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23.9.11

3 - 'The Ghost You Gave To Me' (metalblade) 3/5

OK, just clear up any confusion, this 3 are the American post prog outfit, not the short lived Keith Emerson project from the late 1980's, neither are they the hardcore punk out fit of the same name. This is this 3's sixth full length studio album and their fourth for metalblade.

First impressions are this album is very pleasant, there are 12 cuts on offer, all well played, produced and penned and over all I'm reminded a little of the likes of Styx and Rush in both terms of style and delivery. Vocalist Joey Eppard is has a very distinctive voice, sounding female in places and a touch like Geddy Lee or Jon Anderson in others.

However as pleasant and listenable as this record is it does contain very little in the way of a 'wow' factor. It does have its moments, such as on numbers like Numbers - the albums true stand out cut with some truly epic riffage and snappy drum work, the title track with some nice complex syncopated rhythm work and epic powerchordage and It's Alive with it's 'Yes-u-like' feel. However on a lot of the rest of the record the band seam content to bounce between competent but forgettable stadium rock and the same old acoustic 'away-with-the-fairies' fodder we so often get fobbed of with as prog rock these days.

The over all result, for me at least, is that I am finding this album very hard to get into, just when you hear a track and think its getting good, the next song comes along and lets you down. All this results in a very patchy album that promises lots but doesn't quite deliver when you want it to. I get the feeling that this album is trying to be all things to all people; progressive, prog metal, stadium rock, indie, alternative... and is danger of falling down the gaps between multiple stools as it tries but just fails to touch all bases.

This album basically is a basket of missed opportunities, and if 3 could work out exactly what sort of band they wanted to be and worked towards that end they could produce something remarkable, but at the moment they are firmly in the also ran camp.

for fans of... Porcupine Tree, Wishing Tree, Crowded House, Rush....

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