Formula - Signals

Year of Release: 1989
Label: Medusa
Catalog Number: Hua Morft 27 1260
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:27:00

While Formula do not sound like any band in particular, their sound owes a lot to not only European neo-prog but also to Peter Gabriel. This latter is due to the vocalist's occasional similarities to Gabriel - more delivery than anything, but there's also a quality to his voice that is Gabriel-esque. This is brighter sonically than Gabriel.

Although the lyrics are written and sung in English, the liner notes are in German, making it difficult to discern exactly who is playing what - though the usual complement of insturments are here: drums, keys, guitar, bass. In addition, there's flute.

The tracks that stood out for me upon first hearing this about nine years ago were "White Lilly" (hmm ... a reference to "Lillywhite Lilith" perhaps?) and "A View From The Rooftop." In the first, the subject has a socio-political theme, where the price of speaking against ... well, the state, for one... is the subject. Most of this album was recorded before the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the late 1989 atmosphere pervades. In some ways, it is examining the German experience, and, more specifically the German Jew experience. Not totally wrapped up in holocaustic imagery, however.

The first track (aside from the brief intro track) is called "Dipsomanic" - dipsomania is the unnatural craving for alcohol. While some of the lyrics make what are metaphoric statements, they touch on that German experience I mentioned. Not being German I can't elaborate on that too much; however, the reference points are broad enough that anyone with a knowledge of history and who has paid attention to current events will be able to understand.

There are times when this album is deep, but the awkward lyrics and the bright arrangements run counter to that. There are some phrasings that, at first glance/hearing, are a bit comical due to the vagaries of the English language, and our use of idioms. For example, the first line of "Ice," which reads: "sometimes they call me just later, then they will call me aligator" [sic]. And yet, within the context of the rest of the song, the meaning becomes apparent.

"View From The Rooftop" contains the most Gabriel like moment, during the bridge - solo Gabriel rather than Genesis-era Gabriel, by the way (I detect a difference).

If you like Marillion, IQ, et al, you'll like this. And while this disk isn't essential, it is likeable listenable progressive that might have been more effective with darker arrangments.

For All Friends Searching For Their Own Formula (1:09) / Dipsomaniac (5:57) / Insanity of Hermits (5:23) / Prelude (1:32) / In My Mind (3:55) / Signals (7:40) / White Lilly (3:39) / Ice (3:24) / Time To Leave (Intro Live) (7:24) / Mothers of The World (3:29) / Wanderlnder Versto? Gegeb Das Bet?ubungsmittelgesetz (5:18) / Outside Out (3:15) / View From The Rooftop (6:14) / ...die unsere Rufe nicht h?ren k?nnen (2:00) / Jew Forever (live) (7:08)

Axel Falk - bass
Uwe Menzel
Niki Hellenbroich
Martina Bechthold - flute
Steffen Eingr?ber
Reiner H?tzel
Norbert Huber - tuba (11)
Thomas Weick (3-5, 9, 12, 13)
Michael Blanck - guitar (2, 6, 8)

Signals (1989)
Blue (199?)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin DE

Added: October 25th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 2185
Language: english


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