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Compass: Theory Of Tides
Compass - Theory Of Tides Album Art

Compass: Theory Of Tides

Melodic Progressive Rock
5.0/5.0

For the past three decades composer and multi-instrumentalist Steven Newman has been recording under his own moniker, simply Newman. His discography over that time has been classic AOR melodic hard rock. This genre motif may continue, perhaps, except for the fact that Newman had other musical ideas he wished to explore. Music and genres that went beyond classic rock. The result is his melodic progressive rock project Compass project which released their first album, Our Time On Earth in 2020.

Steve Newman Click For Larger Image

Steve Newman

Now, Newman and Compass return with their follow-up recording, Theory Of Tides. It's a concept album based upon the life and science of Galileo Galilei which centers around a three song suite Laws Of Nature Dialogue. As mentioned with the previous Compass album, Newman was greatly influenced by classic prog in its various rock and metal forms. He lists as influences such bands as Saga, Dream Theater, Rush, Pink Floyd, and It Bites.

Compass songs, then, rely both two foundations: the accessibility of classic rock and the intriguing, somewhat technical, arrangements of classic prog. The latter is self-evident by the rock rhythm and groove, and the attention to guitar and vocal harmony, with all things wrapped in song melody. This is quite notable within Searching For Answers, the heavier, punchier, Assayer, but immensely vital within Once In A Lifetime. If a new film needs a trailer segment, an album needs a song with single capability. Once In A Lifetime is that song, especially with its chorus.

But the song is also prog rock, and so a hybrid. Yet, the expansiveness and breadth, the intrigue, of melodic prog rises mightily within Mountains Of The Moon, the title cut and, as aforementioned, the suite Laws Of Nature Dialogue. Moreover, considering all the songs, I found three things that rose to the top: one and two, Newman's piano lines and guitar solos. The former is notable within Mountains On The Moon; the latter, everywhere. Not to be forgotten, Ben Green continues to excel as significant melodic vocalist

Most things considered, Compass' Theory Of Tides is another strong, creative, and entertaining album of classic melodic progressive rock. If Steve Newman goes back to his classic rock project, so be it. But with Compass, he has found his musical muse and future. Easily recommended.




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The Take Away

Compass' Theory Of Tides is another strong, creative, and entertaining album of classic melodic progressive rock. If Steve Newman goes back to his classic rock project, so be it. But with Compass, he has found his musical muse and future. Easily recommended.

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