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Moraz, Patrick: Change of Space

There is no denying Patrick Moraz in the annals of progressive music. Born in Switzerland, Moraz studied music at an early age and would eventually join Yes for the Relayer album in 1974. From there he embarked on a solo career that would have him release some classic progressive albums in the 70s. When progressive music started on a downturn in the 1980s Moraz joined the Moody Blues for a few albums. His new album, Change of Space, is his first album in five years and fifteenth overall. Apparently Moraz wanted to show his progressive side with this album. The question is did he succeed? If his goal was to create a varied album mixing jazz, a healthy dose of pop and a few progressive numbers I would say he did. I will say from the start this is not all progressive music, in fact, far from it, but that does not make for a bad album. There is no doubting the musicianship of all involved. The keyboard playing is excellent, as to be expected, and there are plenty of electric guitar solos spread throughout these nine songs and sixty minutes of music. The list of keyboards Moraz plays is truly impressive, forty-six to be exact, so you can expect a variety of keyboard sounds found all over this disc.

The first two tracks are an exercise in 80s pop, bearing a slight resemblance to what Alan Parsons or Toto was releasing at the time. The album begins with the tribal rhythms of "Peace in Africa", complete with pleasant harmonies and chant-like vocals. "Change of Space" starts with atmospheric keys and soon turns into a poppy affair, with pulsating bass, full background vocals and a driving beat. This will not be for everyone, but those who like pop music will likely enjoy this. What saves these songs for me is the impressive play of Moraz, exhibiting the classiness we have come to expect.

The first signs of progressive music can be found in the "Sonique Prinz Suit", three movements of lush keyboards and searing electric leads (see Movt. 2) and dissonant rhythms to create a dramatic piece of music. The progressive/jazz rock of "One Day in June" boasts plenty of melody and an outstanding keyboard solo. This is one that will want to stick in your head long after listening. The album ends in fine fashion with the lush atmospherics and ambient textures of "Stellar Rivers & Streams of Lucid Dreams" and the dreamy soundscapes that is "Alien Spaces", the song title befitting the music perfectly. This is classic Moraz all the way.

So there you have it. On one hand we get some poppy numbers, and on the other a return to Moraz's more progressive roots. Overall, a pretty successful release and one that will make its way to my CD player again.

Track Listing:
1. Peace in Africa (4:54)
2. Change of Space (8:19)
3. Sonique Prinz (Movt. 1) (2:17)
4. Sonique Prinz (Movt. 2) (2:39)
5. Sonique Prinz (Movt. 3) (5:25)
6. One Day in June (7:29)
7. Cum Spiritu (4:53)
8. The Power of Emotion (6:02)
9. Stellar Rivers & Streams of Lucid Dreams (in 4 movements) (12:09)
10. Alien Spaces (5:53)

Added: April 16th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 3246
Language: english

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