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Brother Ape: Force Majeure

It's only natural that it would come to this at some point. Despite beginning as a diverse and varied genre back in the late '60's and all throughout the '70's, over time progressive rock has, like most other genres, found a way to reduce its central conceit to its simplest form. The result is that new bands all across the globe continue to do the Dream Theater-aping thing where songs are as long as their notes are fast, with album titles usually referring to some obscure Greek myth or scientific concept to really drive the nerdiness home.

This is where Sweden's Brother Ape enters the picture. With Force Majeure, their sixth studio LP, the band continues to refine the sound they've been honing in on for the past half-decade: prog-inflected fusion jazz with a good sense for hooks and catchy vocal melodies. This can be seen on the one-two punch of the title track and "The Mirror"; the former is a solid, Joe Satriani-esque instrumental, the latter a radio-friendly prog song. "The Mirror" is especially indicative of Force Majeure's overall sonic, which might best be described as "prog soft rock." Instrumentally, these guys are undoubtedly impressive; there's no denying that. However, there's not a ton on this LP that really stands out as anything other than compositionally interesting; save for the quite pretty, almost Broadway-worthy ballad "A Hundred Voices," the majority of tracks here fit into any prog or fusion stereotype you could imagine. Force Majeure is an eminently listenable album in the most basic sense; it's easy on the ears, it has hooks that'll bounce around in your head for a couple of hours, and every now and then there'll be a bit of instrumental dynamism that'll leave you wowed. But as a whole, it's a record that takes all the various aspects of prog that make it so appealing a genre and reduces it down to its lowest common denominator.

Track Listing:

1. Entry
2. Force Majeure
3. The Mirror
4. Doing Just Fine
5. Distinction
6. Life
7. Somewhere Someday
8. A Hundred Voices
9. The Spanish Prisoner
10. After Rain

Added: March 26th 2013
Reviewer: Brice Ezell
Related Link: Album Stream
Hits: 2442
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Brother Ape: Force Majeure
Posted by Darlene Koonce on 2013-04-18 16:15:45
My Score:

I (well, actually my Husband got me going on this incredible Band); BROTHER APE. We have all of Brother Ape's cds and liking them from the start.... each new cd just keeps getting better and better. I, personally think their newest one; "Force Majeure" is their absolute BEST YET! I only wish they could visit the US on a tour or something. We would go crazy just to see them perform "LIVE". # 04-18-2013 #

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