THE TANGENT

(SWEDEN)

TO FOLLOW POLARIS

(2024)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Epic, Jazzy, Old School
"The thirteenth album released under the name The Tangent in just over two decades of existence, “To Follow Polaris” finds Andy Tillison the sole master and crew member on board."
TONYB (05.06.2024)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
The Tangent's thirteenth album in just over two decades of existence, “To Follow Polaris” finds Andy Tillison the sole master and crew member aboard a shipment whose existence was already obvious as soon as the chapter of “Songs From The Hard Shoulder” was closed. The keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist set himself the challenge of seeing the adventure through to the end, most likely following his lucky star.
 
'The North Sky' opens the album with a first part that has a strong Yes flavour, once you've got past the first somewhat unpleasant electronic beats. The journey continues with a more instrumental, jazzy-sounding interlude, before returning to a more traditional progressive style and a reprise of the initial theme. As usual, Andy Tillison takes the listener into multiple universes of varying hues: 'The Fire Line', with its smoky jazz club ambience, takes us back to the album “Down and Out in Paris and London”, while 'A Like in the Darkness' climbs the towers in its finale, with a strong nod to early Deep Purple.

The highlight of this thirteenth release is, of course, the new 21-minute epic, which kicks off with 4 intense, highly technical minutes that showcase the maestro's skill on keyboards (no surprise there), but also on bass. The rest of the album follows in the band's usual footsteps, intelligently enough never to create the slightest boredom, happily alternating intimate passages, dynamic choruses and instrumental parts heavily tinged with Moog and other vintage keyboard sounds. The standard version of “To Follow Polaris” ends with... two tracks that sound like singles! The first, with its title and rhythmic construction, proclaims this, while the second is a radio-edited version of 'The North Sky', again from a straightforward perspective. We'll pass quickly over the usual 17-minute bonus track brought to the attention of the generous purchasers of the “limited” version, whose interest this time proves to be very relative.

When it was first announced that this solo album would be released, there was some doubt as to the final quality of the production. Not because Andy Tillison was suddenly going to offer us music without his usual compositional and arranging talents, but above all because it seems quite complicated to replace a Luke Machin or a Jonas Reingold. And yet, although we obviously don't find the flamboyant solos of the former or the all-risk assurance of the latter, this new production in no way detracts from The Tangent's discography and is once again to be ranked among the works that reveal all their richness with each successive listen.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. The North Sky 11:08
02. A Like In The Darkness 8:19
03. The Fine Line 8:04
04. The Anachronism 21:01
05. The Single 5:52
06. The North Sky (radio edit - bonus track) 3:42
07. Tea At Betty's (bonus track) 17:31

LINEUP:
Andy Tillison: Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Batterie / Tous
   
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THE TANGENT: To Follow Polaris
 
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