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Oblivion Sun - Oblivion Sun CD (album) cover


Oblivion Sun


Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 85 ratings

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Dreamer of Pictures
4 stars Here I am writing a belated review of the first Oblivion Sun CD. I will say up front that I shot photos of a Happy the Man show at least once in the 1970s and became a regular photographer at their shows in the 2000-2005 time frame. I have done the same for Obilvion Sun. I donate the photos to the bands; often the bands arrange for me to be admitted as a guest, i.e., for free.

I've been listening to this album since it was first released.

This album struck me as being true to several themes. Stan Whitaker once said HtM needed to rock a bit more, and the Whitaker tunes here are first and foremost rockers. That's only the beginning of the stylistic tour, though. There's jazz, lots of intense and intricate keyboard interactions among Frank Wyatt and Bill Plummer, surprisingly a bit of funk, and yes, Stan does sing again.

A very welcome surprise to me was the powerful compositional influence of Bill Plummer, who contributed three tunes. Bill was a roadie for HtM and an audio tech production wizard; for a short while he took keyboard lessons from Kit Watkins of HtM, the son of two music teachers at James Madison University in Virginia. Stan once told me he proposed Bill for the lead keys seat in HtM in 1999 and was outvoted. Of Bill's contributions, I adore the sublime Tales of Young Whales, a haunting submarine instrumental excursion with an especially powerful midsection.

The overall top pick for me from this collection is Catwalk, composed by Frank Wyatt. It charmed me, and it charmed my kids. This is a jazzy sequel to the story of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, updated in many ways for the modern age and its sense of the mind and imagination as a definite locale and in particular somewhat akin to a computer. All of that in words and music, with the powerful development of themes and variations that consistently characterized the best work of HtM. Probably Stan's best vocal work ever.

From this CD the following tunes migrated to my iPhone: Tales of Young Whales, Catwalk, Chapter 7.1, Noodlepoint, and Golden Feast. In rotation with 900+ other prog tunes via Shuffle. Feels a lot like the prog tidal wave of my college days never ended.

How many stars? Four in my opinion, a lot of great stuff on this CD, but keep in mind I could be biased for the reasons noted above.

Dreamer of Pictures | 4/5 |


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