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New England - New England CD (album) cover

NEW ENGLAND

New England

 

Crossover Prog

2.94 | 11 ratings

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progpositivity
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is not a prog record. It does, however, feature a unique breed of widely popular rock music that freely drew inspiration from the worlds of prog and art-rock in the late 1970's and early 1980's. If Journey, Styx and Asia have no songs of interest in their discographies for you whatsoever, I can save you some time by advising you to stop reading immediately. "Do not pass go. Do not collect their albums".

The AOR radio hit from this album, "Don't Ever Wanna' Lose Ya'", is fairly representative of New England's approach, combining distorted guitar and majestic keys with big vocal harmonies against the backdrop of a straight rock beat to create a swirling confection that is as powerful and compellingly catchy as it is sentimental and sometimes even sappy.

Highlights include a closing duo of songs cleverly crafted to serve as a soundtrack for the mind's eye of anyone who has ever daydreamed of being a rock star. (Now that's what I call a very large 'target audience'!) Although the transience of fame remains palpable throughout "The Last Show" and "Encore", any semblance of day to day realities, trials or tribulations of such a lifestyle are otherwise bypassed in lieu of providing the listener a more idealized version of vicarious rock-star wish fulfillment.

"Turn Out the Light" is one of the most "well-adjusted" songs of yearning for lost youthful innocence that I've ever heard. The ballad "Shall I Run Away" hints at some of the saccharine tendencies that would surface to a greater degree on later albums.

progpositivity | 3/5 |

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