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Tangent, The: COMM

Here are two questions:

Question: How does Andy Tillison keep coming up with such epic work?

Question: How do you make an album of perfect and pure prog?

Andy Tillison and co have hit the spot again with their adherence to the true nature of prog. Comm The Tangent's latest album, no make that opus, is another pure masterpiece that supersedes any prog recording I have had the grand pleasure of lending both my ear and time too this year, by far. This is an album par excellence, an album that is quintessentially the best in its class with its habitual observance in its intelligent musical statement.

This is their seventh release and the first to feature their strongest line up, Luke Machin, Jonathan Barrett and Tony Latham and Theo Travis. This is an album that deals with the world of COMMunications a look at the irony of how it was perceived then and how it is observed now.

As ever Andy has stories to tell and they are stories that you will thoroughly enjoy, as an observance you couldn't ask for anyone better to tell you them. This is something that he is an expert at doing and what makes his approach so likeable, nobody upon nobody can sing Andy Tillison's songs without them loosing their power and meaning.

The album is bookend by two classic's something that the band are famous for, not bookending, but writing epics. "Titanic Calling Carpathia" for me earns a rightful place alongside "In Earnest" and "In Darkest Dreams" as does "Wiki Man" both very powerful in their approach. To be able to open an album which such strength is fantastic, but to be able to then produce another five worthy pieces that prop up this grand entrance, is absolutely outstanding. This is all done without ever falling into the land of mundane; the excitement isn't transitory but perpetual once you become more familiar with each passage. The album isn't immediate per se, although on initial listening you will be excited, for me the real breakthrough comes when you have nurtured off the experience several times, its influence and behaviour become one, which is pretty much the case with all Andy's creations.

"Wiki Man" has the orgasmic keyboard soirees that you would really kill for, which is supported and encouraged by the cast who offer up their different musical styles, which creates a soundstage that is in full complimentary mode. The music is an extension of their being, everyone immersing theirselves, living the moment, something that is very noticeable throughout the whole album, even with its acerbic lyrical content, something that will really bring a wry smile to your face.

"The Mind's Eye" is more guitar orientated, taking a more rockier approach, Luke's master class, duelling conversationally with Andy whilst being kept in check by Tony and Jonathon. The meter is infectious, it grooves, oscillating, making the listening rather intriguing, being a compliant wall of sonics that just doesn't rest on its laurels.

"we see ourselves as what we want, the mirror will oblige, Wiseman, young kid rebel, youth, the mirror will oblige, all of the truth behind our lies"

The succinctness of Andy's observations just create and envelope his songs. With "Shoot Them Down" written and sung by Jonathon Barrett's being the epitome of what the band are about eloquent and beautiful prose. As a piece it just so moving, you can really feel yourself in those broken communities, Jonathon is so at one, full of self belief in what he is presenting, whilst Luke's guitar phrasing on the solo majestically offers that final dimension and depth, a song that brought a tear to my eye as did "Titanic Calling Carpathia".

"Tech Support Guy" looks at the parody of how we perceive the unknown, nameless faceless people we so rely on in today's society , people we blame readily without even thinking, with the whole premise been turned on its head. Musically this is just a flurry of keyboard wizardry being interjected by all, with Theo really setting the piece alight. Luke's guitar work is never a million miles away, participating, stepping forward and stepping back again as and when required, no egos battling, just musicians who want to create the greatness music they can.

The band opened the album with the powerhouse "Wiki Man". With "Titanic Calling Carpathia" they more than match it, taking the whole album up to another level. As with "Shoot Them Down" this really is a thought provoking piece with its cinematic openings, a piece that tugs at the emotions within yourself, placing you there voyeuristically, but more importantly making you sit up and think. The under lying Morse code of SOS, which is embedded really raises the hairs on the back of the neck. As the song journey's so does the subject matter making relevant statements that again just make sense, progression, transforming to today' modern society, begging the real question as to whether today's society has advanced any further in reality to that very significant occurrence 100 years ago. This is just the band at their musical best, it just builds as a piece, scaling and surpassing all that has previously passed, music that I can't wait to hear live.

As ever the artwork is always an important factor for the band and Ed Unitsky's artwork as ever pinpoints the exacting emotions, capturing the whole occasion in its full pictorial glory.

Although the album isn't a social statement it will and does give you plenty to think about, especially when you start to really get to grips with Andy's and this time Jonathon's very clever word manipulations that do heighten the experience. It may have taken two years to write and record this album but this really is THE album these guys were born to create, not one minute of wasted time, a perfect complementation of musicians. Just follow any of the musician's interactions and you can't be anything but overawed and moved by what they have both created individually and as a group.

I know it can be cliché to say that this is the bands best album, but from the bottom of my heart this really is the truth. To be perfectly frank the whole experience is just pure and utter genius, there is just no other way of putting it.

The album isn't available until the end of September, but you can connect to their website and pre – order this opus, something I seriously recommend to any lover of hight quality music. There are some very good deals to be had.

Oh yeah and the answer to those two questions:

Answer: I have no idea. All I can say is thank you for doing so.

Answer: Invite The Tangent

1 The Wiki Man
2 The Mind's Eye
3 Shoot Them Down
4 Tech Support Guy
5 Titanic Calling Carpathia

Added: October 29th 2011
Reviewer: John OBoyle
Related Link: www.thetangent .org
Hits: 5137
Language: english

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