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i.AB: Counting

Three reasons why I didn't think I was going to like this:

1. I didn't understand the name of the artist, but now I'm fairly certain the "AB" stands for "A. Brown," the vocalist/multi-instrumentalist who infuses this solo project with an unlikely blend of progressive rock, so-called "post-prog" and electronic music. Some critics have even assigned a new genre name to the music on i.AB's first album, Counting: crossover prog. Think Fish. Think Ray Wilson. Think Steven Wilson. With Peter Gabriel-inspired percussion. Brown handles all instruments and vocals (save for the key guitar).

2. The album arrived in CD-R format with a two-sided piece of thin cardboard featuring the mind-bending cover art on one side and a track listing on the other. That usually suggests a cheap do-it-yourself, poor-production job. But in the case of Counting, it's actually part of the whole package and complements i.AB's melodic, organic sound. The production could be stronger, but it also could be a lot worse.

3. When I went to check out the website included on the letter Brown sent with his DIY copy of Counting, I discovered that the URL no longer worked. A quick Google search yielded nothing in terms of an official website, a Bandcamp page or something similar. Again, usually that doesn't bode well. I'm not sure what happened to the site Brown listed, but I bet if he obtained a new URL, promoted this thing properly (maybe as a download only), he'd do alright for himself.

If anything, Brown includes too much on Counting. With everything from rock to ambient spanning almost 74 minutes, the argument could be made that the album is overly long. That said, this is a solo project that sounds like the work of at least four individuals and most importantly, it's good music.

Track Listing:
1) One
2) All About
3) In Circles
4) Soft Wired
5) Swept Away
6) Desert Light
7) Wishing
8) All Together Alone
9) Ms. November
10) In the Morning
11) Launch
12) Apogee 1
13) Apogee 2

Added: September 11th 2013
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Hits: 2294
Language: english

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