a noisy cacophony ends it - and all this in just under three and a half minutes!
You're Living in a World of Make-Believe With Flowers and Bells and Leprechauns and Magic Frogs with Funny Little Hats
A quirky jam kicks in, and the band eventually left turn this into an Allman Brothers like jam. Then it drops to something that vaguely resembles California Guitar Trio mixed with The Outlaws. Next a full on bluesy rock jam takes it for a brief time before they combine that with surf type music to carry on. After a time in this mode hoe down type themes come in in and they build on this.
t's a Good Thing I Don't Have Super Brain Powers or You'd Be in a Thousand Little Pieces Right Now
Neo classical sounds meet cowboy music pretty well describes much of this cut, but weird playful jazz segments emerge throughout to break it up. More Crimsonian jamming also shows up here. The ends with a demonstration of an alarm system.
They're Portable, They're Annoying and They Cost Three Dollars a Case:
Percussion starts this, then a bouncy prog jamming mode take interspersed with breaks more KC like instrumentation in texture. It then drops to weird space rock tones. It moves back after this to the earlier sections.
I'm Trying to Contain an Outbreak Here and You're Driving the Monkey to The Airport
The most melodic sounds thus far start this as a guitar tone that again calls to mind CGT runs through. It turns to a weird dissonant section, then works up to more cowboy type music. Then dark Crimsonian weirdness takes this in new directions to eventually carry it back until a reprise of the early modes end it.
It's Almost Impossible to Concentrate in This Café With All These Leggy Belgian Girls Walking Around In Miniskirts
This feels a lot like a killer TV Show theme song ffrom the late '60's or early '70's mixed with a Jethro Tull song. This one is a fairly coherent and solid track during the opening minutes, then it drops to a new age / jazz type section. This seems at times like something from a Tony Levin solo album. A warning siren sound ends this section, then a reprise of the first segment with a wah guitar lead takes over from there. This is one of my favorite pieces on the disc.
God Has a Plan for Me, And It Involves Puppets
Frantic jamming starts this and the band move it forward following the same general themes through several variants. This gets a little Crimsonish for a bit, then a surf-sounding segment takes it in a new direction getting a little country at times. This is one of the more cohesive cuts on the album and another of my favorites.
I Wish I Had Me Some of Them Miracle Smart Pills
Stripped down bouncy jamming starts this, then it jumps to a melody a bit like the "Hawaii Five O" theme song. They move it back to the opening mode, this time with psychedelic type jamming over top, then a new staccato start and stop section takes it. It drops to just cymbals, then wanders into a mellow jazzy jam. This runs through until they start the song all over again.
I Got My Picture Taken, I Got Forty Dollars and I Get to Keep the Underwear
Background sounds start this and a strumming guitar takes it. Then psychedelic sitar like modes enter. Eventually after the rest of the band has entered they move into surf music type modes. Next up is a more melodic segment that rather quickly gives way to more playful surf music sounds. Then a bouncy new melody with more sitar like guitar takes it until they turn it somewhat country in both structure and flavor. I can't forget to mention that the riff from the Who's "Can't Explain" is interspersed in here. The cut ends with the same background sounds that started it.
There's Some Milk in the Fridge That's About to Go Bad... and There It Goes
This one starts with a quirky bouncy fast paced riffing jam. This turns Crimsonish, then almost metallic as it carries forward. It drops to a mellow segment, then gradually and dramatically builds upward, and eventually a very tasty guitar solo bursts overtop as the band lays down a pretty atmospheric backdrop. This segment, one of the coolest on the disc, carries forward for a time, then the opening section returns. This runs through, then drops to a very weird bit of near noise. Brief bits of melody emerge here and there. Dogs whining are also heard. Background sounds end this.
Every Word Out of Your Mouth Is Like a Turd Falling in My Drink
A quick burst of sound leads to a drum break. Then surf type sounds take it. Jazz-like bass moves it forward with more surf sounds overtop. Eventually a country hoe down takes it. Then they move it back up to the surf sounds. A percussion solo takes the track for a time. They end it playfully, and all in less than three minutes.
He Looks Interesting - And by Interesting I Mean Weird
Sedate atmospheric tones start this with mellow melody gradually entering. At just over a minute and a half, this very mellow tune gives you a chance to catch your breath after the frantic chaos that is the rest of the disc.
 
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