26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Whirlwind (Audio CD)
As a Prog old-timer, I often find today's "retro"-Prog a little forced: modern musicians trying too hard to recreate a vibe that died essentially 30 years ago. While Transatlantic is a bunch of accomplished musicians with their own styles and sensibilities, they can still fall into the same trap with a listener concentrating more on influences than on the music itself - and The Whirlwind has them all ....
.... that said, it is a fine album: assured songwriting, melodies with lots of variety; elegant, creative arrangements; rousing performances, excellent musicianship; well recorded: the suite [not a single piece!] mostly flows pretty well from pastoral beauty to vamped-up rock to rustic acoustic to grandiose ballad; intensity shakes hands with gentleness, fluctuating moods; lengthy instrumental sections liberally dispersed. Trewavas' energetic basslines are superb; heavy, powerful; I find Portnoy a trifle too hyper at times on drums, and some lyrics become a trifle preachy, but that's a relatively minor quibble.
My only previous Transatlantic record was debut SMPTe which left me unconvinced; a typical supergroup that flattered to deceive; but nine years later they sound much more `together' as a true band working in harmony, with subtle interplay and sensitivity: this is key to my enjoyment of this record and whether I will still feel as positive about it in a year's time, but I think I will! The Whirlwind is a classy, well-balanced record: the best retro-Prog album I have heard for many years; it knocks spots off most neo-Prog output!
PS - the extras on disc 2 [special edition] are fully realised recordings; OK in themselves but they don't really add any value unless you are a committed Transatlantic fan.
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Initial post: 1 Jan 2010 13:28:12 GMT
A Great review, thanks! you must get your hands on the "Bridge across forever" album it is a sublime record and better than SMPTe in my opinion. It would be interesting to see how you would compare that to the other two Transatlantic releases. Regards.
Posted on 26 Feb 2010 16:06:01 GMT
Actually, I thought they did cracking versions of Giant Hogweed and Salty Dog on the bonus CD - well worth a listen.
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