Bryan’s Best of 2017

Here we are again, folks. We find ourselves at the end of another great year for prog. Sadly, we’ve had to say goodbye to some amazing artists this year, including John Wetton, but we at least have their music by which to remember them.

I know I’ve been a bit quiet here at Progarchy lately due to beginning graduate school this fall. Hopefully things settle down going forward, and I’ll be able to contribute more. For now, here are my favorite albums from 2017 in vaguely ascending order.

Continue reading “Bryan’s Best of 2017”

Tad’s Favorites of 2017

10. KXM- Scatterbrain

If you’re missing King’s X, then this one will satisfy your craving. Ray Luzier (KoRn) is on drums, George Lynch (Dokken & Lynch Mob) is on guitar, and Doug Pinnock (King’s X) is on bass and vocals. This is their second album, and it is much more varied in its music styles than their debut. I never was into Dokken, but George Lynch’s guitar work is killer -especially on “Breakout”.

 

9. Big Big Train – Grimspound

I give Grimspound the edge over its sister album, The Second Brightest Star. What a great collection of tributes and vignettes of everything that is good about Great Britain. Using small details to convey big ideas is really difficult, but BBT are masters and make it look easy.

 

Continue reading “Tad’s Favorites of 2017”

Lonely Robot’s Latest Is A Dream

One of my top albums of 2015 was John Mitchell’s Lonely Robot: Please Come Home. In addition to my rave review, several other Progarchists recognized that album’s greatness, putting it on their Best-Of lists for 2015.

It’s two years later, and Mitchell has returned with the second installment of the Lonely Robot saga: The Big Dream. I always approach sophomore efforts with some trepidation, because an artist often uses up all of his or her best ideas in the début. No worries on that front this time! Fresh off of his work with Jem Godfrey in Frost*, Mitchell has crafted a near-perfect pop/prog collection of songs that hearken back to the glory days of Peter Gabriel’s solo work, Porcupine Tree, and others.

According to Mitchell, The Big Dream continues the saga of the astronaut in Please Come Home. He has awakened from a cryogenic sleep, and finds himself in a woodland inhabited by human/animal hybrids. The concept is a bit hazy, while the music itself is tight as a nut. I am hard pressed to think of any songs that pack a bigger 1-2-3 punch than “Awakenings”, “Sigma”, and “In Floral Green”. I had to put those three on Repeat for several listens before I even heard the rest of the album.

If you thought, like me, that Please Come Home was terrific, The Big Dream actually tops it in every way. Big melodies that grab your ears and won’t let go, great vocals, John’s always outstanding guitar – all combine to deliver an album that will definitely be on many Top Ten of 2017 lists.

Rather than taking my word for it, just check out the first single, “Everglow”:

The Big Dream is slated for release April 28.