Canvas - Digital Pigeon

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Canvas Productions
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 76:53:00

The very first time I heard this album there was only one other band I could think of: Steely Dan. Not that the Canvas music comes close to the Fagen and Becker tunes, but if I want to handle a certain quality norm based on production, arrangements, as well as compositional skills, for sure this is brilliant material that gets high marks just like the wonderful, sublime Steely Dan.

Contrary to a lot of prog bands, Canvas blends its arrangements towards a more accessible result, immediately scraping all unnecessary solos from its list. In fact, every input is so well balanced it pushes you to the extreme edge of your seat as you get that curious to hear what direction the music is heading. In a way, the atmosphere could be described as being a symphonic Umphrey's McGee, should this make any sense. A song like "The Spectacle" improvises quite a bit based around a bluesy approach. By adding trumpets to some of their songs, Canvas is able to package their songs into a semi Chuck Mangione feel, as they do with the laidback funky "Spiders." The humming voices in the intro and outro of "Ghost Town" contain a certain zaniness which we also find in some Focus tracks.

To make it even more diverse and difficult to mark, "Armchair Voyager" adds this semi-disco like drum pattern over which some super fast fusion guitar melts. "Catwalk" is a catchy powerful statement in which blistering guitar tries to overtake the jazzy trumpets. Tasty keyboards and guitar mingle in "Funk Shui," like raindrops that attack your window-pane. Pity the main colour of Greg Lounsberry's voice is a little low, as CSNY-type vocal harmonies would have done wonders for "Lost In Transit," where the mainly acoustic approach switches towards kind of a Happy The Man setting once synths are in play.

The experimental nature of the Canvas spectrum comes in sight towards the end of the album with "Teen Town" mainly emphasizing the bass guitar, which gets free reign here. All of the band's skills are condensed in the final track on the album "Move The Earth," which delivers rhythmic patterns as well as more vintage prog oriented sidesteps based around the organ.

It's hard to describe Digital Pigeon under one label as the main quality of Canvas is the diversity. Diversity both in the departments of composition and arrangement, but also what the choice of instruments is concerned. As far as I know Canvas simply delivers Canvas music.

Dark Side Of The Sun (6:19) / The Spectacle (7:44) / Spiders (5:12) / Ghost Town (6:31) / Armchair Voyager (4:) / A Reptile Dysfunction (5:53) / You (5:38) / Calmsy Downsy (5:46) / On Second Thought (6:36) / Catwalk (4:27) / Funk Shui (3:50) / Lost In Transit (6:11) / Teen Town (2:51) / Move The Earth (5:55)

Greg Lounsberry - vocals
Chris Cobel - keyboards, trumpets
John Swope - drums
Matt Sweitzer - guitars, bass, keyboards
Tom Mattern - vocals, flute, keyboards, bass, guitar, trumpet, soprano sax
Brian Pierce - acoustic guitar
Brad Cotner - trumpets, trombone
John David Thornton - guitar solo, bass, Fender Rhodes, keyboards
Zach Olah - vocals
Orlando Blanco - guitar solo
Vince Simon - drums
Heather McPherson - violin

The Rhythm And The Rhyme (promo) (2000)
Avenues (2002)
Digital Pigeon (2007)

Genre: Various Genres

Origin US

Added: July 8th 2007
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1547
Language: english


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