THE TANGENT

(SWEDEN)

NOT AS GOOD AS THE BOOK

(2008)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Old School
"With "Not As Good As The Book", The Tangent definitely assures its place in the big league of the current progressive rock... and maybe even a little more..."
TONYB (13.02.2008)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
A little more than 2 years after the phenomenal A Place in the Queue, which settled the band in the top ranks of the old school progressive rock players, The Tangent is back with its new effort, Not as Good as the Book. After such a success (if not commercial, at least artistic), the question that could arise from any columnist's pen would be: so, let's take the same ones and start again?

To this question, both banal and complex, we will give a typical "Norman answer ": yes and no... or rather no and yes. First of all, a "no" concerning the staff, because of the painful split of the two cofounders of the Tangent project and of its predecessor Parallel or 90 Degrees. Sam Baine has indeed left the ship - thus signing the end of PO90 - and is replaced guitaristically speaking by Jakko M Jakszyk. Also, Krister Jonsson, busy with the next Karmakamic, is not part of the band this time.

A second time not concerning the graphic aspect of the object: after having entrusted previously their works (Tangent, Manning) to the excellent Ed Unitsky, it is now to a young Frenchman, Antoine Ettori, that The Tangent decided to give the keys of its visual universe... and the few illustrations present on the site of the group let forecast a rejoicing work.
Finally this album will reveal some surprises musically. The first measures of the first CD played in blind-test would lead the listener to a new album ... of Pendragon! And 25 minutes later, the intro of the title track follows the same recipe. Of course everything lasts only a few moments and we quickly find the usual style of the band: a progressive rock inspired by the 70's, in which many jazzy pieces slip in, and where the color of the Flower Kings is very present. Lost in London (25 Years Later) is the perfect reflection of this trend. But, contrary to the Swedes, the content is globally much more cheerful, and The Tangent has the gift of regularly including passages that are simply luminous, which come to disrupt the muffled atmosphere.

Thus, A Crisis in Midlife, whose title summarizes the various states of mind that Andy Tillison has been going through lately, starts the album with a great fanfare: on a background of rumbling bass, the keyboards and the guitars are having a great time and are competing with virtuosity. In the same manner, The Ethernet unwinds its 10 minutes of rejoicing prog, alternating 70's and neo passages, the whole supported by the saxophone of a Theo Travis in top shape. And what about Celebrity Pure, a brilliant instrumental of less than 4 minutes, which shows that the quality of a progressive piece is not only measured by its length. In the wake, Nos as Good as The Book will drive the nail in, with its multiple breaks and its devilish final.

The first CD will then end with two more classical tracks, not to say ordinary compared to what comes before. But it is undoubtedly for better appreciating what is going to follow... a second 43 minutes album, with two tracks on the counter. We can' t wait to hear it, and the author of this review manages to contradict what he has written in the previous paragraph!

Indeed, the listening of this first CD, as rejoicing as it is, gives a slight impression of reserve in the development of their compositions, as if the group, henceforth associated with a certain notoriety because of the quality of their previous opuses, hesitated to loosen up for fear of disappointing or disorienting their public. This second part and its two epics titles also allows the band to let go and to let burst all its musical imagination, for the greatest pleasure of the listener to whom it will take many listenings to become impregnated with all the musical themes present on Four Egos, One War (title originally planned for PO90), and The Full Gamut.

There is no doubt that with this new album, The Tangent will definitively ensure its place in the big league of current progressive rock... and maybe even a little more. These 95 minutes of music will in any case guarantee many listenings to their listeners.

Note that the album is provided, in a special edition, with a collection of short stories of a hundred pages, written by Andy Tillison during the composition and making phase. Finally, I would like to encourage the reader of these few lines to browse with great delight the website of the band, where he will find all the details of the genesis of this new discographic masterpiece.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. A Crisis In Mid-life - 7:12
02. Lost In London (25 Years Later) - 7:32
03. The Ethernet - 10:13
04. Celebrity Pure - 3:43
05. (the Future Was) Nos As Good As The Book - 8:54
06. A Sale Of Two Souls - 7:16
07. Bat Out Of Basildon - 5:54
08. Four Egos, One War - 21:14
09. The Full Gamut - 22:42

LINEUP:
Andy Tillison: Chant / Claviers
Guy Manning: Chant / Guitares
Jaime Salazar: Batterie
Jakko M Jakszyk: Chant / Guitares
Jonas Reingold: Basse
Theo Travis: Saxophone, Flute
   
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