Posts by TheDividingLine

    I really, really want to like this record more than I do. There are moments of greatness, but to my ears, there are many more moments which don't quite land. I think Pale Blue Dot and Not Coming Down work the best as entire tracks. My favorite two moments on the record both occur in Not Coming Down -- the mood shift at the end of the second chorus into the next section, and then the chord sequence at the very end before all the noise kicks in.

    Otherwise, I love the main riff in Cosmic Distance Ladder, but the song really falls apart for me about halfway through. The hurky-jerky nature of some of those subsequent parts is a disappointment, and that's a recurring issue for many of the "prog" parts throughout. There's just no flow to it. It comes across as adding beats or subtracting beats just to be able to say that a part isn't in 4/4. Möbius Slip has this same issue at times. There are also times when the lyrics distract more than positively contribute to the material. Sometimes it's the words themselves and sometimes it's the phrasing applied to them. Part II of Möbius Slip comes to mind for this, along with some of Omega Point.

    Some additional, scattered thoughts. IMO, when Simon's voice works, it really works, but it doesn't always work. Several of the more straightforward songs work pretty well, but in some cases, I think a different singer could have sold the material a bit better. Also, instrumentally, there's an awful lot of "noodling" in the more proggy sections, and I've never really been one for noodling. At various times, it sounds like the group came up with a basic chord structure and then didn't really know what to do beyond that, so they decided to just add layers of random synth bits that weave in and out without any real craft being applied to their composition.

    So yeah. Almost every song has something that works or almost works about it at some point, but as a whole, the record just doesn't deliver for me. And it's a shame, because some of the things that work best about the record require listening to the whole thing to get the full effect, such as the callbacks to earlier points in the record at the end of Möbius Slip. Nick Davis also did a great job mixing this one, and I note that because I was supremely critical of the majority of his stereo remix work on the Genesis catalogue. I would have been interested to hear what a second record from Sound Of Contact could have achieved, but it was not to be!

    Haven't seen this mentioned on the main site (certainly possible that I missed it!) so thought I'd have my first post be productive ^^ Please remove if I've overlooked and this is a duplicate thread!

    Looks like the mighty Chester Thompson (no introduction needed) and the mighty Alphonso Johnson (Phil, Steve, Weather Report, Santana, etc.) have joined Unitopia for the band's new album as well as a 2023 tour (details to be announced).

    Tour info:
    The main site with more info:
    Preview video of Chester's playing:

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    Thoughts? Hype? For me, I might have been living under a rock for quite some time, but this is actually the first I have heard of Unitopia, and this group appears to have a decently beefy history. The bits I have heard so far aren't doing much for me in terms of songwriting and production, but I love to see Chester (and Alphonso, no less!) involved in something like this. Chester is grooving hard in that preview video! I'll definitely buy the record when it comes out, and I'd love to catch a show on the U.S. leg of the tour to support.