CD Review for "EVOLUTION"





Ten Years After - Brand New CD Is A Brilliant Moment In Time!


Preface: Let The Music Do The Talking - As The Band Plays On!
I remember having many conversations with Herb about what the significance of this release would mean to the band. He and I both agreed that it would make or break it for Ten Years After. It's so damn unfortunate, that the cd has finally been released and our good friend isn't here to enjoy it with us, a real pity for all concerned.
With that in mind, I write this review with Herb's spirit close at hand.

Introduction - Metamorphosis of a Band

Is a good live recording of the bands new configuration being recorded for the very first time. In retrospect it's a little rough around the edges, and raw in performance. Joe was new to the band, and the band was giving him freedom and enough leeway to feel out the stage, the rhythm section behind him, and the audiences reaction, all at the same time.
It really turned out to be a wonderful live recording which I still listen to today.
This was the egg - the seed is sown - first stage Germany Concert

Was a breath of fresh air. Blowing out the Ten Years After of the past and igniting TYAN (Ten Years After Now) for all to see. Band and fans gave this release a positive thumbs up, and without any reservation. The songs were passionate, innovative and strong. The winds of change were elevating the band to brand new heights. The three original members were now being tested, shaken off their old secure ground and forced into new and uncharted territories. I can only imagine how scary this was for these tried and true music veterans.
They came out of this with flying colours, and felt inspired anew like never before.
This was the larva - second stage.

Another totally live cd, that shows the bands progression from "One Night Jammed".
TYA has always felt safe when it comes to their stage performance. Secure and sound.
They've never faltered live, and it was the perfect chance to stretch out collectively, while at the same time showcasing Joe's incredible talents. Fans old and new now embraced the band.
The momentum was building, new original songs were being added to their set list, and that's why their upcoming fourth release was such a pivotal point.
This was the pupa stage

Full Flight Freedom - Adult Stage - The Progression Is Complete

After a two year delay from their last release, "EVOLUTION" has finally arrived.
A studio album, put together and recorded between and during a heavy touring schedule.
With that being said, it's a miracle that the final results don't represent anything like the
Hop-Scotch - Hodge -Podge - Fast Paced - life style - that the band members have been living, during this hectic period.
What came out of this non stop road show with its temporary periods of mass confusion, is nothing less than a brilliant collection of new material, that's stronger, tighter and fuller sounding than ever before. High energy, passionate attitude, and innovative playing, that's Ten Years After at their very best, and that's their "EVOLUTION".

A lot of credit has to go to Joe Gooch, and his desire for perfection. His vocals are intense, yet measured. He has much more control which adds another dimension to the overall sound.
He uses his voice as a subtle instrument, and that provides the much needed links between emotions, instruments and message. Creating the perfect delivery on all fronts.
The same is true of his guitar work. It flows more fluently than ever, fewer notes and more passion and sensitivity. Measured responses, pacing himself - no more racing towards the finish line. He has learned so much and matured in such a short amount of time. He has helped take Ten Years After a dozen steps further, over a hump of minor resistance and into a place where everyone can now thank goodness, for saving the band from what once seemed like inevitable extinction.
That's what "EVOLUTION" is all about:  metamorphosis.

The same applies to Chick Churchill on this recording. His keyboard work is at times subtle and inspired. At other times it's frantic and driven, in order to complement Joe's frantic guitar work. Textures are created, moods are explored, and feelings are evoked. He weaves in and out between Joe's layers of guitar and vocals. It's like a hyper surgeon with two handfuls of cat-gut, stringing it all together, into stitches and then pulling it tighter and tighter.
I always wondered why Chick isn't a leader or even a follower. The reason is because Chick is just Chick, it's as simple as that. His talent is immense, his knowledge boundless, and his biggest asset is as supporter. He is the consummate team player, scoring a goal doesn't much matter to him, his consuming joy and passion comes from watching his team-mates scoring the goal and then enjoying all the accolades that go with being on the winning team.
If you listen to the entire Ten Years After catalogue, you'll see that this has always been the case. On this new release "EVOLUTION" Chick stepped forward to become a vital component.
He is right on target and hitting bulls eyes faster than you can count them.

Leo Lyons - Ric Lee:
When I asked them their thoughts on this new release, and if they were happy with the final results? Their response was about the same. They're much too involved to be objective at this point, so they left it up to me to decide for myself. So here it is.

Leo's song writing skills are all over this cd. Ten songs and it's Leo and a co-writer being listed as the author. His fantastic bass lines are holding up the bottom end with no problem.
Leo takes no credit for the production duties on this outing, and the liner notes prove this out. Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Mark Pullin - At Green Frog Studios.
Cover Design and Artwork by Tony Crooks and Leo Lyons
Cover Concept by Tom Lyons

Plays Mapex Drums, uses Paiste Cymbals, Janus Pedals and Vater Sticks.
Ric is a man of a thousand hats. All the good things that happen behind the scenes can be attributed to him.
He is the main cog in this moving and progressing juggernaut wheel.
Where he found the time to do his fine drumming contribution is beyond me.

Chick Churchill - Plays a Roland A-90 along with a Hammond XM-1
Joe Gooch - Guitar and Vocals - uses Custom Classic Guitars, combined with Marshall and Keltner Amplification
Leo Lyons - Plays Bass Guitar and uses Lakeland, Warmoth and Custom Classic Basses, along with Hughes and Keltner, and Mark Bass Amplification - he also uses, Nordstrand Pickups, and Elite Strings

Track List:

1. I Think It's Gonna Rain All Night - 4:25 (Lyons / Gooch)
2. She Keeps Walking - 5:55 (Lyons / Koller)
3. Why'D They Call It Falling - 6:30 (Lyons / Gooch)
4. She Needed A Rock - 4:30 (Lyons / Gooch)
5. My Imagination - 5:15 (Lyons / Gooch / Lee)
6. I Never Saw It Coming - 6:10 ( Lyons / Gooch)
7. Slip Slide Away - 4:35 (Lyons / Gooch / Lee)
8. Tail Lights - 4:35 (Lyons Gooch)
9. Angry Words - 8:25 ( Lyons / Gooch / Churchill / Lee)
10. That's Alright - 5:05 (Lyons / Gooch)

In Conclusion:
This recording is a brilliant masterpiece from a band that we would expect no less from, and yet continues to surprise everyone in everyway.
Hats off to Joe and Chick for exemplary and outstanding performances. Also to Leo and Ric for song writing skills and great bass playing (Leo) - To (Ric) Drumming and for keeping the band on the road to success, fame and fortune.

Excellent fold out cover
Cd is professional looking, with red, black background with white lettering.
Printed Lyrics to all songs included
Band photo inside
Autographed by the entire band, when ordered through the official TYA website

Review by Dave and Brigitte


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