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(73:33; Trope Audio)
TRACK LIST: 1. Ride by Myself 7:05 2. Underneath the World 6:08 3. Take Out an Ad 5:46 4. Now That the Rush Has Come 8:50 5. Can't Find My Heart 7:34 6. Someone Tell Me Who I Am 7:32 7. Except for Last Tuesday 4:25 8. I Hate the Way You Make Me Feel 3:58 9. I Broke It 7:03 10. Here in the Future 8:31 11. I Have Known Real Love 6:41 LINEUP: Jim Anderson - bass, guitars Brett Barnett - keyboards John Mabry - vocals, guitars Greg Miller - drums, percussion with: Anne Feinsod - vocals Tom Emanuel - flute, backing vocals Guitars: Stan Cotey - guitars Nick Karch - guitars Paul Keller - guitars Jack McLoughlin - guitars Dave Nachmanoff - guitars Chris Ogburn - guitars Merdad Parsey - guitars Barrelhouse Jazz Band
Prolusion. US band MIND FURNITURE can trace their history back to the middle of the 1990's, and over a period of 25 years they have released a total of three studio albums so far. "An Illustrated Map of the Heart" is their most recent production, an album more than a decade in the making and following almost 15 years after their previous effort, and was released through the label Trope Audio towards the end of 2021.
Analysis. While a long time in the making, this isn't one of those albums that appears to have been held up by planning meticulous and demanding instrument and arrangement details and finding the right people to execute them. Instead it would appear that a substantial amount of time has gone into making this album sound appealing and compelling. An open and inviting production, with a good quality mix and production emphasizing those aspects. The greater majority of the material here has more of a melodic rock orientation than a progressive rock orientation to it though. A bit more straightforward, steady going affairs with fine and compelling melodies and harmonies, with gentler escapades and tighter ones coming and going in a manner that is easy on the ears but also with enough ear candy for those fond of deeper listening to enjoy. Progressive rock fans are tossed a few bones though, from some fine keyboard details here to a flute solo Jethro Tull style there. While perhaps not the kind of material that will make the purebred progressive rock fan salivate, those with a taste for melodic rock featuring a few more bells and whistles will be pleased about those aspects of this production. As this album moves on and onward in the concept explored the compositions gradually move into more progressive rock oriented landscapes as well. Primarily neo-progressive rock from what I can hear, atmospheric laden passages with a great deal of variety that stretch from borderline ambient landscapes to tighter affairs with a bit of a hard progressive rock swagger, and with a few flirts towards the symphonic parts of the progressive rock universe to boot. With a charming detour into brass and vocals driven jazz landscapes too. My impression is that a lot of work has gone into polishing the music of this album, and for the right audience this will be quite the compelling production due to these qualities as well. I'd hazard a guess that they'll find a more substantial audience in classic rock circles than in progressive rock ones with this production though, at least if they manage to overcome the most substantial challenge for most artists these days: Getting enough playtime, and being heard by other people than reviewers and DJs.
Conclusion. Those with a taste for classic rock and melodic rock flavored with progressive rock details strikes me as the perfect audience for this latest album by US band Mind Furniture. While the album also contains some fine examples of more purebred progressive rock towards the end in particular, I do feel that the band are at it's best when exploring the parts of their repertoire with the broadest potential reach. Other than that, progressive rock fans with a taste and affection for artists filling the gap between progressive rock and more mainstream oriented music should probably feel right at home with this album.
Progmessor: December 2021
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