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Miller, Rick: Belief In The Machine

Sometimes the best description of what an artist is trying to do comes from them, so rather than me try to tart up the words of Rick Miller, I’ll let the man himself explain his take on the work he creates… ‘The music is soft, dark and melancholy with the occasional edge, because that's the way I like it. So if you like your Prog Rock with lots of jazz fusion or heavy metal in it, you may not find what you're looking for here.’

There we go, in a nutshell, that’s Belief In The Machine, an album which is something like the 14th from a Canadian musician who pretty much plays everything you’ll hear across this album’s ten tracks. A few other hands do help out but as we travel through “Correct To The Core”, “Binary Breakdown” and “Media Gods (Including The Awakening)”, so in the main it is Miller alone that joins us. Siting acts such as The Moody Blues, Genesis and Pink Floyd as inspirations, it’s possibly the latter that comes across strongest, as languid guitar lines pierce a gently cared for keyboard backing. That said, things are maybe a little more modern and bright than that may suggest with a neo-prog edge added throughout that certainly allows the more sedate pace to remain multifaceted in a way that might not have appeared otherwise.

Miller’s voice also adds to the slow release of the album, with his delivery on the title track and pieces such as “The Need To Believe” suited perfectly for this style, although much of this offering is instrumental. Flute makes an introduction on “That Inward Eye (Part 2)”, bringing with it a lighter feel and more immediately welcoming air, for while nothing on Belief In The Machine could honestly be described as challenging, it does take a few listens to dip into a lot of the music here and fully wallow in what it offers.

Belief In The Machine is my first dalliance with Rick Miller and I have to say that as opening impressions go it’s a very favourable one. Some of the shorter tracks maybe feel like they could have been explored just a little bit more, but strap on a pair of headphones, close your eyes and you’ll soon discover a realised and rewarding world.

Track Listing
1. Correct to the Core
2. That Inward Eye (Part 1)
3. Belief in the Machine
4. The Land and The Sea
5. The Need to Believe
6. Prelude to the Trial
7. Binary Breakdown
8. That Inward Eye (Part 2)
9. Media Gods (Including The Awakening)
10. The Trial

Added: April 21st 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Rick Miller @ bandcamp
Hits: 756
Language: english

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