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Pick your Top 3 Tangent Studio albums!

The Music That Died Alone
The World That We Drive Through
A Place In The Queue
Not As Good As The Book
Down And Out In Paris And London
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Author Topic: The Tangent Official Thread - 13th Album, "To Follow Polaris" OUT NOW 5/10  (Read 23086 times)

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Online The Letter M

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In the six weeks leading up to the release of the new album, I'm revisiting the band's back catalog in chronological order, starting with the first two albums this week! I figured if anyone else wants to join in and re-listen, we can have some discussions about the music two albums at a time.

So far, I've been listening to their debut for the last few days and I have to say, it's one of the better debut albums for an early 00s prog band. I think the term "supergroup" was being tossed around a lot during that time with groups of Transatlantic, OSI, LTE, basically anything Mike Portnoy was a part of, but Roine Stolt was coming off TA and a string of great albums from his "home band" The Flower Kings, so hearing him bring the stellar rhythm section of Jonas and Zoltan to a new band felt like another supergroup hitting the scene. Before The Tangent, I hadn't heard of Andy Tillison or his previous band PO90 (Parallel Or 90 Degrees, from which Sam Baine and Guy Manning also came from), so when I first heard The Tangent, I was going in with wanting to hear more from the TFK members.

I discovered them in late 2006, after A Place In The Queue, and after getting that album, I rushed to get the first two knowing that the Flower Kings trio of Roine/Jonas/Zoltan were a part of that line-up, and BOY what a line-up it was. Knowing that David Jackson was also the band's saxophonist, I was curious as to how the debut would sound because, while I tried getting into Van der Graaf Generator, they never stuck with me during my prog discovery years. Either way, I was hyped to hear a modern prog album that was so steeped in classic 70s prog influence but not in the same way that bands like The Flower Kings, Spock's Beard, or Porcupine Tree were in the 90s.

The jazzy sounds, especially Jonas' bass work, was a breath of fresh air for me at the time, hearing a lot of Genesis and Yes influenced modern prog, and the prominent keyboard work from Andy really struck a chord with me. At a relatively short 48 minutes, when most albums at the time were pushing 70-79 minutes (maybe because they could), this album features just four songs (although the CD has three of its songs split and indexed into their individual movements, a practice I'm glad they haven't revisited).

The opening epic, "In Darkest Dreams", is probably one of my favorite prog epics of the early 00s, and sets the tone and mood for what kind of album (and band) this is. Andy's opening keys are somewhat iconic for me now, almost nostaligic whenever I come back to this album. Having only been familiar with the TFK members of this line-up, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Roine be the first vocalist on the album, but Andy provides some great variety with his unique vocal stylings as well. There is some great grooves and solos peppered throughout this epic, and while one generally thinks of side-length epics as album closers, "In Darkest Dreams" opens the album in powerful ways that songs like "2112" or "Close To The Edge" do for their albums.

"The Canterbury Sequence" is a great jazzy number that refers to a subgenre of prog that I wasn't, and still am not, very familiar with, but hearing it played by these musicians, I really dig what they're doing here, Jonas in particular, especially his bass solo around 3 minutes into the song. The song then carries on with some more great jamming as it fades out and we head into the next song "Uphill From Here", the shortest song on the album. It's a fast-paced rocker and a bit different than anything else on the album, but a fun track nonetheless. This is definitely the kind of song that Andy would continue to write on later albums, and I believe he's the only lead vocalist on this track here as well.

The album closes with another epic, the near 13-minute title track "The Music That Died Alone", which opens with some great piano work from the heavy runs and chords, to some more jazz-influenced parts peppered with some of Roine's great TFK-sounding guitar lines. If there's a song that anyone could possibly call as "Tangent classic", this one might be it. It doesn't end with a grandiose symphonic ending, but it closes the album in a way that seems fitting for the band, and the lyrical message of the song. A very appropriate ending for this fairly strong debut.

I know some folks don't really jive with Roine's or Andy's vocals, but hearing them together here really shows their strong points, as players, writers, and singers. I'd say Roine's two albums with The Tangent are probably two my favorite albums he's ever been a part of (and to be honest, I'd take them over any other side-project he's done outside of TFK or TA, mostly because, as enjoyable as things like The Sea Within or Agents Of Mercy were, these two Tangent albums are where he was able to shine outside of The Flower Kings and do something a little different than the typical symphonic prog he was doing in TFK and TA).

After a few days of listening to their second album, I'll come back and post my thoughts on it, but if anyone wants to discuss the first two, please feel free! I hope there's at least a few people here willing to revisit these albums with me and discuss them a bit as The Tangent, for me, are a Top 10 band.

-Marc.
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Offline RoeDent

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Songs From the Hard Shoulder came out yesterday. Another excellent offering from these guys! We have four longbois, one of which is a U.K. cover which they take on a tangent.

Online The Letter M

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Songs From the Hard Shoulder came out yesterday. Another excellent offering from these guys! We have four longbois, one of which is a U.K. cover which they take on a tangent.

