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(56.23, Anmist AM Music)
This is the fourth album by Times Up, a band who describe themselves as symphonic progressive rock, and the second since they brought in Linda Barnes on vocals. I note that Prog Archives have them listed as “crossover”, and that’s exactly how I would view them as well, as they bring in multiple different styles with strong commercial elements and would rarely think of them as symphonic. This album is a really enjoyable listen, with the sparing use of instruments such as mandolin, saxophone and flute really adding to the overall feel. Linda’s vocals are strong and forceful, with good harmony support, and it comes across as a well-constructed and thought through release. In many ways it feels like a classic 70’s rock album, in that there is not much in the way of flashiness, not much in the way of guys saying, “look how clever I am”. It also feels very much like a live album, in that if you went to see this band in concert this is very much what you would get. It did make me think of Stone The Crows at times, as opposed to modern bands, although to be honest they don’t sound like them, it is all about the approach. This is a collection of strong songs, vocals front and centre, with really good musicianship which is a very interesting jaunt indeed. It is accessible on first hearing, and a refreshing step back in time in terms of approach. There is plenty of thought and care within the arrangements, and an approach which shows all those who are involved have been involved in music for some time, and they bring that experience to bear. Nothing is rushed, and there is time for everything. Certainly, a very pleasant release indeed.
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