Chroma Key - You Go Now

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Fight Evil Records
Catalog Number: FE 404
Format: CD
Total Time: 39:13:00

Like many bands, Dream Theater has had its share of personnel changes. Their second personnel change was when keyboardist Kevin Moore left to pursue other interests. Now comes Chroma Key, Moore's project on which he also plays bass and sings. Moore's cohort is David Iscove on guitar.

Those expecting keyboard pyrotechnics will be surprised to hear that this album relies more on textures and subtlety. Not quite techno or house, it is full of very synthesized sounds, including percussion. The first track on this album is a dreamy sounding Alan Parsons-like affair called "Get Back In The Car." It's a slinky number musically, a bit sultry, though lyrically it's a bit a pessimistic and gloomy. In fact, "Another Permanent Address" might also be described that way (Parsons-esque) although this has a more danceable rhythm. In essence, the first three tracks sound an awful lot alike, though in "Nice To Know" Moore's delivery sounds like a low-key and weary Perry Farrell. It moves in a very slow motion like fashion, cinematic in a sense. You might say this is psychedelic in a way, though instead of the drugs giving you the sense of time stretching, the music does it -- music as drug. The movie that goes along with the music is, of course, futuristic, no doubt with Matrix-like special effects (which seem pervasive these days in commercials and even the Super Bowl). Hmm?given the space theme surrounding the album though, the astronaut on the cover, the NASA style font of the text, and the lunar landscape picture on the back cover?floating weightless might also be a way to describe the music here.

"Lunar" changes the mix, being a bit jazzier in rhythm, with Moore playing a Rhodes (I believe, though he reportedly used mainly a Yamaha CP-70). An archival recording of Houston Control reporting on the Apollo 11 mission provides the "vocals" here. Apollo 11 is the mission that launched Neil Armstrong, Major Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Lieutenant Michael Collins into space and into history books on July 20, 1969. The crew has reached their sleep period, but Houston Control reports that the crew doesn't appear to have gone to sleep yet. Keeping with the theme of this album, presumably this report came after Armstrong touched the Moon's surface and the men were too excited to sleep. More space chatter is strewn throughout "Astronaut Down," the least ambient track here, and on the title track "You Go Now" where it is very subtle. "When You Drive" also contains a spoken word element - self-help advice in essence, over which an often childlike female voice sings. Sans female voice, this is repeated on "You Go Now."

"Subway" is so subtle, you don't realize right away that Moore has begun singing, so deep and quiet in the mix is it that without the lyrics printed in the booklet, you'd only get snatches here and there ? and maybe that's the idea. Percussion is at the forefront alongside keys that build slowly to a churning intensity.

Sleep is a running theme throughout the album - "So the man was tired," begins "Get Back?", "Sometimes I wanna sleep" begins "Another Permanent Address," "Subway" begins "It was five o'clock [?] when I woke back up" and "Astronaut Down" includes the phrase "If I fall asleep?" Not that the album is boring, but it is so relaxing and dreamy that you just might drift off listening to it. Also running throughout is the dissolution of a relationship beginning right from the get go with the line "you never answer your cell phone." Phones crop up again in "Another?" "Please Hang Up" (which is all about a phone call), and "Astronaut Down."

Unless ambient textures are your thing, you may not enjoy this album very much, especially if you're looking for keyboard workouts the likes of Moore's work in Dream Theater. But, Moore does create some interesting, spacey textures here to, overall, good effect.

Get Back In The Car (5:04) / Another Permanent Address (5:05) / Nice To Know (4:30) / Lunar (3:14) / When You Drive (5:26) / Subway (4:36) / Please Hang Up (1:59) / Astronaut Down (4:56) / You Go Now (4:23)

Kevin Moore - keyboards, vocals, and bass
David Iscove - guitars
Steve Tushar - additional guitars

You Go Now (2001)
Graveyard Mountain Home (2004)

Genre: Ambient

Origin US

Added: April 10th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1117
Language: english


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