Quidam - Alone Together
I have known the band quite a longtime ago through some progressive rock compilation CD as well as my prog friend's CDs. But only recently I paid a closer attention about the music they have made. This Polish band has a good talents in music especially in the vein of neo-progressive rock. The music is heavily influenced by Pallas, IQ, Pendragon and the legendary 70s bands Pink Floyd, Camel and Genesis. The name of the band, as the website quotes, originates from the Latin word quidam meaning someone, some human being and refers to the poem Quidam by Cyprian Kamil Norwid, perhaps the most intriguing of Polish romantic poets. The title hero of that poem is a man looking for his place in life, searching for goodness and truth. From this philosophy, I learn that this band was created to produce music and lyrics with deep meaning in the quest of value in life. What a nice philosophy.
This album was made after the tour where they made a DVD The Fifth Season - Live In Concert released in January 2006 where the album was intended as talks about different kinds of loneliness and estrangement, about being alone together in various sorts of relationships, and features the best of what the band has to offer. The result is a solid album with excellent musicianship, song-based composition which has been enriched with many progressive elements, good melody. Having considered this, it's an album that can satisfy many different ears, and in fact those who like pop music would enjoy this album.
From the opening track "Different" (3:16) you can feel the taste of music these guys are going to deliver. It's a nice opener with clean and transparent voice of Bartek (new vocalist) backed beautifully with piano, flute and electric guitar in howling effects fashion. The flute part makes dark nuance and a sense of traditional setting, especially as it is made at silent mode to set the tone of the overall music in this opening. The guitar solo is stunning and it reminds me to a mix of Steve Rothery with the soul of David Gilmour. It's a nice opening, really.
"Kinds Of Solitude At Night" (6:00) confirms the neo-progressive nature of the band's music especially thorough the relatively slow moving music demonstrating mostly on ambience and deep vocal work. The music that accompanies is a good combination of deep basslines and drum beats as main rhythm section while the solo part is demonstrated through piano as well as guitar. The male vocal line is backed with female vocal line. The ending part that shows a combination of piano (as rhythm section) and guitar (as solo) is a nice part.
"Depicting Colours Of Emotions" (10:18) is a thought-provoking title - how can you express the colour of any emotion? Well, logically you can .. at least you can relate anger with red, for example. But the music is truly excellent especially with its ambient opening using soft and long sustain flute work wrapped with great vocal work. It's a peaceful song with relaxed singing style, deep basslines and whispering sounds of flute (that makes this band different from any other neo progressive bands). You will find segments that remind you to the old Genesis music. The guitar solo, intertwined with flute work, in the middle of the track is nice. What follows is the music moves in higher tone with more energy and dynamics. Those who like early Marillion would love this section.
"They Are There To Remind Us" (7:49) starts nicely in keyboard part followed with soft riffs of guitar that brings the music in crescendo. Again the relaxed singing enters the music backed with deep bass lines. It reminds me to Pink Floyd. The music is tuning up at approximately minute 1:31. "What goes up..must go down" is what the lyrics says. The combined drums and keyboard work is nice. At approx minute 4:22 the music enters into interlude part with soft piano solo followed brilliantly with stunning flute work. Oh man .. this is really great!
"Of Illusions" (8:04) is an energetic song that starts with drum solo followed with music that flows using a combination of guitar and flute. But it then moves to vocal line where the deep basslines serve as main rhythm section combined with drums. The guitar solo that comes after lyrical verses are excellent. The kind of music is similar with Pallas. One thing interesting to notice is the music interlude that starts at 4:44 where the music breaks with the work on percussion (like world music) with inventive flute / oboe work. This is unexpected insert that makes this song much appreciated.
"We Lost" (8:26) starts with soft guitar fills from two guitars. This sound really great, performed in good ambient. Drum work enters and brings the music into medium tempo with great basslines and guitar fills. Flute still as main instrument that enriches the song while the song moves forward with its vocal line. Guitar (acoustic and electric) also provides excellent fills throughout the song. Keyboard serves as background string section. The electric guitar at the end part of the song reminds me to bands like Jadis, Camel or Pallas. The ending part is fabulous, i.e. when the music moves in fast tempo with guitar and keyboard as solo instruments followed with alto sax solo while the bass and drums play their inventive works.
"One Day We Find" (6:46) starts with soft keyboard work and cymbals followed with medium tempo music with soft guitar riffs and keyboard solo that ends when the vocal enters the music. It's a joy listening to this album until this part because since track one this album has offered excellent music. The guitar solo and ambient flutework make this song enjoyable from start to end, and people would love the chorus, I believe.
"We Are Alone Together..." (8:20) is indeed a correct statement that we will experience or has been experiencing loneliness. The intro with soft piano and melodic vocal remind us to the situation of loneliness. Bartek's vocal this time reminds me to the voice of Neal Morse even though his is a bit softer. The song also features something traditional nuance of the music.
"But Strong Together" (4:25) serves as the closing remark of this album with excellent quality, musically, as its previous tracks. The organ work reminds me to old days where people adored Hammond organ. The insertion of flute work in the middle of the track confirms that this band has made flute as main instrument in any of their composition.
This is different kind of neo progressive music with excellent composition. Even though you may refer to any neo prog band, but this band has something different to offer: the existence of flute as main instrument as it occurs in every single song in this album. I consider this as an excellent, four-star rating, album. Peace on earth and mercy mild. Keep on proggin' .!
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