Joined: June 2009
||Posted: July 08 2010, 19:11
|Quote (Ugo @ July 08 2010, 08:02)|
|@ starfish: TB isn't prog simply because it's everything. And simultaeously it's nothing. What I mean is that "progressive rock" to me is a label, and you just can't label TB.|
Labelling of music is a good thing, because it gives us a common frame of reference when discussing music. But the lines do blur, and different people draw the line in different places.
For example, what's the dividing line between 'pop' and rock'? Which side would, for example, Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' fall under?
On the other side, a friend of mine is into heavy metal, a music scene where there are nearly as many sub-genres as there are actual bands (Neo-Thrash-Operatic-Viking-Deathcore, anyone?).
Although we like to say that some of Mike's music (in this case TB) is simply unclassifiable, that always sounds a bit snobbish to me. Almost as if other bands aren't fit to be classed in the same league!
To me, the main thing that makes TB stand out is the sheer depth and number of instruments, which certanly lend the album a depth that traditional prog bands (such as the five-piece Genesis, for example) couldn't hope to match.
Hence you have TB's classical-style complexity, with lots of different instruments all doing different things at once. This is great, because the listener can hear the album loads of times, and never get bored because there is always something different in the mix to latch on to.
This doesn't really apply to other prog acts, such as ELP, who could obviously only play three or four instruments at once!
I'd probably also add that TB probably outdoes a lot of other prog rock by the sheer emotion it engenders. Whereas Yes were mystical, Genesis were whimsical and King Crimson were aggressive, TB is a lot more nuanced emotionally than its peers. This is a sweeping generalisation of course, but TB has an emotional core that the moog-and-mellotron bands just can't muster.
Pink Floyd could be blissed-out and ELP could be bombastic... but TB can foster multiple states of mind, sometimes even at the same time!
So yes, I would still argue that TB shares a number of characteristics with Prog Rock - the tendency towards side-long compositions, the shifting and unusual time-signatures, the reliance on cutting-edge technolgy, the ambiguity of meaning, the musical complexity, the mix of seriousness with whimsy.
But just because it might fall into that category doesn't mean it can't sparkle like a gem and stand out proudly when placed amongst its comtemporaries.