Ian Cleverdon - Beyond Alpha

Sunday 1st October 2000
Ian Cleverdon - Beyond Alpha

STYLE: Rock
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 1587-
LABEL: Independent
FORMAT: CD Album

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Some of this was originally available on a cassette Ian released a while back called 'Approaching Alpha'. Here he's remastered the older material and recorded some new songs and added the lot together to make one single CD. I would categorise this as prog rock thought it's mainly instrumental with a couple of sung tracks, which to be honest weaken the overall CD. A master of instrumental music, Ian definitely doesn't possess the vocal chops to carry the song here, sincere though they are lyrically. Still, there's plenty of stuff here to grab the attention. There are moments when the complex melodies and rhythms and arrangements bring to mind Mike Oldfield especially on the lengthy 'Approaching Alpha'. Elsewhere it's just in some of the guitar touches that the 'Tubular Bells' man comes to mind. Highlights for me are the strident "New Beginning" with its dance rhythms being more Kraftwerk than current rave and the "Warthog" which also contains a healthy groove. Elsewhere there are rootsy things like "Stoneleigh Waltz" and "Jackson's Return". "Countdown" with its timepiece underscored urgency works well and the atmosphere of "Mist Over Kilimanjaro" is a fitting close to the album.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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