After “The music that died alone” David Jackson left the band to concentrate on Van der Graaf Generator (VDGG). That was a wise decision. You will agree if you know the “Present” album of VDGG. The same thing happened after the second album “The world that we drive through”. But now Flower Kings members Roine Stolt and Zoltan Csorsz were leaving the band. And I agree with Andy Tillison who said “Both had to leave so that two of my favorite bands could move on”. The new members are Krister Jonsson (Karmakanic) on electric guitar and Jaime Salazar (ex Flower Kings) on drums.
Sam Baine - piano, synthesizer, vocals; Krister Jonsson - electric guitars; Guy Manning - acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals; Jonas Reingold - bass guitar; Jaime Salazar - drums; Andy Tillison - organ, piano, Moog synthesizer, guitars, lead vocals; Theo Travis - saxophones, flutes, clarinet, vocals
So what is the result after those changes in personal. The first brilliant album “The music that died alone” had strong VDGG influences. On the second album “The world that we drive through” the influence of Roine Stolt was very big so the music had a lot of Flower Kings atmospheres. What about this new album. There is more room for influences from the Canterbury scene.
The first long track “In earnest” (20:03) has a dreamy intro with piano, acoustic guitar and flute. After the first vocal parts the band explodes and burst out. This diverse piece is one of the two long epics on this album. The dreamy Canterbury parts are combined with burning progressive rock with a lot of keyboards. Andy plays a lot of steamy organ parts on this album and you can find that specific Moog synthesizer sound that Rick Wakeman used on the Yes album “Topographic Oceans”. “Lost in London” (8:08) is a piece in typical Canterbury style. The flute, the synthesizer and Richard Sinclair like vocals brings back memories of bands like Hatfield and the North. In the last part you also hear the David Stewart organ sound of National Health. A great ode to the Canterbury scene. The short “DIY Surgery” (2:16) has more influences of Frank Zappa. In the next track “GPS Culture” (10:07) you can find next to Canterbury influences (Hatfield and the North) also some of Yes influences. “Follow your leaders” (9:21) has some great organ and synthesizer parts. I love the synthesizer parts in the style of National Health. There are also more jazzy influences in this piece. And in the end a delicious melodic guitar solo. “The sun in my eyes” (3:44) is one of the shorter tracks on this amazing album. This is an upbeat swinging jazzy piece with some pop influences. This happy piece works for me like an intermezzo to the next big symphonic epic. The title track “A place in the queue” (25:19) is the killer track of this album. Every lover of progressive rock must buy this album only for this track! The opening is fantastic with its broad and hugh symphonic sound. After that Theo Travis uses instead of the flute and saxophone the delicate sound of a clarinet. The role of Theo Travis is hugh on this album. This epic is a Tillison/Travis composition. After the jazzy piano the saxophone is back and the tension of the music is building up. After the saxophone solo comes the electric guitar solo of Krister Jonsson. The track is divers and all the musicians have the room to show their musical talents. If you concentrate on the vocals and the melodies you can hear that Roine Stolt has left his mark on the new music of The Tangent. And if you love keyboards in your prog ... well this album is made for you.
“A place in the queue” is also released as a special edition with bonus disc. This CD is fully loaded with six exclusive tracks that were written during the “Queue” sessions but which didn't fit with the concept of the album.
The third album of The Tangent is as good as the previous two. If you like me, also enjoy bands from the Canterbury scene like Hatfield and the North and National Health you will like this album. The Tangent makes music which can be seen like a big melting pot of influences from the golden years of progressive music. Personally I can't get enough of this album. And if the release date was planned in 2005 it would have been in my top ten list.