Elegant Simplicity - Palindrome

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Proximity Records
Catalog Number: ESCD 13
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:49:00

Elegant Simplicity is one of those bands that seem to be plagued by a terminal disease and thus are unnervingly adamant in their purpose of releasing an unending string of albums in as short a time as possible. Fortunately for the progressive rock world, the latest in Steven McCabe's series of creative output, Palindrome, demonstrates that velocity does not equal lack of quality, and that if things keep going well, having a new Elegant Simplicity album out every year might just prove to be a token of good luck.

Palindrome is a lush display of McCabe's compositional abilities, which at times are strongly reminiscent of a modern and less complex Genesis, and at others are a unique mixture of diverse influences that coalesce into a pleasant mix and are unlikely to send your friends flying out of the room as soon as the album hits the CD player. You have to admit, that's good news the next time you make a party at your place ... at least it won't have to be "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" for the thousandth time.

What results really awkward about the record, however, is the fact that some of McCabe's chosen keyboard sounds come across as something that one is very likely to hear in background music at one's local cafeteria, and yet are used in a manner that results simply adorable. That same formula, however, doesn't work for the album's vocal parts, which at times are annoyingly corny and are certainly not improved by Ken Senior's mild singing or the erroneous choice of musical background that McCabe elects for them.

That, however, is a mistake that can quickly be forgiven when one considers the impact of instrumentals such as the driving "Palindrome" and the melodically elaborate "Between Two Points," which confer the album a gorgeous general tone and remain as surprising as a left hook from Tyson due to that quirky cafeteria music spirit that I already mentioned. No, no, no, I myself am not one for cafeteria music, and if Palindrome could be directly categorized as such, I would be the first one to tear the CD and everything it has been in contact with to shreds. It's just that the description jumped right into my mind and somehow sounds logical.

Yeah, yeah, whatever, I just don't have a clue. Well, maybe, but I can tell you this; Palindrome is certainly worth its weight thanks to its engaging instrumentals and a well-balanced interplay of instruments that demonstrate McCabe's sharp melodic abilities. This is music that honors the glories of old symphonic rock by looking straight into the future and forging ahead through mid-tempo charms, instead of just rehashing the same old and tired fifteen-minute epics that a band like Genesis could have written blindfolded.

Similar artists: Genesis, Mark 1

Palindrome (4:46) / The Twinning of Souls (6:26) / The Way Back Home (10:08) / Between Two Points (9:08) / Let It Be Me (9:48) / The Physical World (8:39) / Still Fluttering (3:54) / Still Hearing Your Voice (7:49)

Steven McCabe - guitars, bass, drums, keyboards
Ken Senior - vocals
Christopher Knight ? drums

Improper Advances (1992)
Nocturnal Implications (1992)
Blinded By Time (1993)
Inside The Hurting (1994)
Crying To The Future (1994)
Endless Longing (1994)
Natural Instinct (1995)
The Nature Of Change (1996)
Reversal Of Time (1997)
Purity And Despair (1998)
Moments Of Clarity (1999)
The Story Of Our Lives (2000)
Palindrome (2001)
Architect Of Light (2002)
Aquatorium (2004)
Anhedonia (2004)
Studies In Heartbreak (2005)
Nowhere Left To Turn (2006)
Too Many Goodbyes (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.elegantsimplicity.com
Hits: 1121
Language: english


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