Saturday, September 6, 2014

FLYING COLORS: "Second Nature"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Mascot 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Flying Colors' debut album - the proper shock to the system. Full of great songs, prog-rock passages and lovely soft-rock harmonies in the vein of The Beatles, Supertramp and Steely Dan. We expected nothing less from their sophomore release, "Second Nature", and one quick glance at the band members of this super-group is frankly enough to have you drooling like a rabid mad bulldog. But are they capable of living up to the hype with their second studio album at the Mascot Label? Well... yeah. No doubt. But, it's different from your ordinary prog album.

I've been playing this disc for a couple of weeks and it's quite the roller coaster ride at first with many outrageous passages and keyboard/guitar interludes. They still blend complex prog-rock with sweet and fluffy pop choruses and it's definitely something out of the ordinary. You need to spend time with this platter as it's progressive music in its original sense and order. Instead of playing the safe card of recording just another Flying Color debut, you'll find plenty of weird choices and experiential arrangements.

In truth. "Second Nature" is basically the hybrid-project where complex prog meets pop meets post-grunge groove. I guess it's simply just ART-Rock as there's plenty of space and breathing room for the musicians to roam. You'll even forgive Casey for watching the first Shrek movie one too many times and thus being the Hallelujah wannabee vocalist (the song originally recorded by Leonard Cohen). "Peaceful Harbor" get most if its inspiration from the song. Not to mention that "The Fury of My Love" is coming across like pompous prog lite power ballad where above mentioned song meets Bon Jovi's Never Say Goodbye. Weird but good stuff.

"A Place In Your World" is grand and powerful music with old school keyboard work by Neal Morse (think Gentle Giant, YES) and the extremely catchy refrain. "One Love Forever" folk-rock meets prog and the three piece epic tune, "Cosmic Symphony", and especially part 3 (Pound For Pound) sounds more like something The Band (classic act of the late 60s/early 70s) would record rather than your Prog super-group? Final verdict: The note by note work of Steve Morse, top notch as always and all the musicians of Flying Color are great anyhow. Recommended to the open-minded music fan. Obviously progressive rock, but you really get to experience a fresh new taste for each and every piece of the pie.

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