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Island - Pictures

Click on the album cover to hear a RealAudio sample.

Dark, disturbing, percussive, and theatrical are words that come to mind when listening to this unique album from the mid 70's. Influences include early Peter Gabriel, Gentle Giant, Il Balleto Di Bronzo, ELP, and even John Cage. "Empty Bottles", the 23-minute bonus track, is almost worth the price of the CD. It is quite different from the first 5 tracks, and emphasizes complex jamming(improvised?). A couple of the last tracks from the original album tend to drag a bit due to slow tempos. But, after the complex sections in the first 4 tracks, the slower tempos at the end of the album are more than a welcome relief.

Compositions: 9.5/10
Vocals(in English): 8/10
Recording Quality: 9/10

Welcome - Welcome

Did Welcome hire Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, and Steve Howe to provide vocals for their 1976 debut release? Maybe not, but you could probably fool a few Yes-fanatics with this CD. In fact, the music sounds like something from the Tales From Topographic Ocean recording sessions with vocal sections dominating most of the 5 songs. The excellent instrumental sections, although short in duration, feature intricate Rickenbacker bass lines, fluid and very memorable Moog soloing, beautiful Hammond organ, and the mellotron. Fans of Yes will love to have this album in their collection.

Compositions: 9/10
Vocals(in English): 8/10
Recording Quality: 8.5/10