Benjamin Croft -
We Are Here To Help

(CD 2024, 46:23, Galactic Receiver)

The tracks:
  1- The Age Of Magrathea(7:13)
  2- We Are Here To Help(5:08)
  3- You Made Me Miss(6:47)
  4- Caught In The Flypaper(6:13)
  5- Same Siders(5:05)
  6- Wrestling With Plato(6:48)
  7- Lower Moat Manor(4:49)
  8- She Flies Softly On(5:40)

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To be quite honest I really did not know Benjamin Croft, however he released his first album in 2019 and the songs were all a blend of jazz fusion and classical and prog rock. Croft's second album Far And Distant Things (see review) was released in the summer of 2021 and now after two years working on it , keyboarder, composer and producer Croft releases his latest album called: We Are Here To Help.

On this album, keyboard player Benjamin Croft had the pleasure of collaborating with excellent musicians like: Simon Phillips (drums), Marco Minneman (drums), Billy Sheehan (bass guitar), Stu Hamm (bass guitar), Greg Howe (guitar), Mike Stern (guitar), Frank Gambale (guitar) and Jeff Scott Soto and Lynsey Ward on vocals. Four of the eight tracks are instrumental and especially tracks like The Age Of Magratha and You Made Me Miss are the musical highlights of this album, as they are packed with infectious melodies and you probably hear musical elements from bands like Yes, King Crimson, Dream Theater, Transatlantic and The Flower Kings here.

The four tracks with vocals are also rather proggy, although the title track, featuring Soto on vocals is rather poppy as the chorus of that one is even catchy indeed. Caught In The Flypaper and Wrestling With Plato - both rather extraordinary song titles - feature the female vocals of Lynsey Ward (Caligula's Horse and Borealis) and especially in Caught In The Flypaper, Ward really shines indeed.

We Are Here To Help is a 100% well-crafted melodic progressive rock album that will certainly appeal to fans of bands like Protocol, Planet X, Sons Of Apollo and Yes, as it is a remarkable mix of fusion, prog and metal. No fillers here, just pure memorable music, so check it out indeed!

***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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