A Passage To Clear is the third CD now that I have reviewed for John Miner's Art Rock Circus. Like most of the writing of Miner, A Passage To Clear feels busy and does not really flow. The lead vocals are primarily female and have a serious Performance Art feel. Miner is a noted guitarist and Kelton Manning again handles the bass parts. Both of these wonderful musicians sound like they are fighting each other instead of complimenting each other. I like nothing better than counter melody, but you need a melody before you can counter it.
The story of A Passage To Clear is about an artist that falls for the Gallery Owner and strikes up a friendship with the owners girlfriend to only be dumped and then repeats her folly. This is a story-based CD and the story is fine, but the selection is more like a soundtrack for a story than a story itself. Songs "Clear", with its staccato lyrics, and "Shadows Of Style", with its interplay of guitar and vocals, are the CDs two highest points. "Cosmic Cobwebs and Lollipops" is a real clunker. All other songs fall somewhere in-between the melody and eccentric of these three.
The best description I can give for Art Rock Circus is that they RIPPLE. The music never flows and doesn't diverge, it just kind of ripples along with a bump here and a dip there. The vocals are too extreme for the music behind it, unless this was performed live on a stage. Not the best output by John Miner.
1. Stranger Of My Find
2. The Promise
6. Shadows Of Style
7. Goodbye The Lie
9. Poetic Injustice
11. Cosmic Cobwebs
13. Stranger Of My Find (reprise)