The one great pleasure of running your own musical project is getting to make the music you like. Bassist Jonas Reingold (Flower Kings) does that very thing, once again, on his fourth Karmakanic album In a Perfect World. And Reingold doesn't apologize for his influences, old and new, that appear throughout this work.
In press material, Reingold states, "When you're an artist/musician I think you're an antenna to the world, and that will always show. If there's a killer song on the radio that you hear ten times a day and you love it, it will show in your music. Not on purpose, of course, but that music gets stored in your head somewhere..." From pop to prog to fusion, draws from the classic sounds of Yes and Genesis, but also The Beatles, Styx, Deep Purple, Aryeon, Fates Warning and much more.
Clearly, the opening track 1969 channels that era and the early rise of English prog. Then Turn It Up moves in a melodic and popular, even anthem arena, rock motif akin to Genesis in the early 80's 'threesome' era. The rest of the album develops in comparable ways. The World is Caving In starts softly, but has moments both lively and heavy. The most exceptional piece, Can't Take It With You, mystifies with parts Latin rhythms, heavy rock, and catchy piano. There's Nothing Wrong with the World stirs emotions with a somber atmosphere contrasted against moments of brisk rock. Bite the Grit, the shortest song, begins mellow then kicks between piano painted segues; it's seemingly prog and pop. The closer When Fear Came to Town is minimalist: voice over acoustic guitar, sometimes with a blues feel, with piano, drums, bass making a more noticeable entrance in conclusion. It's somber, serious, and moving.
If this mixture of tunes sounds a bit eclectic or unorganized, then I would say take note of my first observation and, then, listen repeatedly to Karmakanic's In a Perfect World. Mostly, progressive rock should be innovative, but also catch the listener by surprise, and in that surprise also delight the listener. I believe In a Perfect World does this very thing. Quite recommended.
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Mostly, progressive rock should be innovative, but also catch the listener by surprise, and in that surprise also delight the listener. I believe In a Perfect World does this very thing.