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Lisa LaRue - Fast And Blue CD (album) cover

FAST AND BLUE

Lisa LaRue

 

Crossover Prog

3.81 | 22 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is actually my first experience with a Lisa LaRue project, and I say this because I know she has been involved in the progressive rock scene for several years, with different projects and with a considerable amount of records. Now after some reviews I read, I got interested with her 2KX project and the album entitled "Fast and Blue", composed by LaRue, along with Steve Adams, Merrill Hale and John Payne.

The album comprises seven compositions, two of them epic tracks. It is an almost instrumental album, full of keyboards, wonderful and well-crafted compositions. It opens with "Mystery of the Rose" which is a one-minute introductory track with a peaceful and hopeful sound. It leads to "Prometheus", which in the other hand, is the longest composition of the album, with seventeen minutes of true and first-class progressive rock.

The first part has some inherent drama, I imagine it as a passage of a movie, with some tension and an unknown fate. Later it slows down, soft guitars and drums, nice bass notes, and great keyboard nuances. The song seems to be divided in several passages, showing the band's compositional skills. I like the bombastic moments where several elements are added, with great guitar riffs and the always prominent keyboards that creates a symphonic sound.

When drums, a bell and then a gong sounds, the tone changes dramatically and becomes much more bombastic. I am almost sure that in this part Ryo Okumoto enters with his keyboard feast. Along with the keys, the other instruments perfectly complement the music, which now show the quality of the musicians as performers, because each and every of them are well connected and flawlessly playing. This is a long, complex and well arranged symphonic offering that Lisa LaRue's 2KX share to us, and which can be appreciated and loved by the strictest prog fan.

"Tryptych" starts with a mellower sound, charming acoustic guitar and a cute cello creating a gentle atmosphere. I love how after the storm comes the calm, because this track allows us to take a breath after that vertiginous previous epic. This shorter piece fills our souls with a beautiful sound, that's it. But it leads to the other long track, which is entitled "Jam Jehan Nima"; this track begins with a more eclectic sound, with elements taken from different parts and genres, here the symphonic touch is not really present, instead, we can appreciate some mid-east hints, along with soft spacey keys, and even some jazzy moments. After four minutes, vocals appear as a choral group and create a dark and church-like sound. A minute later it vanishes and a new structure is being built, now with a more aggressive feeling, creating either a heavy prog, or even a symphonic metal-like sound. In this song, I prefer by miles the second part, honestly, I did not really enjoy the first one.

"Lament of the Cherokee / Ruins of Home" has once again cello and a soft beginning. The atmosphere and background are perfect for a fantasy film. A minute later a narrator appears with a strong voice, while keyboards and the other instruments continue creating that background. As he speaks, we can imagine what he says, even close our eyes and create our own story. The voice vanishes before the third minute and then a new structure is being built up. Here I like a lot the work of the drummer, giving the correct intensity in every passage. The last two minutes are great, once again, adding elements that let us create some images in our minds.

"Fast and Blue" has a clear symphonic prog sound since the first moments, but later it changes when Payne's vocals appear first, later joined by a female voice. There are some nice bass lines during the whole track, a song that I may label as a prog metal one, though the music is actually far from it.

The album finishes with "Recurring Dream" which has an instrumental beginning with some pastoral passages, but later when vocals join it changes a little bit, both the music and the feelings change as well. Later at minute four there is a wonderful moment with mellotron and beautiful and softly played strings. This is a very good ending track.

A strong, well-composed album that will please symphonic rock (mainly) fans, but which can be also loved by the average prog rock follower. Recommendable!

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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