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Curved Air – Live Atmosphere

| 15 September 2012 | Reply

Label: Ais

Release Date: May 1, 2012

Rating: 8/10

Reviewed by: ToddStar

Just when I think I have figured out what my niche is, something else comes across my desk and makes me rethink my musical selections. Some view my tastes as very heavy, but the latest live disc from Curved Air is anything but. Let me also say, I am not typically one to review live discs or greatest collections, but occasionally veer from this idea if it is a band I am not familiar with. That would be the case with Curved Air.

“Atmospheric Overture – Intro” starts us off lightly and quickly merges into “Marie Antoinette”. This track quickly solidifies the genre as fusion and experimental. The guiding voice of Sonja Kristina graces this tune and welcomes you to the Atmosphere show. “Propositions” is next up and by time you settle in for the ride, you have seemingly walked into Yes meets the Greatful Dead jam session. This group of musicians can play. The limited vocals on this track are simple enhancements here, as the musicianship is top notch. “Easy” has a beautiful piano intro that drew me in immediately. This playing, coupled with the mellow tempo of the vocals and other musical instruments, makes this easily the most enjoyable track on the disc. This one is sure to sooth even the most savage of beasts. “Hide And Seek” kicks off with a few nice drum fills and then the keyboard and guitars work together to create a total fusion feel as the song picks up tempo and works to reveal another solidly performed song.

“Screw” keeps the show moving and light. The playing here is superb. The fusion mixes well with the ethereal sound and really adds to the track. “Phantasmagoria” is next up and though its music is quite fusion and experimental in nature, it doesn’t tickle anything inside me. Everything about the song, especially the lyrics, seem forced. This one may come off well visually, but to listen to it, it seems to lack compared to the rest of the disc. “Melinda” brings things back around, with its dramatic use of guitar, keyboards, and violin providing the perfect backdrop for the lyrics and Sonja’s voice. “Everdance” picks up the pace while keeping the fusion groove completely intact. The violin work here is pronounced and instantly I wanted to reach for some Jean Luc-Ponty. The blend of the strings here is awesome and the bridges and breakdowns are masterfully played by all on the musicians involved.

“Back Street Love” has a very rock feel to it upon first. Almost a fusion Sabbath style, but quickly returns to its prog styling. This one showcases the different musicians without any real standout solos or styling. “Stretch” gives you the feeling something bluesy is headed your way. If you were to slow it down and take some of the violin out, I think this could be a killer blues song. It is good the way it is, but just has a certain feel about it. “It Happened Today” kicks in and at first I kinda expected Charlie Daniels to start singing about a certain Devil and Georgia. This one track even has a very cool, southern flavored guitar riff underneath it. “Atmospheric Overture – Outro” takes us out as gently as it brought us in.

Trust me, this isn’t for the die hard rocker or metal guy, but if you are one to you’re your mind, go with the flow, and dig some very cool fusion-prog styling, you are in for a great ride.

http://www.curvedair.com/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/CurvedAir

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Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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