"This CD confirms that Brand X continues to be one of the greatest fusion bands ever! Of their prior releases, some are better than others like Unorthodox Behaviour and Morroccan Roll, but none totally disappoint. I was lucky enough to see them live during the early years but had not kept up with the recent CD's until I bought this one. Since buying this disc about a week ago, I've probably played it 10 times! The first three tunes are some of the best Brand X has ever written. These guys put it together so well, I thought the paint was going to melt off the walls!! The other tunes range from good to very good and the more I here them the more I like them as well. As another reviewer stated, you will not be disappointed."
Brand X "gits funky"
R. L. MILLER | FT LAUDERDALE FL USA | 09/29/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"They've done this in the past, back in the days of "Masque" and "Do They Hurt", when where they'll do one or two numbers with a "steppin' out" rhythm (examples: AWB's "Pick Up the Pieces" and Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done For Me Lately"), but fully half of this album has that same quarter note-driven rhythm. It's an interesting mix--that sort of beat behind guitarist Goodsall's crisp tonalities. The track "Virus" at nearly eight minutes is the longest one they've done in at least fifteen years. This album isn't as minimalist as its predecessor "Xcommunication", which was based almost entirely on guitar, bass and drums--they use a session keyboarist occasionally, along with some new MIDI-powered synth and sampler tonalities done by Goodsall (why let Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew hog all the fun?). Oh yeah, there are two bonus tracks here not listed here (or even on a guess-what sticker on the shrinkwrap) which bump the total album time up to 12 tracks and over an hour running time--live versions of one classic from the original period and a drum solo. They sound to me like recent performances rather than archive stuff--the crowd noises sound like club instead of arena. So apparently they're touring again--is there a "Livestock II" in their future?"
M. Atkinson | Bakersfield, CA (new orleans)USA | 03/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The pleasure inherent in listening to John set a fire to his acoustic guitar in "Five Drops" is enough to recommend the album in and of itself however that isn't all the Brand X boys are offering on this album. Their typical tirade of tightly fused jazz and well orchestrated tracks combine with Goodsalls' mercurial guitar style to create the ultimate, and always progressive, jazz fusion style that is expressed in all of Brand Xs' work."
Good Fusion and Flashy Guitar
M. Atkinson | 10/27/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good fusion album, with lots of simple back-beat drumming, great bass work and scorching single-note runs from guitarist John Goodsall. There is a bit of repetition on many of the cuts, but as a whole I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the first four tracks, the seventh one and I loved the ninth one, "Operation Hearts and Minds", which is worth the admission alone."
A bit of a disappointment!
R. L. MILLER | 10/08/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a long time Brand X fan I was really psyched to see a new offering. It was a bit disappointing - not a bad record, but kind of flat and repetitive. Uninspired and not worthy of comparison with the Brand X we knew! If you only buy one Brand X CD to replace the vinyl, make it "The Plot Thins" - it is a good retrospective. Better yet buy all the original discs - they are all worth it!!"