I've listened to it a couple of times now, and I went in fresh without hearing any of the samples or singles prior to the release. It's definitely another great Tangent release, and the performances are top notch. I can't wait to get my physical CD in hand, hopefully in the next week or so, as it makes its way across the Atlantic from Andy's home.

-Marc.
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Offline Nel

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I didn't know the fifth song was a deluxe edition exclusive. Was wondering why my copy was only four songs.  :-[
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Online The Letter M

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I didn't know the fifth song was a deluxe edition exclusive. Was wondering why my copy was only four songs.  :-[

Yep, special edition bonus track, I think for the digipak releases. It should be available to listen to on most streaming sites if you want to listen to it.

-Marc.
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Offline Phoenix87x

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I learned about them completely by accident. It was 2003, I didn't not have a computer. And I did not internet.

Literally just walked into a Borders, liked the album cover art and bought their first album sight unseen. Loved them ever since

Offline Fritzinger

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I didn't know the fifth song was a deluxe edition exclusive. Was wondering why my copy was only four songs.  :-[

When my physical copy arrives from Germany, I can send that track to you if you want  :tup
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Online The Letter M

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I learned about them completely by accident. It was 2003, I didn't not have a computer. And I did not internet.

Literally just walked into a Borders, liked the album cover art and bought their first album sight unseen. Loved them ever since

Nice! Their early covers by Ed Unitsky are certainly striking and unique. His art definitely helped the band stand out in the early 00s.

-Marc.
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Offline Nel

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I didn't know the fifth song was a deluxe edition exclusive. Was wondering why my copy was only four songs.  :-[

When my physical copy arrives from Germany, I can send that track to you if you want  :tup

Ah that'd be awesome, dude, thanks!

I've usually preordered Tangent albums through Amazon and when they've shown up, they've always had the bonus track, so it threw me off that I wound up with the standard edition for once. Woops!
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Offline RoeDent

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I didn't know the fifth song was a deluxe edition exclusive. Was wondering why my copy was only four songs.  :-[

I didn't even realize there was a "standard edition". Usually InsideOut put "bonus tracks" on even when that's the only version you can buy.

Online The Letter M

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I didn't know the fifth song was a deluxe edition exclusive. Was wondering why my copy was only four songs.  :-[

I didn't even realize there was a "standard edition". Usually InsideOut put "bonus tracks" on even when that's the only version you can buy.

I've seen a jewel case version of the album posted by someone in the Tangent Facebook group. I assume that's the "stamdard" edition that is missing the bonus track, which seems exclusive to the digipaks and gatefold vinyl versions of the album.

A quick look at Discogs shows me that it seems like this is the first time since their earlier albums that they've released two different CD versions of their album. I'm guessing this was a label thing from Inside Out and/or Sony Music.

And speaking of Sony Music, they've apparently produced a single LP vinyl version of their debut album without Andy's consent or knowledge. He'll get residual pay for those sales but they didn't even bother asking him for the music or artwork (which will probably be blown up from the CD and not look that great). It's an odd situation altogether.

-Marc.
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Online The Letter M

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Re: The Tangent Official Thread - 13th Album, "To Follow Polaris" May 10th
« Reply #221 on: March 08, 2024, 06:24:24 AM »
https://thetangent.org/polaris?fbclid=IwAR23UMw9_FsGFnTgAwNrzB10ZC5QWzybjE1Ja4N6REFkMByKUcLFZ3TRtlg

Andy Tillison has officially unveiled the next Tangent studio album, worked on entirely by himself from conception to release, but it's not the end of the band! Andy has already begin work writing the 14th album, which will include Jonas, Steve, Luke, and Theo as usual.

Quote

The Tangent (For One) announce new studio album ‘To Follow Polaris’; launch first single ‘The North Sky’

‘To Follow Polaris’ is a new "full on" Progressive Rock album by The Tangent, set to be released on the 10th May 2024. That's not necessarily a surprise, that's what the band are known for. But at the same time, it's something else too. As Andy jokes, playing on the Jaws strapline, he says "well this time it's actually no personnel".

To coincide with the announcement, they have launched a video for the track ‘The North Sky’, albeit in an edited form. Watch it now here
https://youtu.be/x5CAzcKZXvA
 
In a year when members of The Tangent could be seen onstage all over the world with Steve Hackett, Soft Machine, Karnataka, David Cross, It Bites, Cyan and others, plus on recordings by those artists and The Anchoret, The Michael Dunn Project, Argos and Retreat From Moscow, it became clear that there was not going to be time to get together for anything more than one gig in April 2023.

So the band agreed that the band’s leader/main writer Andy Tillison would keep the material coming and would make an album by The Tangent entirely alone. It would still be The Tangent. Just for one.

"Besides Which" Andy says, "I've always wanted to do this, use what I have learned from Luke, Jonas, Steve, Theo and many other alumni and take it to final production. Now was the time!"

