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(39:56; Chaos and the Cosmos)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Singularity 5:48 2. u Go-Go 5:34 3. Heart Flies 6:41 4. Prologue 2:41 5. Our Song 4:44 6. Floating in the Atmosphere 1:34 7. House of Love 12:54 LINE UP : Paul Langer - vocals, guitars, bass, drums John Allday - keyboards, trumpet, vocals with: Rachel Nesvig - violin, backing vocals Aleida Gehrels - viola, backing vocals Phil Hirschi - cello
Prolusion. US band Chaos and the Cosmos appears to have been around in one form or another for at least a decade at this point, but without ever being at the stage where recording and releasing any material was regarded as a viable option. But come 2023 and that situation has changed, and following what may have been a fairly long gestation period the band self-released their debut album "Our Song" in the spring of 2023.
Analysis. As far as progressive rock is concerned, this album isn't one that touch upon any of the established contemporary traditions of this universe, as the material here in my opinion at least reach back in time to a period prior to the invention of progressive rock as we know it today. As such one might say that the material here can be compared to the material that surfaced when the originators of progressive rock as a genre stepped forward, or to the artists that inspired progressive rock to actually develop as a style of music in the first place. For my sake I'd say that psychedelic rock from the mid to late 1960's is something of a cornerstone throughout this production. The songs are calm and collected affairs with careful vocals and with the acoustic guitar as a key instrument throughout. References to a band like The Beatles are numerous, although in terms of general mood and atmosphere I do find the songs on this album to be a tad closer in spirit and execution to what the lesser known UK band Soft Hearted Scientists have been exploring over the years. Otherwise I note that the music strikes me as retaining the naive innocence one would typically find in many cases of 60's psychedelic rock, and that the album as a whole comes with a bit of a romantic swagger. There is obviously a bit more going on here than just an acoustic guitar and lead vocals. Floating keyboards do add a bit of a different vibe to the landscapes explored, at times adding a little bit of a cosmic touch to the proceedings, and we get a more electronically oriented opening part that actually gave me associations to the great Isao Tomita here. The keyboard textures are also complemented by a string section that adds a more orchestral touch to the landscapes explored, and that detail is arguably the defining touch that gives this production a bit more of a progressive rock identity too. It'll be a matter of opinion if this expansion is orchestral or symphonic in spirit and execution I guess, but for many listeners there won't be too much of a difference between this album and the earlier examples of symphonic progressive rock I would guess. It should be noted that we do get a little bit of an electric guitar presence on this album too, and the concluding epic 'House of Love' adds some funky electronic bits to the arrangements, but for my experience as a listener these are exceptions that makes the album more interesting and provides variation rather than being defining aspects of this production as such.
Conclusion. If you have an affection for the more naive and romantic psychedelic rock of the 1960's and tend to enjoy listening to bands from that era taking their first steps towards developing into more clearly defined progressive rock artists, then this is an album you should find to be quite the captivating experience I suspect. Especially if a little bit of cosmic seasoning and a defining orchestral addition to such landscapes strikes you as intriguing expansions to this type and style of music.
Progmessor: May 2023
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