Best Prog of 2016, Part II

continued from last night. . .

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAndy Tillison Diskdrive, MACHTE ES DURCH.  Sadly, this release has gotten very little press, and, yet, as with all things Tillison, it’s simply genius and extraordinary.  When thinking of Andy and The Tangent, think intensity and integrity.  When thinking of Andy Tillison Diskdrive, think of taste and integrity.  On his solo albums (at least this one and the previous one), Andy has been exploring–rather expertly–jazz-rock-fusion.  He is a natural and a master.

ghost communityGhost Community, CYCLE OF LIFE.  I’ve been rather joyously following the trajectory and art of Matt Cohen for almost a decade now.  The guy is simply put–the kind of guy you really, really, really want to support.  Whatever tragedies the man has experienced, he comes out on top and with an infectious joy.  Not only is his bass playing on this album gorgeous, but the album itself is just joy made manifest.  Imagine a truly progressive and non-cheesy Styx of 1975, and you have Ghost Community.  Probably more rock than prog, it’s what prog needs right now to keep some balance. (Notice, please, that I used some form of “joy” three times in this mini-review!)

fear-marillionMarillion, FEAR. This is the best Marillion since MARBLES.  Certainly the most progressive Marillion in sixteen years.  I find the album just riveting.  I’m by no means a fan of the title, but I’ve gone from thinking it ridiculous and sophomoric to a more sympathetic understanding the anger it’s attempting to harness.  I purchased the deluxe edition (I think this is what it’s called)—a boxed set with CD and DVD.  Frankly, had I known how incredible this album would be, I would’ve purchased the super-duper deluxe version, no matter the cost.  I have listened to this album so much this year, I have it almost completely memorized.  I have no doubt that I will continue to listen for years to come.

headspace-cover[H]eadspace, ROAD TO SUPREMACY.  This album is much harder than I usually enjoy, but the conviction of each of the players is justwonderful.  I also love the lyrics and the flow of the album.  The entire work leads just so perfectly to the finale, “Secular Souls.”  This song is so good, it makes the album, and it ranks as one of the two or three best songs of the year.  When I first heard, I had to listen to it repeatedly.  I just couldn’t figure out if it was mocking or not.  Through the help of some Insideout guys, I heard from Wilson that it is definitely NOT mocking, which only makes the track even better.  Sometimes, I simply crave a non-cynical world.

nosound-scintillaNosound, SCINTILLA.  Much like England’s Andy Tillison, Italy’s (though, now living in England) Giancarlo Erra is a man of exquisite taste.  Every note and every silence has its perfect place in Erra’s compositions.  Nosound is a Thomistic dream album; Aristotelian art made manifest.  Scintilla is no exception.  Indeed, it is a haunting expression of beauty at its deepest levels.  If Mark Hollis has an heir, Erra is it.



To be continued. . .


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