Rated as: Album
Album Status: for Fans of Artist
Specific Genre: Neo-Prog
Main Genre: Rock, Progressive Rock
Label: Inside Out Music
1 Frequency 2 Life Support 3 Stronger than Friction 4 One Fatal Mistake 5 Ryker Skies 6 The Province 7 Closer
Nobody could kill the silence, and probably no one will
It’s amazing (and slightly frightening) how easily a weathered group like IQ opts for the most convenient solutions of their genre here for an entire album. This is almost the structural description of how to abstractly arrange a neo-prog album, which elements are placed where, which synth sound to program, when the woozy symphonics are to climax and to be replaced with middle-earth-balladry and piano – it’s mystery time. Where’s the light show?
The catalogue goes something like this: Lengthy songs with pre-formatted sections, sweeping synths, clean vocals mixed in the front, cardboard lyrics about moons, shadows, kings and a wannabe-political nod to Hiroshima, a highly competent production and professional musicianship taking less than zero risks. There are next to no memorable anthemic hooks, which used to set this band apart from the myriads of other neo-prog-acts back in the 1980s. Assumably, this is exactly the product they want to deliver and who am I to chip in? I just miss some sense of discovery, I guess.
Also, I tried to pay attention to the lyrics of „The Province”. They seem to be about the impending doom of wireless global internet communication, where we’re all so virtually connected that we end up as isolated monads (cf. the album cover). Man, socially involved technology-scepticism never was this easy! „I cannot count the many ways / Because there’s nothing real / What ransom do you bring / Before the wireless king?“. I’m open to other interpretations.