Canadian Rick Miller, multi-instrumentalist (bass guitar, vocals and keyboards), composer and producer, returns with his new (19th?) album called Altered States and it is again an old style progressive rock album with musical characteristics from the sixties and seventies; especially influenced by prog rock icons such as The Alan Parsons Project and Pink Floyd.
The opening track, being the title song, is also the longest and the best one of the entire album and it opens with a keyboard/synthesizers melody which really sounds like the intro of Pink Floyd's icon track Shine On You Crazy Diamond! Furthermore the guitar solo/melody at the 2:30 mark is really David Gilmour-like all over, beautiful, breath taking and dreamy indeed; hats off to guitar picker Barry Haggarty! The vocals of Miller are rather quiet and dreamy, sometimes almost whispering and remind me of the good old Moody Blues. Wolf Moon, clocking in over nine minutes is again a rather soft, atmospheric track with lots of sounds - a howling wolf indeed as well - beautiful flute passages - hello Camel indeed!- and awesome guitar melodies and solos. Borrowed Time is also a very relaxed and almost laid back track, again with beautiful flute playing by Sarah Young and Giulia Cacciavillian creating a very soothing musical atmosphere. A Dream Within A Dream is a ballad-like song with acoustic twelve string guitar, dreamy vocals, but also a dreamy, melodic guitar solo in the middle, while the last song features cello, soundscapes and an eclectic guitar solo; nice ending to a very relaxed progressive rock album which is very suitable to listen and enjoy on your headphone.
Altered States is really an album to relax to in this most of the time very busy and hectic life! Listening tip: Wolf Moon!
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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