[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(41:58, Progrock Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Tall Tale Heart 8:08 2. From This Day Forward 5:04 3. Give It Time 3:54 4. How Can We Go On This Way 3:32 5. Lost In It All 5:46 6. Curiosity Song 5:54 7. Peasant Under Class 4:53 8. All Fixed 4:47 LINEUP: Chris Gorczyca – drums; keyboards Andrew Gorczyca – vocals Phil Keaggy – guitars Adrian Belew – guitar; vocals Shawn Farley – bass, guitars Randy George – bass; keyboards Billy Oskay – violins With: Several more musicians
Prolusion. Andrew GORCZYCA was a passionate music fan all his life, and although he never was a member of any band of note he wrote music constantly until he suddenly died in 2004, at just 40 years old. In 2008, following four years of hard work from his brother Chris, Andrew's debut album is released. Andrew's are works recorded forever for posterity, bearing witness to an astonishing amount of affection from his brother that made it all happen.
Analysis. The history behind this production is a heartwarming one, and looking at the musicians involved in this project one can't help admiring the efforts of Chris Gorczyca – not only did he manage to get his brother's works recorded post mortem, but he managed to get some really high profile musicians to participate in doing so. It's obvious that he's been truly passionate in creating an album as well made as possible to serve as the musical legacy of his brother to the world. The contents of this release won't set the world on fire though. It's stated on the homepage of this venture that Andrew had his most prolific years as a songwriter in the ‘80s and ‘90s and many of the songs do seem to belong to that era – there is a late ‘80s atmosphere to this disc from start to finish. Musically we're dealing with an album that belongs in the lighter segment of progressive music, more art pop than rock and with distinct mainstream tendencies. No thrills and frills, but pretty basic melodic music in between pop and rock in expression spiced with a few progressive dimensions. A driving, energetic bass guitar gives all the compositions but one momentum, taking the song in question forwards and maintaining a musical foundation for the proceedings. Wandering, clean guitar layers provide the melody; sometimes toned down riffs are utilized and there's also the odd appearance from the acoustic guitar, but the electric clean-sounding guitar dominates this venture through and through, effectively contrasting the bass while serving up some at times really neat themes. Careful synth work and the piano add textures to the themes, and the former supports the guitar quite nicely when there's a need for some soloing to be done. The general mood of the songs is light and positive, the only slight exception being the final track All Fixed which is somewhat more angst-filled, although not to a high degree. It is a nice album, this one. Not very original, though, and certainly not what one might call challenging. The overall sound is pretty close to an album many prog aficionados will be familiar with too – "Hold Your Fire" by Rush. The best songs from "Reflections" pretty much sound like songs that could have been on this particular production by the Canadian greats. Although somewhat less elaborate in the finer details, they duplicate much of the overall sound of that disc. The ones not doing so are the tunes with an even more distinct mainstream tinge to them, closer to the output of acts like Mr. Mister in stylistic expression.
Conclusion. If you're looking for a light, positive and melodic album containing songs exploring a musical landscape highly similar to what Rush did in the late ‘80s, chances are that you'll love this venture. The musicianship and production add some sparkle to the proceedings too, as they are of outstanding quality. On the other hand, those with a desire for acquiring truly progressive music pushing sonic borders and genre conventions will most likely find this album wanting on a number of levels. All in all, a fine example of the lighter and most radio-friendly side of progressive music, and recommended to those who find this type of music enjoyable.
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]