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Tracklist: 1. She Said 10:38 2. A Night Cut 3:52 3. Round Here 4:28 4. Do Not Come Back 5:26 5. Mother 6:38 6. A Day Like Any Other Day 3:30 7. She is Dead 7:26 8. Tuesday Night Blues 5:37 9. Nothing More 7:04 10. The Jark 3:29 11. About Us 9:47 All music & lyrics: by T. Arranged, performed, recorded, mixed, & produced by T. Mastered by Andy Horn.
Prologue. In fact, T is Thomas Thielen, - the vocalist and guitarist for the German progressive band Scythe, whose debut album, which was also released by "Galileo Records", I'll review next time. Certainly, "Naive" is the debut album by T as well. Also, it needs to be said that this album is the most recent "Galileo Records" release. Finally, a few words about the equipment that T used on this album are necessary, as there is no information regarding this matter in the CD booklet. It features synthesizers, piano, electric and acoustic guitars, synth-bass, samplers, sequencers, and (a bad) drum-machine.
The Album. Well, well, well. Here is another one Solo Pilot, who, by the way, flies high and openly. In other words, "Naive" clearly demonstrates that T is anxious for major commercial success. Which is not as bad as it seems to be (at least not always). First of all, dear lovers of Neo Prog, you should forget The Jark (track 10) when programming this CD. I wonder why this extremely naive instrumental was included in the "Naive" album -- which would have lasted more than an hour (!) even without The Jark. Consisting entirely of spacey effects, most of which were "created" by random pressure on the different keys of synthesizer, The Jark is nothing else than an empty space waste of time, an idle phrase, taken together. In addition, this is the only track here that is completely out of the stylistic concept of the album. All ten of the other "Naive" tracks are from the Neo camp of Symphonic Art-Rock. Five of them present a ballad-like interpretation of the stylistics of late Marillion, which, though, is slightly simplified. These are She Said, Round Here, Mother, Nothing More, and About Us (tracks 1, 3, 5, 9, & 11). While the arrangements on these songs have some bits of originality, T sings not unlike Steve Hogarth. Four of these songs sound more or less satisfactory. However, the album's opener, She Said, which, by the way, is the longest track, is as unlimitedly monotonous and simplistic as most of the MTV hits. The other five tracks: A Night Cut, Don't Come Back, A Day Like Any Other Day, She is Dead, and Tuesday Night Blues (2, 4, 6, 7, & 8): are rather original both instrumentally and vocally. These very four songs and one instrumental (Don't Come Back) are the best tracks on the album.
Summary. What can I say? The fans of late Marillion, especially those who like "Anoraknophobia" and, perhaps, the only solo album by H ("Ice Cream Genius", 1996), unite around T (please don't confuse with Tea) and his "Naive" album. It is always pointless (at least) to tell something different from true thoughts. On the other hand, I understand that the release of the albums with a solid commercial potential is a necessity of all of the Prog labels, not to mention such small ones as "Galileo". Especially since all of the other CD released by this label are very strong and very far from that 'commercial status'. Also, I hope that in his future activity, T will tame his wannabe tendencies. After all, he isn't devoid of his own ideas, which is already clear by now.
VM. March 20, 2002
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