Tiles - Window Dressing

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 167/SPV 085-60662
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:20:00

The renowned prog label InsideOut Music is re-releasing a lot of older albums in a new jacket, which is interesting for the people who may not be familiar with lots of the older albums of bands that are currently very "good in the market." One of these bands that gets this kind of attention is the US based Tiles, whose first three albums, Fence The Clear, Tiles and Presents Of Mind, have been re-released as special editions. Now we can also enjoy their latest work, in the form of Window Dressing, their fourth studio album. The album is produced and mixed by Terry Brown, so that should give you an idea how the album sounds.

Yes, you are right: you hear a definite Rush sound in the album, but it's not disturbing, as Tiles knows to create their own sound. That they are excellent composers, can be heard in the opener of the album, title track "Window Dressing" that clocks over 17 minutes. There is a lot of variety in this song, with several melody changes, but also the sound changes a few times. Unfortunately I also hear the limitations of their sound. Singer Paul Rarick, has a great voice, which fits the sound of Tiles perfectly, and also the other members, Pat DeLeon (drums), Chris Herin (guitar) and Jeff Whittle (bass), are very good. But in such great songs as they write, I miss the keyboards. "Slippers In The Snow" features Hugh Syme on keyboards and here the melancholic atmosphere is enhanced by the keyboards, which in my opinion make it much better.

Nevertheless, it is the bands choice (I guess), and I have to be honest: the album is very good. The sound moves from dark, melancholic, to aggressive heavy, with crunchy riffs. Besides Hugh Syme, two other guest musicians join in: Kim Mitchell plays additional guitars on "Capture The Flag" and Matthew Parmenter plays violin on "Tear-Water Tea," giving it a melancholic touch. The 11 tracks of the album include 3 instrumental songs, of which I like "Unicornicopia" the most, as here, too, keyboards (piano) and strings are used, and no other instruments, so it is a nice change form the rest of the album.

Window Dressing is a good album, with a fairly original sound and some good musicians. But personally I'm not to ecstatic about the production and the sound. The artwork by Hugh Syme (Arena, Megadeth, Rush) is really nice, and thanks to Terry Brown, the sound is different from many of the other releases out there, although the result has a sound similar to Rush. It may take you some time to get into the album, but after some time, you will appreciate the craftsmanship of these four musicians and the great songs they have composed and played.

Released in North America by the now defunct InsideOut Music America (IOMACD 2080)

[This review originally appeared September 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Window Dressing (17:13) / Remember To Forget (4:57) / All She Knows (4:37) / Capture The Flag (9:05) / Stop Gap (2:55) / Tear-Water Tea (4:15) / Unincornicopia (5:22) / Paintings (4.47) / A.02 (1:18) / Slippers In The Snow (3.14) / Spindrift (9:30)

Pat DeLeon - drums, percussion
Chris Herin - guitars, mandolin, banjo, keyboards; trumpet(5)
Paul Rarick - vocals
Jeff Whittle - bass; lead guitar(5)

Additional Musicians:

Kim Mitchell - guitar (4)
Matthew Parmenter - violin (6, 7)
Hugh Syme - keyboards, orchestration (10)

Tiles (1994)
Fence The Clear (1997)
Presents Of Mind (1999)
Presence In Europe 1999 (2000)
Tiles - Special Edition (2004)
Fence The Clear - Special Edition (2004)
Presents Of Mind - Special Edition (2004)
Window Dressing (2004)
Fly Paper (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.tiles-music.com
Hits: 1097
Language: english


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