Dev, Philip - Pop Prog

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 39:42:00

Truth be told, it would be maddeningly hard to come up with a more concise and appropriate description for Philip Dev's debut album than the title that this Frenchman has bestowed upon the realization of his childhood dream. Clearer than Pop-Prog, anyone? Didn't think so. Because that is exactly what Dev delivers throughout this twelve-song collection of often light-hearted yet definitely more than dumbly predictable music; a series of varied pop attitudes adorned at times with some hard rock, a very tiny bit of metal, and a bit of techno here and there, but most of all with that progressive tint that all of you, ladies and gentlemen, were expecting.

And which conquers center stage irrefutably with the instrumental "Kitzbühel," the entire album's most complex piece and one of the most enjoyable moments to be experienced among the rest of Dev's ideas, which span a territory so varied that "Sei Mia Vita" could pass off as a Ricky Martin track with some disguise on it, while "Kartman" could instead have been a lost and forgotten Billy Idol track. That's not all, however, as "Cathedral" is a mostly baroque organ instrumental soon giving way to the Idol persona of "Turbo Love," and then mutating into the working mixture of sweet techno and hard rock tension pertaining to "Aérobike." The stylistic variation could of course be explained track by track in order to expose the fact that each song is quite different from the next, but the crucial fact here is that the variation is a lot less important than the coherence that Pop-Prog represents, individual differences notwithstanding.

There is, however, a catch to all this. The fact that most pop, whether imbued with a progressive bent or not, requires a flawlessly enormous production in order to work the way it's supposed to, along with the independent nature of Dev's debut, leaves most of the material in the dubious state of potential rather than realization. In other words, the production of Pop-Prog leaves much to be desired. And that, coupled with a sound that sometimes comes off as too synthesized, is the unfortunate shortcoming that obscures much of Dev's otherwise bright collection of ideas.

Further explaining judgment in even simpler terms, this would have probably been a much better record had it been sponsored by a record label with adequate resources, worked on by some hotshot producer, and played on by at least a real drummer. The way things stand instead, it is a twelve-track experience that is often sprightly thanks to the charming na?veté that characterizes the whole affair, but which nevertheless could definitely use some improvement. And if anything, one can only hope that Dev will continue working and somehow manage to land a deal that will grant him the resources necessary to be able to create a record that truly corresponds to his dreams.

Similar artists: Billy Idol, Asia

Never Enough (4:03) / Kartman (3:53) / Sei Mia Vita (3:03) / Football Attraction (3:02) / Musikado (3:50) / Kitzb?hel (3:13) / Cathedral (1:43) / Turbo Love (3:13) / Aéerobike (4:19) / Triathlon Lady (3:26) / The Boat (3:44) / Jupiter (2:12)

Philip Dev - vocals, keyboards, guitars, programming, bass
Lyz Daiv - backing vocals

Pop Prog (2001)

Genre: Rock

Origin FR

Added: July 16th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 753
Language: english


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