Product - Earth

(CD 2008, 67.25, Flickertista Productions)

The tracks:
  1- America pt. 1(8:20)
  2- Edison(4:16)
  3- America pt. 2(1:22)
  4- Earth(4:45)
  5- 1893 Worlds Fair(2:49)
  6- Strange Transmission(6:36)
  7- White Dove(5:40)
  8- War Machines(5:59)
  9- Message(2:43)
10- Bedlam of the Street(5:15)
11- Samuel(3:05)
12- Valvular Conduit(3:26)
13- Lost in my Way(5:35)
14- World of Wonder(7:37)

Product Website                Flickertista Productions

Earth is the fourth effort of American duo Product. Singer Arman Boyles plays guitar and keyboards and Scott Rader plays drums and bass guitar. They started working together in 1990 in Los Angeles. Throughout the nineties, they collaborated in many projects, but it wasnít until 1999 that they made a road map to create their own concept albums.

Until now, Product used the four basic elements water, air, fire and earth as a source of inspiration, but also historical figures. In 2000, they released On Water, in 2003 Aire, in 2005 The Fire and in 2008 Earth, the last of the four elements. This concept album has been based on the life of the famous mechanical and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla and it reflects our relationship with technology. The music resembles the progressive art concept albums of the early seventies, but with a contemporary sound. I never heard music of this duo before, so I didnít know what to expect. For me, the first remarkable positive note is the voice of Arman, who reminded me a bit of David Sylvian (Japan) and of David Bowie. Second positive aspect is that Product uses a lot of ambient noises and soundscapes to build a certain atmosphere. 1893 Worlds Fair and Message, a copy of a short instrumental Pink Floyd track, are good examples of this way of working. Other excellent tracks are White Dove, War Machines and Lost My Way. World Of Wonder, the final and one of longest tracks is a special one. Itís a summery of all the ideas and styles Product used. It has several short, but beautiful guitar and keyboard solos.

Well, it took some time learning to appreciate this album, but in the end, Earth appeared to be a real revelation.

***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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