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Archive - Controlling Crowds CD (album) cover

CONTROLLING CROWDS

Archive

 

Crossover Prog

3.50 | 70 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I always wonder why Archive is not better known in North America like they are elsewhere. The music is a straightforward lite prog with a very accessible sound, a lot of pop and rock sensibilities and a lot of originality. Most of the music is slow to medium tempo. There are several vocalists and all of them with nice voices and one rapper that appears every so often. Their music is beautiful, even as beautiful as the best Pink Floyd tracks. They have everything going for them, except North America has not discovered them yet.

So, their roots are in trip-hop and you can hear a lot of that still in their music. But this is excellent quality music. I've used the term beautiful to describe their music and that term is the best way to describe this album. It is true that there is a lot of keyboards and programming on this album and in most of their music. There can be some repetition, and on some albums, it does go overboard from time to time, but not here. Everything works together beautifully, even the 3 tracks with rapping, because it is appropriate for the music. There is a lot of variety in the vocals and that really works well with this kind of music. It also works well with the concept on this album.

The album is divided into 3 sections. Part 1 takes up the first 5 tracks, Part II the middle 5 tracks and Part III the last 3 tracks. The atmosphere is mostly airy with a lot of build up in many of the songs. There is an amazing use of dynamics which helps to keep the few repetitive parts interesting, but repetition is done very well throughout the album and it is mostly kept to a minimum which is a huge plus on this album. I said previously that this is lite progressive, so don't expect a lot of groundbreaking sounds and sophisticated meter changes. The beauty here is in the simplicity of the music. There is an orchestra playing in most of the tracks and the arrangements are tastefully done and only work to make the music more poignant and lovely.

I know a lot of people probably get turned off by the trip-hop label attached to this band, but they do it all so well and it never gets old on this album. Most of the trip-hop is carried over in the instruments than the vocals. But even the tracks that feature rapping are not hard to enjoy, they add to the variety and the instrumentals in them remain as beautiful as on the other tracks. At over 70 minutes, you also get your money's worth in music quantity and of course the quality is definitely worth the time and money you invest in this music.

Originally, there was going to be a Part IV included in this CD package, but it was decided to release that on a separate album since it is a much longer section. The next album that was released is Part IV. Instead of releasing Part IV with this package, they released a 2nd disc that has four more songs that only work to add more enjoyment to the songs on the main disc. There is also a video to the track "Bullets" on the disc.

Anyway, I highly recommend this album to anyone looking for a well done emotional and dynamic album and Part IV is also highly recommended. My own personal rating for this is 5 stars, but the lite use of Prog on this means the ProgArchive rating is 4 stars. It definitely is an excellent addition to any music collection and those people who like an accessible lite prog with a great collection of beautifully written songs need to check this album out, or at least check out the band. I know that when I play this music for other people that they always are pleased with it. Definitely better than anything by another lite prog group called the Alan Parsons Project and more complex than that. And that's from a person that enjoys APP especially the earlier years. Again, highly recommended.

TCat | 4/5 |

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