Review Summary: It's sad to say, but Kevin Moore's talent does not shine near as strong on his solo project as it does with Dream Theater.
Kevin Moore is an enigma. Throughout his short lived tenure with Dream Theater and the years of his musical flexibility to play with Fates Warning and also build movie scores and unique side projects OSI and Chroma Key, Kevin Moore has always shown an aptitude for unparalleled songwriting. No matter what musical endeavor he is applied to, he turns a collected and thought-out release into a completely unfathomable masterpiece. Progressive metal fans have drooled over his work because of this, naming Images and Words
, A Pleasant Shade of Gray
as works that could not have held their ground today without his appearance on them. And it makes it all the more difficult to admit it, but Moore's appearance as an introvert personality has little effect when placed on its own. There's no punches, no cathartic lyrics, and only small amounts of tangible material that has obviously had something to do with the Chroma Key project being rather unfairly unnoticed.
Unlike the upbeat speak that started "Undertow" and "America the Video," things are foggy here at best, and even the lyrics are less cutting than the moments where he used to dance inbetween the worlds of poetry and storytelling. The beats drag with a grounded urgency, the words hit the ground and the ambience is impossible to see through. There's not much in the way of harmonic approach on "You Go Now" because Kevin decided to make his lower vocal range to be the highest melody of the song. Everything seems compressed under him for this reason, and there are tons of moments that are a passageway to highlighting bliss, and they're wasted. The bulk of the experience feels more like a psychiatrists re-reading of dialogue into a handheld recorder tape.
The drooling, mindless "Get Back In The Car" is truly an example of firm a bloated nature, even if it is a nice change to have something calmer than his past works. "Another Permanent Address" is what should have started the album due to it's pacing. "When You Drive" and "Subway" are possibly the worst by relying on excessive quotes and sound effects, making them feel more like an intro and outro placed awkwardly in the middle of the action. The moment that seems to truly benefit is his upbeat number "Astronaut Down." where Moore's instruments are pieced together flawlessly. From the mind that thought up the depressive expression behind "Lie," it still all seems abandoned in lieu of a more comfortable chair for Kevin to not be touring with thousands of raging fans screaming "play Space-Dye Vest!" There isn't anything to upset Moore here, or provoke his creative flow, and that's not a bad thing. He should be happy. but nevertheless his stream is all dried up. This is why OSI has succeeded so much more vastly, because the ambitiousness of playing with others has resulted in a stronger work than the dull and secluded experience of playing off of himself. He already should know that he is a genius at this stuff, and we respect his decision to be his own outlet for music expression.
No matter how genius Kevin Moore truly is, his prowess is surely is not applied strongly here. There aren't even any fills in the drum beats like his previous albums. There's little in the thought of a musical color, and there is hardly even any difference between the grey moods presented.
Get Back in the Car