Veteran prog rock band Crack The Sky is apparently one of those acts that doe not rest easily on is merits. The band has released more than 15 albums since the release of its self-titled debut album in 1975. In the time since its release, the band has let no more than four years pass between any of its albums. One would think that as much music as this band has released in the more than 40 years since its debut record’s release, the band would have slowed down a bit or even shown a hint of wear and tear in its music. The band’s latest outing – Tribes — however, says quite the opposite, as is evidenced in its musical and lyrical content. ‘Another Beautiful Day’ is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statement. It will be discussed shortly. ‘Boom Boom,’ which comes later in the album’s hour-plus run time, does its own share to show what makes the album such a strong new offering from Crack The Sky. It will be addressed a little later. ‘Dear Leaders,’ one of the album’s early entries, is yet another way in which the record shows the band’s continued success and strength. It will also be discussed later. When it is considered with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the record in whole a strong new offering from one of rock’s currently longest running bands.
Crack The Sky’s latest album Tribes is a positive new offering from the veteran prog-rock band. It is a work that shows despite staying so busy over the course of more than four decades, this band has not lost its step. That is proven in part through the song ‘Another Beautiful Day.’ Coming almost halfway through the album’s run, this song’s musical arrangement is a very King’s X style composition. That is evidenced in the song’s guitar arrangement and vocals. There is also a bit of a classic rock sensibility to the arrangement that adds to its interest. The two influences together make the arrangement overall an engaging and entertaining work. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The commentary in the song’s lyrical content adds to the appeal.
The lyrical content featured in ‘Another Beautiful Day’ is a social commentary. It opens with the song’s subject stating, “turn on the TV and I feel like screaming/I close my eyes and I hope I’m dreaming/get out of bed, but feel like going back/The world is having a heart attack/Another beautiful day.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “I got a feeling that big brother is watching me…Look out my window to see what’s going on/Another country heard from, hey, hey/Another beautiful day.” He then adds, “Nobody’s listening/Everybody’s screaming/I hold onto you/Baby, I’m scared/But I’ll take good care of you.” As noted at the start of this, the song’s lyrical content is clearly a commentary about everything going on in the world today. The way in which the commentary is delivered is rather sarcastic with a clear sense of cynicism. That would explain why the song’s musical arrangement is not the angry work that it could be. The arrangement works to help translate the noted almost disillusionment exhibited in the song’s lyrical content. Keeping all of this in mind, the song overall may not be necessarily unique in its lyrical content, but is still a sign that this band can effectively make a song that will resonate with audiences. It is just one of the songs that makes the band’s latest offering stand out. ‘Boom Boom,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another example of the album’s strength.
As is the case with ‘Another Beautiful Day,’ the musical arrangement featured in ‘Boom Boom’ is another clearly classic rock-influenced composition. Front man John Palumbo’s slightly gritty vocal delivery and keyboard performance works with the guitars, bass and drums to give the song another King’s X vibe. What is important to note here is that the song is not just a re-hashing of the previously discussed arrangement. It is still its own unique work whose laid back groove will keep listeners engaged and entertained. It works with the song’s lyrical content to add even more appeal to the work.
Palumbo’s vocals are not as easy to decipher here without a lyrics sheet to reference. However, what can be deciphered leads to the interpretation that the song is about perhaps just that need to have someone. That is inferred as Palumbo sings near the song’s end, “Life is easy/When you’ve got someone who cares.” He goes on to mention the impact of “a nice meal ready in the kitchen” and “hot coffee” as well as apparently even intercourse. Looking through what can be deciphered here together with the mood set by the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements collectively make this song its own unique addition to the album. It becomes yet another aspect of Tribes that shows why this album is worth hearing, but not the last of the album’s most notable entries. ‘Dear Leaders,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another standout addition to the album.
‘Dear Leaders’ changes things up significantly in terms of its musical arrangement. Instead of the classic rock sensibilities that run through the majority of Tribes, this arrangement instead opts for something a little more modern with its heavy percussion and its electronics. The best comparison that one can make here is to what Pink Floyd might sound like if it was still around today. The song has that kind of air about it in its arrangement. At the same time, one might even make a comparison to some of U2’s works from the mid to late 1990s here, too. It sounds like an odd combination of influences, but somehow it manages to work here. The melancholy mood established in the song’s musical arrangement does well to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme, which is its own socio-political commentary.
The commentary come right from the song’s outset as Palumbo sings, “Dear leaders/Are you watching/Dear leaders/Are you listening/Dear leaders/Are you watching/Dear leader/There’s something wrong with you/Dear leaders/Can’t see what’s in front of you/If I could/I’d make you all go away forever.” He continues, “Dear leaders/It’s not too late/Dear leaders/To put aside your hate/Dear leaders/To set your people free.” From there, he mentions that he’d “tell my wife not to go outside/tell my Jesus not to cry his eyes.” There is even a mention of the world committing its own suicide. Again, this plaintive message to the world’s leaders will resonate with plenty of listeners, especially considering how the song’s musical arrangement accompanies the lyrical theme. It is just one more song in whole that shows what makes Tribes a successful new effort from Crack The Sky. When it is considered along with the other two songs examined here and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole presents itself as a work that rock and prog rock fans alike will find is worth hearing at least once.
Crack The Sky’s new album Tribes is a positive new effort from the veteran prog rock band. It is a presentation that will appeal widely to rock and prog rock fans alike will enjoy. That is proven both through the album’s musical and lyrical content. Each of the songs examined here serves to support the noted statements. When they are considered with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole may not *ahem* crack mainstream radio, but will still appeal widely to plenty of audiences. Tribes is scheduled for release Friday through Carry On Music.
More information on Crack The Sky’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/officialcrackthesky.
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