Somewhere beneath the level of timeless masterpiece status lies a group of albums whose quality and merit deserve categorization of something like "near-masterpiece." These are albums that have either achieved a Fishermetric score of between 90.0 and 87.0 or whose high points or quality level make it remarkable enough to remain affixed in my memory.
From the Year 2008, you will find below 6 albums releases deserving, in my opinion, of the "near-masterpiece" designation.
- Bruce Soord / vocals, guitar, string arrangements
- Steve Kitch / keyboards
1. "My Debt to You" (5:19) very pretty song with a great story (9/10)
2. "Shoot First" (4:12) (9/10)
3. "Sinners" (4:52) good song, unfortunately it's the most blatant PT ripoff on the album (8/10)
4. "The Sorry State" (4:11) starts out a bit too much like Song #1, but eventually claims its own identity. (8/10)
5. "Tightly Wound" (6:35) a refreshingly quirky song with adventurous electronics effects and heavily distorted guitar spurts. Great melodies--with attitude--and a nice symphonic finale. (9/10)
6. "My Bleeding Hand" (4:20) with its catchy electric guitar riffs it takes on quite a RADIOHEAD feel (9/10)
7. "Different World" (10:44) a great epic with quite a range of dynamic diversity (18/20)
8. "And So Say All Of You" (4:05) has quite a little LANDBERK/Reine FISKE feel to it. (9/10)
Total Time: 59:30
88.33 on the Fish scales = B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music.
12. BERSARIN QUARTETT Bersarin Quartett
A string quartet with no strings?!!
Thomas Bücker's "B3RSARiП QUAЯT3TT" is, contrary to the misleading title, a one man project of electronica. At times the strings sounds and arrangments are so clear and "authentic" sounding that one wonders if there isn't a classically-trained string quartet working with Thomas, but, no! It's all computer generated stuff! And wonderful it is! An example of prog electronic music that is truly taking the sub-genre into new dimensions.
The computer-generated music of this album is gorgeous, half the time feeling as if it were the computer-tampered treatments of the recordings of a string quartet, the other half sounding as if Christian Fennesz or Alva Noto had been programming and treating the computer/synthesizer music. Gorgeous songs in the vein of Ryuichi Sakamoto and/or Alexandre Desplat or Mark Isham soundtrack music with lots of space and atmosphere and yet a very powerful rhythmic sense. I cannot recommend this album more highly as I feel in it a pushing of the envelope of the potentialities for the crossover/synthesis of electronica and post chamber musics.
Five star songs: 9. "Endlich Am Ziel" (4:38) (10/10); 1. "Oktober" (6:25) (9.5/10); 3. "Inversion" (5:40) (9.25/10); 6. "Die Dinge Sind Nie So Wie Sie Sind" (8:03) (13/15); 7. "Nachtblind" (4:02) (9/10), and; 10. "Mehr Als Alles Andere" (5:47) (9/10).
Four star songs: 2. "Geschichten Von Interesse" (4:55) (8.5/10); 4. "St. Petersburg" (5:14) (8.6/10); 5. "Und Die Welt Steht Still" (8:51) (12.75/15); 8. "Es Kann Nicht Ewig Winter Sein" (4:27) (8.25/10)
88.04 on the Fishscales = B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and a refreshing entry to the Post Rock/Chamber Rock subgenre.
14. THOM BRENNAN Stories from the Forest
CYNIC Traced in Air