Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Everybody Loves Mail

One of the great things about writing CD reviews is being sent music from record companies, music that I would have never known about. Most of the time it's stuff that doesn't strike any inner chords but every now and then one resonates big time. Frost* is one such band.

Their first album, Milliontown, was a glorious mix of progressive rock. Yeah... that prog rock stuff. Except this isn't the self-indulgant stuff of today or the mellotron-drenched stuff of the 70s. Frost* is the creation of Jem Godfrey, some big time British pop producer who's done work with Atomic Kitten and various Walt Disney projects. Because of this pop music background he is able to make songs with instant appeal, songs that hook you on the very first listen, songs that nearly sound normal. However he's also able to add an amazing amount of depth to his music, making those "nearly normal" songs slowly reveal their nuances with each listen. In a nutshell it's the kind of music I love: well-written glossy rock/pop with enough intelligent progressive to keep you interested but not so many that you feel like you're doing calculus with each listen.

So Milliontown was a couple of years ago and there was nothing else I could find out on this band. A search for the band name brings up a Swedish dance-music duo or some other such rot. I figured Milliontown was just an amazing one-off project, never to be repeated (Toy Matinee, anyone?). Yesterday I opened a package and received a jolt of electricity through my brain... a new and completely unexpected album by Frost*!

It's currently spinning now for the first time and those immediate-gratification hooks are digging deep. It's like a surprise mini-birthday party for my brain!

Hear some samples here and surely you'll think I'm a dolt. But a happy dolt!

Also enclosed in the package was a massive 3-CD + 1 DVD retrospective set from Ayreon. I wished I liked this guy's music but despite trying to get into his past three albums I get nothin'. I mightily enjoyed his Stream of Passion project but his regular stuff... meh. What am I missing?

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