English progressive rock always had a singular elegance above all others for me. Whether it was early Genesis, Pink Floyd, Marillion or others, there was a certain mystery and intrigue to be found in the compositions and presentation. Maybe it was a reaction to the noteworthy English resolve or possibly the unpredictable climate, English prog rock always seemed to be creative, passionate, and infinitely alluring. The new Fish album '13th Star' arouses all those memories and emotions. This is by far Fish's most accomplished and provocative work.
Throughout this work Fish excel on vocals which is to be expected. What is more glorious is breadth of song composition. Fish and company produce experiences and moods that cross many boundaries. There is excitement and thrills in a song like 'Square Go' which delivers a brilliant guitar work. There is softness and compassion in 'Miles De Besos.' Mystery defines meaning in 'Manchmal,' an interesting number that blends psychedelia with hard rock. I have heard that this work was to be a celebration of his forthcoming wedding. But the wedding was not to be. If this is the context, then 'Arc Of The Curve' is gentle, sweeping, and moving song of love longed for and lost. 'Openwater' demonstrates how prog rock can be heavy and soothing at the same time; the closing guitar solo is exceptional.
Derek William Dick, better known as Fish, has delivered a creative and versatile work in '13th Star,' his best and most coherent work in his long career. This is album you can listen to and explore over and over again. Very recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
'13th Star' is a most impressive album of English progressive rock and the best work in Fish's long musical career. Many artists long for that moment when the stars, history, and their talent congeal for that great work. This is the moment for Fish. '13th Star' is a brilliant work.
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