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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Brilliance

Suite No. 2 World Keeps Spinning: An Antidote to Modern Anxiety

Review by Gary Hill

This is actually a pretty hard album to classify. There are songs here that are full classical music excursions. There are other pieces that have some definite modern sounds. Still, overall, I think the mix of sounds and the modern prog elements along with classical ones and psychedelia mean that this will fit nowhere better than prog. Whatever you call it, it is unique, intriguing and very cool.

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Track by Track Review
Release Me
Symphonic elements open this in a dramatic classical way. The cut moves forward in keeping with that musical concept. After the one minute mark it works to some cool, electronically based textures for a journey into pop rock. There are hints of The Beatles on this, but it's very much a prog rock type thing overall with some definite leanings toward psychedelia. The backing vocals and symphonic instruments bring a real art rock meets classical element. We get a return to full classical treatment at the end.
How Do We Know
Bouncy and entertaining, this still has a definite art rock edge to it. The mix sounds a bit distorted to me, though. I'm not sure if it's supposed to give a lo-fi vibe or what, but I found it a little annoying. This is a very short tune at less than two-minutes.
Must Admit
This opens with chorale singing that feels like Christmas caroling. Piano takes over from there, and the arrangement builds as it continues. As the vocals join we're taken into more of a singer/songwriter kind of treatment. The symphonic elements over the top bring proggy textures. The cut grows outward with some definite hints of psychedelia in the mix.
Classical, electronic and psychedelic elements merge in the trippy opening here. The cut evolves to a pretty piano and voice arrangement from there. Symphonic textures and other cool modes bring the prog rock to bear as it continues.
This number has a bit of a modern pop rock sound, but it's tempered with some serious space rock. That's delivered to a large degree by Theremin or something that sounds like it. This is a driving cut that's one of the most rocking of the set. It's also particularly powerful. The closing bit is a full on space rock science fiction sounding thing.
I Shall Not Fear
Coming in decidedly classical, this has chorale vocals at the heart of this piece. It's definitely not a rock piece at all. 
I Wanna Know
This is very short at just 45 seconds. It is based on an almost jazz trio arrangement with vocals over the top. It's intriguing, but not one of the highlights.
A symphonic flourish gives way to a piano arrangement. Electronic elements along with more classical instrumentation is added to the mix as the piece continues. This instrumental deftly merges those elements into a powerful tapestry.
Holding Onto You
This cut lands closer to the pop rock zone. It has plenty of dreamy psychedelia in the mix. Symphonic instrumentation lends a classical flavor.
Just Be
This is so powerful. It has some major symphonic elements, but it also builds to a powerful rock crescendo that makes me think of Klaatu.
World Keeps Spinning
This powerhouse cut really makes for a great closing piece. It seems to have some of the best of every style presented on the disc. I love some of the piano work and the strings bring some real classical bombast to it at times. There is a weird shift to a full classical treatment late. There is a bit of Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" at the end, too. Yes fanatic that I am, that makes me think a Yes concert is about to begin.
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