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TRACK LIST: 1. Bare 5:11 2. Monday 4:18 3. So Far 5:02 4. Captain 4:41 5. Choral Castle 5:25 6. Just Wanted to Know 4:01 7. Rise and Fall 4:02 8. Time to Go 5:19 9. Finale 5:43 SOLO PILOT: Anton Evans – all instruments and vocals
Prolusion. “Ever Heard the One About” is the second solo release by one Anton EVANS from Canada.
Analysis. Issued after a 15-year period of creative inactivity (if this expression is generally admissible in this case), “Ever Heard the One About” finds its creator doing most likely the same that he did when recording his first output – playing an outdated synthesizer and singing. Nowadays there are thousands of home-bred musicians, who find it cool to play from time to time something on a synthesizer and, after recording several compositions, to release them on a CD, and Evans is certainly one of those. “All instruments” that he handles, according to the CD booklet, only include a synthesizer (if not to count a microphone, of course :-), and while he also uses a drum machine and synthy-bass, plus occasionally organ and guitar pads, all of those are just gear of the same instrument. Evans’ keyboard playing is average by any standards, but his lead as well as harmony vocals (there are several vocal overdubs here), despite being derivative, are delivered fairly well, though I’m willing to lay any bet he would never sing so onstage. In short, what we are dealing with here is a synthesizer-meets-vocal dominated sound, with other ‘instruments’ filling a secondary role, and let me please assure you, dear readers, that there is no necessity to list all of the recording’s tracks by title. The music is heavily influenced by the Rabin-era Yes, everywhere on the album, in the majority of the cases appearing either as a pop or, less frequently, pop-rock take on the matter – only with ‘Rabin’ providing the main lead vocals, while ‘Anderson’ sings the second part, along with ‘others’. The first ten of the eleven tracks here reveal two instrumental parts at most, the majority of them as a brief interlude (i.e. none of those contain what we’re used to understanding as instrumental arrangements), and only the last one, Finale, suggests relatively full-fledged symphonic Art-Rock in one of its middle sections, albeit with a strong synthetic feeling – which, though, is typical for the entire thing. This is also a sole piece on the album that features real guitar solos. Done in the so-called ‘guitar hero’ style, they’re not performed by Anton, that’s for sure. Otherwise why do none of the other tracks contain those?
Conclusion. Unlike Alfred Mueller (Soniq Theater) who, while also playing keyboards exclusively does so in a pretty original as well as diverse manner, delivering new albums almost every year, it took 15 years for Anton Evans to release his second creation. What really matters, however, is that his music has almost nothing to do with Progressive Rock and even sounds amateurish in some occasions. I added a half of the star to the rating only due to his effort in creating a polymorphous vocal palette.
VM=Vitaly Menshikov: April 20, 2012
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