Perhaps the best place to start with this review is to explain what this album is about by lifting information from the press material. First, the proper title is Corky Laing and the Perfect Child Perform Original Music from Test: The Rock Opera. Laing, of course, is the legendary drummer from Mountain fame.
Laing teams up with two acclaimed philosophers, Prof. Matti Hayry and Dr. Tuija Takala, in a joint effort that brings together '70s style music and the contemporary moral problems of gene technology. Additional PR notes add: "While Playing God is a rock album, it is also a soundtrack to a rock opera. It takes the listener to tomorrow's world by introducing the small town of Happyville, where the people have enjoyed the benefits of genetic engineering for years without any thought. There's a man who sells science and parents seeking to perfect their children, there are difficult choices and the need to find someone to blame when things don't go to plan." Hopefully, some of this is beginning pique your interest.
From the concept then to the vehicle that delivers it, the music, Playing God is a rock opera in the true sense of the word. There are players and parts voicing characters and telling the conceptual story. Corky Laing is one of them, and has a surprisingly good singing voice, a bit raspy, still melodic.
The music itself ranges in flavor and tempos, but could simply be best described as classic melodic rock with some light prog nuances. While it definitely has a Seventies to early Eighties vibe, it sounds fresh. There some heavier songs like Crying Shame or Here Is Our Blood, but also lively and brisk like College Girls. Sometimes the two styles merge as with My Brother's Gonna Die, effectively communicating the character's anger about the impending death of her brother. There are several rather short pieces that are used keep the story flowing or offer more detail such as Revelations 1 with a voiceover acoustic guitar. Ultimately, while listening to the music, it's best to have CD booklet in hand to follow along; the formatting is clean, clear, and easy to read.
It's unclear what direction the project is taking. It has been performed live at a premier in Basil, Switzerland this past month. Unless a tour is in the future, you'll have to settle for the CD. Playing God is definitely novel and quite entertaining, and certainly honors the tradition of classic rock operas like Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar. Recommended. Check out the medley below.
Playing God is definitely novel and quite entertaining, and certainly honors the tradition of classic rock operas like Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]