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Transience - Sliding  CD (album) cover





2.77 | 18 ratings

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3 stars As of this writing I am not familiar with the "mother group" LAND'S END, so cannot make any such helpful comparisons, but suffice to say that TRANSCIENCE is not your typical neo prog, being more insouciant than the bulk of what springs forth from that well. How you regard it will partly depend on your attitude towards such a breaking of the ranks.

"Sliding" has a decidedly west coast feel to it, with 6 generally mellow songs and a couple of similarly laid back instrumentals. Caressing DAVID SYLVIAN-esque vocals from Jeff McFarland, purring synthesizers, chill brass, and a variety of acoustic and electric guitar themes provide plenty of admittedly genteel, reflective, and sometimes fleeting highlights. Each title reflects a place of natural beauty, which allies this project to new age themes. The antithesis, or perhaps a different take on the same concept, is the strategically placed "LA Post", which simultaneously disses the plasticity of the city and its inhabitants while acknowledging its unsung draw. The languid "Seven Pools" is really no better nor worse than a few of the shorter pieces - in fact, "Utah Revisited" is a more breezy and concise expression with breathy sax - but the instrumental "Captiva Island" is my hot pick, because of its CAMEL-like buildup in the poignant spirit of "Snow Goose" or "Dust and Dreams". McFarland may not be singing at this point, but he demonstrates his ample assets on the ax.

This debut is somewhat lacking in enthusiasm, which I think is intentional, but it is a consistent effort that reveals itself slowly and satisfyingly, or can simply be enjoyed as one slides from one transient state to another.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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