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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Dec 30th, 2015

Plastic Yellow Band: Above Gravity

Above GravityPlastic Yellow Band
Above Gravity
(Isi Music, LLC)

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Plastic Yellow Band’s new album, Above Gravity, begins with a “21-minute musical journey dedicated to all who have lost someone they deeply loved.” This opener, “Starlight,” with it’s tinkling piano opening by Gerry thrusts us deep into stark sadness, some subtle harmony, slowly growing string effects, and then Karl Derrick slips in with some solid drumming and we are on our way. As to be expected (and, thankfully, for a tune this long), things do switch up; there’s as much heavy band jamming (with Joe Hurt on bass, Derrick and second guitarist Joe Smith) cut with moments of that beginning piano vibe and acoustic guitar with light, electric guitar touches, vocal harmonies, and even some neat-o prog rock jazz stuff rolling on up an organ leading and guitar. The whole concoction ends back with lilting guitar intertwined lines to the “I stand alone” lyric with piano and vocals, then a soaring lead and full band climax. There are yet other tunes here, including the piano-led march, “America (Mother of Exiles),” with its wry lyric (again I was reminded of John Lennon), a rangy, distorted almost Lenny Kravitz-like, loud, guitar-led “Heaven Can Wait,” the beautifully-rich vocals around a mid-tempo guitar jangle of aching-for-a-lover “Pain,” and Gerry’s classically-influenced piano on ender “Dressed in Her Lace,” where the mix of vocals and beat sounds just like a good old mid-70’s hit from any number of AOR rock bands of that time. I liked this tune the most.

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Plastic Yellow Band: Above Gravity