The Tangent

The Music That Died Alone

The Tangent - The Music That Died Alone ©2003 InsideOut Music
1. Prelude - Time For You
2. Night Terrors
3. The Midnight Watershed
4. In Dark Dreams
5. The Half-light Watershed
6. On Returning
7. A Sax In The Dark
8. Night Terrors Reprise
9. Cantermemorabilia
10. Chaos At The Greasy Spoon
11. Captain Manning's Mandolin
12. Up-hill From Here
13. A Serenade
14. Playing On...
15. Pre-history
16. Reprise

I knew nothing of The Tangent before giving it the obligatory pre-review spins. Once I settled down to write this review, I did my online homework to discover exactly why I disliked this band and this album so thoroughly: it features members of both The Flower Kings and Van Der Graaf Generator. Granted, Van Der Graaf Generator was around back when this sort of music was originally being made, but that doesn't mean it's okay to inflict it upon innocent record reviewers a few decades later. Worse yet, one of the recurring segments in this album reminds me of "The Eye of the Tiger" (or, if you will, "Rye or the Kaiser").

As with many retrogressive releases featuring talented musicians who don't know when to say when, The Music That Died Alone features nothing that pushes any envelopes in a forward direction and instead utilizes as many overblown musical cliches as you can think of in the realm of "prog rock". If one note will do, The Tangent play eight. Their sense of songwriting and melody is quite maudlin and bloated, often coming up with pedestrian lines. There is also far too much gratuitous sax throughout this album, which is sure to get John Ashcroft on their collective tails if they're not careful.

While I'm sure these guys all had fun making this album, the persistance of playing a style that is best left behind many years ago is a futile endeavor. I prefer music that takes me on a journey rather than leave me spinning my wheels.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2004

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