What transpired over the following year is in one sense an "absolutist" solo album and is entirely the work of one person in all aspects including artwork, layout, design, lyrics, composition, performance, recording, production, mixing, mastering and authoring. But in another sense it's totally Tangent. "I could not have begun to make this record without having had the experiences of working with the band. So although the different instruments are not attempted to be played in the actual style of the normal lineup, they are inspired by the kind of things these guys do"

‘To Follow Polaris’ will be available as a Limited Deluxe Collector’s Edition CD Mediabook (including bonus track and extensive 24-page booklet, Gatefold 180g 2LP vinyl (also including bonus track), & as Digital Album. Pre-order now! http://thetangent.org

1.   The North Sky 11:36
2.   A ‘Like’ In The Darkness 08:19
3.   The Fine Line 08:04
4.   The Anachronism 21:01
5.   The Single (From A Re-Opened Time Capsule) 05:51
6.   The North Sky (Radio Edit) 03:42
7.   Tea At Bettys (Bonus Track) 17:32


Produced between January and November 2023, the album features Andy using his multiple keyboards system as normal, but adds to the mix his first ever released performance on Bass Guitar and his second on stick driven (electronic) drums. Add electric and acoustic guitars and electronic wind controller and this is a full band recording in every sense of the word. A recording which shows Andy's lifelong influence by artists such as Yes, Van Der Graaf Generator, Porcupine Tree, Groove Armada, Earth Wind & Fire, Roger Waters and his bands, Return To Forever, Deep Purple, Gentle Giant, Steely Dan and any band featuring the keyboard player Dave Stewart.

Conceptually Andy claims the album is, ahem, "highly optimistic" but regular listeners to his work will anticipate correctly that this optimism will not be ill founded or over-easy and will be highly critical of obstacles to that optimism and the album will look as much into the dark as it does into the light.

The album is intended to be thought of as a regular Tangent album - but not as the future of the band. It's everyone’s intention to make the FOURTEENTH album as The Tangent. For Five.

The Tangent online:
http://thetangent.org
https://www.facebook.com/groups/alltangentmembers/

INSIDEOUTMUSIC ONLINE:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
https://www.instagram.com/insideoutmusic/



-Marc.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2024, 07:38:35 AM by The Letter M »
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Offline Nel

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Re: The Tangent Official Thread - 13th Album, "To Follow Polaris" May 10th
« Reply #222 on: March 09, 2024, 09:27:37 AM »
So it's a solo album but also not a solo album. Weird but I'll vibe with it.
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Online The Letter M

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Re: The Tangent Official Thread - 13th Album, "To Follow Polaris" May 10th
« Reply #223 on: March 09, 2024, 02:05:09 PM »
So it's a solo album but also not a solo album. Weird but I'll vibe with it.

Yeah, there's quite a backstory behind it. It was originally going to be a project titled "Tangent For One" or T41, with just Andy alone, but he had some issues and the album production got delayed. Inside Out offered him to release it and allow for more funding behind it, but they wanted it to be released as a Tangent album proper, so he took up the deal and now it's finally coming out.

As the press release says, though, the other members have been quite busy with their own projects and bands, so I respect Andy for wanting to put this out as a Tangent album, especially after getting their blessing on it. Maybe some day they'll play this material live and we'll hear what it would sound like with the full band!

Regardless, I'm excited for it. Any year that there's new Tangent music is a great year for music for me, but to also get new music from my other favorite band (Big Big Train) as well, we're off to a great start in 2024 for prog music!

-Marc.
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Offline RoeDent

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Re: The Tangent Official Thread - 13th Album, "To Follow Polaris" May 10th
« Reply #224 on: April 07, 2024, 01:47:55 PM »
Why are they blocking me from the Facebook group? Same with BBT why did they block me too?

Offline RoeDent

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Re: The Tangent Official Thread - 13th Album, "To Follow Polaris" May 10th
« Reply #225 on: April 08, 2024, 07:43:34 AM »
Somebody answer me please. Letter M I'm looking at you specifically as I know you're on there as well. How are they just allowed to block people without even giving them a chance? I will keep bumping this until I get an answer.

Online The Letter M

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Re: The Tangent Official Thread - 13th Album, "To Follow Polaris" May 10th
« Reply #226 on: April 08, 2024, 08:24:45 AM »
Somebody answer me please. Letter M I'm looking at you specifically as I know you're on there as well. How are they just allowed to block people without even giving them a chance? I will keep bumping this until I get an answer.

I'm not sure, and I'm definitely not the guy to ask. I do not moderate any of those FB forums and I'm just a member like anyone else. If you want to message the mods or even band members themselves, feel free, as I'm sure they could tell you more than I could. TBH, I rarely visit those forums anymore anyway, maybe like once a week or less frequently, and only pop in often when new album cycles happen, but that's about it.

-Marc.
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Online The Letter M

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The new album by Andy, released as The Tangent, is now out! You can stream it on bandcamp and all the usual places, as well as buy it on several CD and vinyl formats.

Andy sent out his batch earlier this week so it'll be a bit before I get my physical disc, but being a MegaFan preorderer, I've heard the album in some stages of completion and mixing in the past few months. I haven't given it a full spin today with the release version, but I have started listening to the back catalog lately during my commutes to and from work. I currently have The World That We Drive Through in my car CD player and those first two Tangent albums are some of my favorite prog albums of the early 00s. Top notch stuff.

-Marc.
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