Seminal, and some would surely say legendary, English prog rock band It Bites has been resurrected since their reunion in 2003. However, the bands form has changed as they have revived their career. Tall Ships is their first album of original material since their reunion and the first, geez, in twenty years. I barely remember those days, and haven't paid much attention to what has transpired over the last several years. However, this I can tell you: what's happening now with It Bites is a sound and promising development. Tall Ships is an inspired and beautiful work that finds the bands transcending their past.
This album is not progressive rock, at least not in the classic sense, is some call their earlier work. Frankly, there's a more accessible melodic rock sensibility that informs the whole coming mostly from even, less complex, melodic arrangements, essential harmonious vocal arrangements, and clever ear-catching guitar work. Songs like Ghosts, Playground, and the unique The Wind that Shakes the Barley defy necessary comparisons to their former catalog simply because of their profound, near pop, sensibility. Maybe the aforementioned characteristics can be called progressive rock when in the deft hands of It Bites. But still something more, and equally better and different. At first I was perplexed, but once the music flows over you Tall Ships compels and delights. Quite recommended!