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Art Rock Circus: Tell A Vision

John Miner is back with another installment of Art Rock Circus. Tell A Vision is a 2CD production that follows much of the same formula as their prior performance-rock releases. Like Alan Parson's Project, Art Rock Circus employs multiple vocalist to give each song a unique feel. In doing so, there are portions where the flow of the CD seems to disappear.

The first CD for Tell A Vision contains the best song of this release The opening title track is basically a collection of many themes, woven together to make a classic 20 minute prog-rock song. Excellent bass lines and interesting solos by Organist Kelton Manning drive this song and make for an enjoyable listen that surprises you when you realize that for 20 minutes you have been digging one song. "The Cell" is a major let down after the previous epic. It's not like the song isn't creative, but it doesn't have the spark and pizzazz that "Tell A Vision" showed. "Begins Before Becomes" features the vocals of Karen Wallo and is a haunting performance-piece, not unlike what we heard on "Heaven's Café". CD1 ends with "The Ballad of Joan Allen", and again, we have a good song that doesn't live up to the title track, so we close out the album a little under-whelmed.

CD2 is a mess. The Spanish guitar opening of "Oregon Trail Song" is entertaining if not a little cheesy. "Cult On Hammer Hill" goes nowhere, and unfortunately goes nowhere for over 5 minutes. "Poem From the Sea" is saved by the excellent vocals of Miche, although her duet with Minor on "Rainbow Sun" is not very good at all. The three instrumentals on Disk2 are average at best and never really get the listener excited. "Synopsis" is the closest to an exciting track, but becomes a little repetitive. Overall, CD2 has no cohesive form and nothing that pulls you into the music. There is no feeling of the artistic nuances that Miner usually brings to his performances.

Overall, I really wanted to like Tell A Vision, but just never could find anything that stirred me. "Tell A Vision" is an excellent epic, but after that there are plenty of close calls, but nothing else that really brings the listener back.

Track Listing
1. Tell A Vision
2. The Cell
3. Art Of Bells
4. Begins Before Becomes
5. Ballad of Joan Allen

1. Oregon Trail Song (2:44)
2. Cult On Hammer Hill (5:13)
3. Poem From The Sea (3:34)
4. String Theory (1:35)
5. Rainbow Sun (7:41)
6. Desert Song (4:59)
7. Song For a Fifth Season (2:25)
8. The Ripper (6:39)
9. Synopsis in A Minor (9:15)

Added: July 27th 2005
Reviewer: Steve Ambrosius
Related Link: Tributary Music
Hits: 3039
Language: english

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