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KEYS OF PROG / THE COMMON LINES

Elegant Simplicity (UK) - 1996 - "The Nature of Change"
(75 min, "Proximity")


****+
1. Now is the Time 3:45
2. Mr.Stone's Lament 3:24
3. Take Me to the River 3:52
4. As Real As You Think 7:02
5. Tied to Earth 3:39
6. 20th Century Breakdown 10:35
7. The Nature of Change
   (Instrumental of 7 pieces) 43:12

Steven McCabe - guitars, keyboards,
                bass, programmed drums,
                music and arrangements
Ken Senior    - vocals

Recorded and produced by Steven McCabe.

As you see, now I work backwards to get more exposure of Steven McCabe's wonderful creation. Recently I've heard some reviewers describe Elegant Simplicity as Neo. What an absurd! You know that I've a bit of reputation of being down on Neo-prog. Yes, it's true that I don't care for Grey Lady Down, Galahad, and most of the dozens of their sound-alikes and wannabees (I just can't tolerate such bands, though; I feel I have to separate some bands from the Neo Prog sections - I'll call them Pseudo Prog). What is more, members of one of my favourite contemporary Prog bands Landmarq, sending me their new "Thunderstruck" live album for review according to my request, promised to send me all their discography. But when they've read my review - the only negative review on "Thunderstruck" on the World Wide Web - they didn't do it, of course (and I am wondering: why do I write "of course" here? Maybe, you know?). And I knew it before writing my review, I knew it already after a few listenings to "Thunderstruck". But if I work on my site not for pay at all, this does not mean that I work here so as to receive some free CDs in order to make some kind of publicity for their creators. Of course, I feel happy if I can support the efforts of those who are really trying to keep the new progressive scene alive and honest, but first of all I want to support my readers. My duty is telling them the truth as I see it (sorry, as I hear it). All of us (I mean musicians and reviewers alike) are players in the same actually non-profit (!) Progressive Rock team. And when I see that actually all progressive reviewers on the web sing similar hymns of praise to some down-straight commercial album, I know this is an album they received for free. And I become sad seeing our non-profit team slowly but steadily turn the commercial way. Such kinds of suicidal tendencies. Such a kind of a slow suicide. Sad to see how our proud free sailing across the really free ocean of the World Wide Web is getting more and more intangled into a commercial Net, although we, unlike all the magazines-that-are-made-of-paper, have no editors, whose only purpose is a wish to sell as many issues as possible.

Summary. Finally back to Elegant Simplicity, I would only like to say that out of their five albums I've heard I have found no Neo absolutely. Even the shorter tracks on "Nature of Change" are full of interesting, innovative arrangements. As regards the long instrumental, it's a whole album of authentic Classic Progressive Rock. What else is there to add to let you know the music? content

VM. February 19, 2000


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