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Centric Jones: The Antikythera Method

Spacey prog seems to have become quite popular in the last couple decades. Composer Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine) seems to be the king of the sound these days, but there are plenty of other artists venturing into the same musical dimension. On its sophomore LP, The Antikythera Method, Centric Jones offers a similar style, and while their timbres and techniques get a bit repetitive after awhile, overall, they create some cosmic magic.

Comprised of Chris Fournier and Tobe London, Centric Jones formed a few years ago. Like many of their peers, the duo uses a revolving door of musical guests. On The Antikythera Method, Laurie Larson lends her angelic voice to their compositions. Equally tranquil and hectic, the music showcases fantastic dynamics as the mood and complexity changes constantly. It may not be the most original or captivating sound, but considering that it all comes from an impassioned pair, it's still a pretty impressive offering.

With its looped arpeggios, strings, futuristic sounds, light percussion, and Larson's incredible range, "Crushed" is an intriguing way to start. "Shadow Song" incorporates Rick Wakeman-esque keyboard work and some pretty intricate rhythmic changes, and "All for One" features a great duality between classical piano and heavy guitar riffs. The great jams of pre Stupid Dream Porcupine Tree seem to be a big influence on "Boomer," and "Morphogenic" soars thanks to its crunchy bass lines and odd measures. Finally, the title track closes the album with touches of Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, and Genesis.

While their excellent musicians and arranges, as you can tell, Centric Jones suffers from a lack of originality and diversity here. The album is majorly instrumental, and it all simply sounds a lot alike. Sure, there are subtle nuances and different approaches to each piece, but really, hearing one or two tracks is like hearing the entire album. When Larson is featured, her melodies don't stick (although she sounds quite good nonetheless). It's clear that the duo wasn't focused on songwriting, so one wonders why they bothered to include vocals at all.

The Antikythera Method is perfect as complex background music; it's unobtrusive yet appealing as it grabs your attention every so often. Unfortunately, its redundancy and generic foundations make dedicated listening a chore. Fournier and London may have set out to create "an album that flows like the Northern Lights across the sky and rewards the listener with ever-deeper layers of complexity and delight…," but really, they've just copied a lot of other people.


Track Listing
1. Crushed
2. Shadow Song
3. All for One
4. Boomer
5. Dream in Threes
6. Pyrrhic Victory
7. Fading Time
8. Morphogenic
9. Save Me
10. Then
11. Pulse
12. Antikythera Mechanism

Added: May 17th 2012
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 1622
Language: english

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