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(47 min, NXU)
TRACK LIST: 1. Emancipation from the Musical Box 2:20 2. UB6 IB9 1:09 3. Preface 6:37 4. Mandolism Vs. the Wrong of Winter 3:18 5. Tunnels Traps Landmines 5:52 6. Uncle Trap-a-Billy Ripe-&-Wild 1:49 7. Enharmonic Convergence 2:12 8. Argonaut 4:08 9. Hainan Drum 2:54 10. Trapcoat Cutlery 3:55 11. Insurrection 9:54 12. Palindrome 2:39 All tracks: by Trap. Produced by Trap. Engineered by Dale. LINE-UP: Warren Dale - keyboards; accordion; wind instruments; vocals Chris Smith - guitars & other stringed instruments; violins; vocals Gary Parra - drums & other percussions; keyboards; vocals Mike Sary - bass &: A few additional musicians
Prolusion. To most of you, dear readers, it's enough to look at the lineup above to have a clear idea of the origin of TRAP. Yes, this project was born within the precincts of French TV, which, as you know too, broadcasts from America:-) Sorry for the corny joke, though one Russian proverb tells "The song's creator may sing it as often as he wants to". I read several reviews of "Insurrection"; in most of them Trap is presented as Gary Parra's project. In reality, this is the product of a joint creation, with Warren Dale being its ringleader, at least formally. For more info, please visit NXU Music. Related reviews on the site: Warren Dale, French TV.
Analysis. Like in the case of Warren Dale's "The Burden of Duplicity", I have a bit ambivalent feeling about "Insurrection". Besides, I find it less successful than Warren's solo album, which, while isn't perfect as a whole, is 20 minutes longer in duration and contains enough brilliant compositions to consider it a masterpiece. Here, nearly half of the tracks are done (okay, sound like being done) on the spur-of-the-moment either in their entirety or for the most part. Thankfully, all of them are short. Mandolism Vs the Wrong of Winter, Emancipation from the Musical Box and Hainan Drum are from the first category, with the latter two being to some extent Gary's benefit performances, as they're abound with sounds of percussions - of all sorts and even more, except traps. The music can be described as excessively eclectic at best. You may listen to those three several times running, lending an attentive ear to them, but they won't transform into something coherent. The musicians' virtuosity is present, but nothing more. There are great moments on Trapcoat Cutlery, but overall, it is too avant-garde, if it's ever possible. The band is mostly tight on UB6 IB9, but the piece is too short and is certainly undeveloped to consider it a real composition. (I see there are too many "but" in the review, but: well, that is the way it is.) Among the remaining seven compositions, all of which are fully structured, Uncle Trap-a-Billy Ripe-&-Wild is the one with nothing supernatural about it - apart from its unwieldy title, of course. There is something eccentric, but all in all, this is a traditional and rather simple Folk Rock of Irish or Scottish origin. Enharmonic Convergence, featuring memorable solos on acoustic guitar, has also a folksy feel to it, yet it's unique. The only song on the album, Palindrome, begins and unfolds as a rhythmic Jazz-Fusion, later transforming into mind-blowing RIO-like Doom Metal. These two are good tracks, and they would've been masterworks if the band had given them the further development. Once and over again in this week, I have to say now what I just have to say. All the longer compositions are just brilliant. These are Preface, Tunnels-Traps-Landmines, Argonaut and the title track, and thankfully, they form almost two thirds of the album's contents. Performed with most if not all of the instruments listed above, each of them is highly innovative compositionally, is completely consistent structurally, is excellent in performance and is notable for totally perceptible moods, dark included. The arrangements are ever changing and aren't without conflicting themes etc, and yet, they always retain musicality and never loose sense. Naturally, these are works of the Fifth Element, and its components include all four of the classic progressive genres: Art-Rock, Jazz-Fusion, RIO, and Prog-Metal, new music forms, some bits of free jazz, plus - in the case of Argonaut and Insurrection - Hindu folk music as the fifth principal ingredient.
Conclusion. Regardless of any criticism available, I must tell you that I like this album, and I like Trap definitely better than Ken's Novel, for instance, although I understand the importance of such albums as their latest, "Domain of Oblivion". So how can I give "Insurrection" the same rating? My apologies to fans of Neo, and I hope the veteran ones will correctly understand me.
VM: January 19, 2005
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