Quality: 3.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.75 out of 5
What we have here is an album that nicely straddles the crossroads between psychedelic rock, jazz and prog rock. Many of the longtime readers here may know that I'm pretty skeptical of the general 'prog' vibe, and the wankier side of that genre does rear its head here. If you are a prog head, you will likely enjoy this more than I do. Still, there are several stand-out tracks hanging out on this album, and it's a reasonable diverse sounding affair.
You'll basically find three kinds of tracks here: the lengthy, prog-influenced epics; some shorter single-ready tracks; and several oddball, brief instrumental throw-aways. I'm most attracted the the poppier stuff on this one. "Star Dreams (Nebulous)" is a fine piece of sunshine pop, of course featuring harmony vocals along with some nice West Coast style guitar and bass parts that occasionally veer into Frank Zappa territory. Near the end of the album we find "Million Dollar Bash," which channels in a touch of freakish garage rock into the fold. The long form tracks don't completely hold my attention, but those with an affinity for the jazzier side of prog will dig them. I would tag "In My World" as the best of that bunch as it sort of resembles a sunshine pop prog epic, if that makes any sense.
I don't think I'm quite in the key target group for the Music Asylum. There is a good amount of quality music present here (the short and annoying "Tube Along With Me" excepting), with crisp and clean production helping out considerably. I would have liked for them to explore the sunshine pop vibe a little more, but I'm sure plenty of you out there will find much to appreciate with the proggier approach. As much as I hate to say it, there are more than a few moments here that make me think of the "Jazz Oddysey" from the Spinal Tap movie when they're playing at the zoo in the wake of their lead guitarist quitting.