Canadian multi-instrumentalist Rick Miller has been busy this year as Unstuck In Time is his second release in the year 2020. A couple of months ago Miller released Belief In The Machine (see review), a more than excellent album, and now he comes up with his 14th studio album Unstuck In Time.
The nine new tracks are again a wonderful blend of musical characteristics from bands like Pink Floyd, Camel and The Alan Parsons Project; especially the guitar solos played by Barry Haggarty are a treat to my prog rock ears and make this a must have album for fans of Steve Hackett. The title track is based on Kurt Vonnegut's book Slaughterhouse Five and the album kicks off with The Plague, featuring a rather “spooky” intro; with chiming church bells, cello and Floydish guitar sounds and solos. The song is filled with emotional vocals, breath taking guitar melodies and in the middle of this epic song you can hear a choir; an excellent way to start this album! The follow up song State Of Emergency is filled with goosebumps guitar melodies, rather “sweet” vocals and it starts with a high-pitched guitar solo. Next up is the first instrumental song of this album called Covid Concerto (horrible title for a song by the way...) and this one is really influenced by the sound of the Alan Parsons Project; especially the keyboards melodies and rhythms make me think of albums like The Turn Of A Friendly Card or Eye In The Sky. A complete filler (in my humble opinion) is the almost acoustic song La Causa, even the melodic guitar solo cannot save this rather redundant track! The last great song on this album is of course the epic title track, clocking in at over 11 minutes this is again a very complex song, filled with tempo changes, nice guitar melodies, great solos, and lots more to really enjoy.
Conclusion: Unstuck In Time features a couple of excellent prog rock songs, but alas also some “fillers”, which makes this a very inconsistent album, and it makes me think if two albums in one year is not a bit too much for Rick Miller; but then again you must make your own opinion of this album. If you liked Belief In The Machine then you probably also would like to purchase Unstuck In Time, go figure...
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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