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iamthemorning - ~ CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.18 | 510 ratings

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5 stars One of those days, I saw on Facebook a friend posted a link to his girl in which Touching by iamthemorning was being featured, the name of the band caught my attention, so I clicked on it, and later, I loved the song and wanted to discover more from them. So here I am, after some months listening to this band from Russia whose music actually is far from being progressive rock, but it does have some connections. Its debut self-titled album was released in 2012, but it was re-released one year later with 18 total songs. Though the band has just two official members, of course the music is performed with the help of other studied musicians.

The music offered here is closer to classical music, with a beautiful female voice and a very clean sound that allow the cleverly composed tracks shine more. It opens with "Intermission I" in which the sound of birds and a beach appear as background, then female vocals enter seconds later with repetitive phrases, then they vanish and a piano appears, playing in a truly classical way. It leads to "Inside" which shows its charm and beauty since the very first seconds, the formula is the same, female vocals and piano as main instruments, though some other ones are added here and there, producing a neo- classical style with the help of the different strings. After a couple of minutes the intensity increases a little bit, and a new structure is formed now, with a kind of mid-east sound that makes the music progress, though this was only a brief passage because it calms down and returns to its original form. If you liked these first two tracks, then you will love the album, otherwise, I think this may not be for you.

"Burn" lasts 4:40 and it is the longest track here, so you will not find epics, not at all, what you will find is a bunch of short songs that form one entity, well crafted tracks that give as a result one great final product. This song is wonderful, there is a bass on it making the rhyhm along with drums, but piano and other strings make a terrific work, always accompanied by the beautiful voice or Marjana Semkina. The music is great, I love the complexity of its structure, I love the changes and that post-rockish feeling that lies on it. This is one of my favorite songs here.

"Circles" is another wonderful track, not as emotional as the previous, but it also has its charm, so when one start listening to it, it is impossible not to feel touched by it, and at the same time, feel a strange but deep calm. "Intermission II" is a one minute instrumental track in a classical vein, with piano and cello creating a disarming sound. It leads to "Water Changing" whose sound is more oriented to the folk side of iamthemorning. This offers new elements, new textures that renew themselves in the same album, so it is healthy for the listener because the music is not stuck in a pigeonhole, it does change and shows different paths. A new one minute piece appears with "Intermission III" but this time it adds Marjana's vocals, beautiful as usual. Now it's time for "Scotland" which is another sensational piece that perfectly fits in with the band's style, here drums again add its rhythm while piano and strings produce a stronger and more emotional sound that later becomes rockier for the first time in the album. So it is a very good combination of classical music and soft rock, I repeat, that rockier touch appears only for some seconds.

And the one that caught my attention comes next, "Touching II" which is a truly beautiful piece that has the delicacy and charm of the voice, and the challenging and energy of the strings. I love this song, it might be catchy, but it is very well crafted, it starts slow and little by little progresses, adding new elements until it reaches a climax and the strings produce a heavier, terrific passage. It remains as my favorite piece. "Intermission IV" appears immediately after Touching, it is just a piano driven piece that leads to "Monsters", whose rhythm makes the music catchier, which is another point on favor, because it keeps the neo-classical sound, meaning the music is not really fought with a catchy sound.

After the intensity and emotion created by Monsters, "Serenade" appears with a magical sound produced by acoustic guitar making a clean sound, and being accompanied by a fast piano and a wonderful delicate voice. "Intermission V" brings tranquility to us with that amazing violin sound that creates beautiful images. "Would this be" simply continues with that great blend of classical style with folk highlighted by a beautiful female voice, and of course some rock hints in brief moments, like in the last emotional minute of this track.

"Intermission VI" is the longest intermission piece I think, you know, a brief pause, a shorter track, beautiful instrumentation and warm and calm vocals on it. This collection of short pieces is simply wonderful. "i.b.too." is the last "long" song of this album (I mean, over 4 minutes song). It starts much calmer than others, only with vocals and piano at least in the first minute, because later drums, bass and some other instruments complementing in a charming way this nice track, which all of a sudden becomes more aggressive, more passionate, and in consequence, much better. This may be an example of why iamthemorning is often labeled in the prog rock scene. This song is actually a killer, one of the best without a doubt.

The final couple is "Intermission VII" and "Afis". The first one of course is the shorter one, a beautiful piano driven piece that puts some tranquility on me. While the second one produces some melancholy, I sense a goodbye here, and it is, iamthemorning finishes a wonderful album with this beautiful piece, which as the other ones, gives charm, magic, and purify our souls. This may be a therapeutic album if you need an hour of tranquility and beauty, so please give it a chance, you can listen to it through their Bandcamp site.

I love this album, which has to my ears and soul all the positive adjectives I can mention, however I am not sure if this can be considered a progressive rock masterpiece, though musically speaking is simply superb, it flows perfectly and has no lowlights. Anyway, I will give it 5 stars, I love and enjoy it every single time I listen to it, and I hope you do.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 5/5 |


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