Thorne, Steve - Emotional Creatures: Part One

Year of Release: 2005
Label: GEP Ltd
Catalog Number: GEPCD 1035
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:29:00

It certainly is no secret that some segments of the progressive rock world have quite the affinity for pop music. Yes and Genesis, regardless of their rather different directions, are prime examples; and well-known prog musicians such as Neal Morse, Nick D'Virgilio, and Brett Kull have been known to stray away from their symphonic rock lives in favor of simpler solo outings So it comes as no surprise that Giant Electric Pea, home to prog luminary IQ, has released Emotional Creatures - Part One; an album that not only features a list of musicians sure to pique the interest of many a prog fan, but also displays the wonderful songwriting talents of a certain Steve Thorne. In case you were wondering, this is good. Very good.

Curiously enough, the cover art is completely misrepresentative of Thorne's music, which is beautifully lush and rich in tiny details but not really very progressive. And then the first real song, "God Bless America," completely misses the mark with its folksy and, let it be said, quite trite Bob Dylan-esque nature. However, if one is willing to look past the crying troll on the cover and the all-too-na?ve political commentary of the opening song, a world of wonder and gorgeous music awaits as reward. And what a reward it is! With a moody and somewhat dramatic approach, Thorne and company deliver a string of poignant choruses, emotions, and musical lines that go as far as to challenge the exquisiteness of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" with the jewel of a song that "Julia" is.

Yet the impact of the album doesn't quite stop there. Save for the shaky beginning of "Tumbleweeds" and the fact that "Gone," although catchy, is pretty generic, every new song brings with it a new way to tug at the listener's heart. There is Thorne's honest vocal delivery on "Well Outta That," the Soda Stereo-like symphonic lavishness of "Therapy," and the tension-building structure of "Last Line," for instance. But little can be said to explain the ample emotional impact of the songs contained in Emotional Creatures - Part One. They are, for the most part, perfectly crafted pop songs with an expressive timing that is beyond questioning and a taste for detail that reveals a progressive influence. In fact, they work so powerfully that they glide right over Thorne's lyrics, which, although not bad, aren't anything to truly get excited about either.

Poetic shortcomings or not, however, Thorne's debut is definitely something to get excited about for people interested in this kind of music. Although not quite perfect, Emotional Creatures - Part One packs the punch necessary to hook itself into one's consciousness and stubbornly remain there with the unforgettableness of its music; a veritable collection of singles (the good kind, mind you). Sure, the progfreak with no time for anything but labyrinthine collections of complex music might not have any interest in this whatsoever, but for those who have ears for the more simple realms of well-crafted, lush, and serious pop music, Steve Thorne has not only delivered with admirable skill and emotion, but also with a conviction to which only the best can aspire.

Similar artists: Tom Petty, early Sting, Soda Stereo, Duran Duran, NDV

Here They Come! (1:45) / God Bless America (3:11) / Well Outta That (4:50) / Ten Years (5:52) / Last Line (4:23) / Julia (5:33) / Therapy (7:06) / Every Second Counts (5:16) / Tumbleweeds (3:38) / Gone (6:01) / Goodbye (5:24)

Steve Thorne - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, harmonies
Paul Cook - drums
Martin Orford - keyboards, flute
Arnie Cottrell - mandolin
Tony Levin - bass
Nick D?Virgilio - drums
Gary Chandler - electric guitar
Geoff Downes - keyboards, Hammond
Rob Aubrey - bass pedals
Steve Christy - drums
John Jowitt - Rickenbacker bass, fretless bass

Emotional Creatures: Part One (2005)
Emotional Creatures Live

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: March 18th 2006
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1335
Language: english


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