Priority, Light is Decomposed into Fragments (Musea) Certainly not the kind of album I normally would associate with Musea, who supply the world with many much-needed and rereleases of French prog masterpieces, Priority's album is an intriguing but ultimately disappointing foray into guitar-oriented ambient music. It's not really that surprising that Priority don't sound like the bands I normally associate with Musea, since they're Japanese and current (I assume Musea's begun expanding their horizons, I haven't been keeping up with them lately). Each of the nine tracks on the album are supposed to represent one of fragments which light is decomposed into, except for the first and last tracks, which are simply entitled "Invisible." The first of these "Invisible" tracks is probably the most interesting piece on the album, as it creates a dark, disturbing atmosphere that manages to stay consist but in a state of flux. Most of the other tracks on the album don't achieve this nice balance, though - generally, Priority seems to overemphasize consistency without providing any motion or progression to keep things interesting (ok, ok, it worked for Tangerine Dream on Zeit but it doesn't seem to here). Most of the tracks seem to follow the same general pattern - a brief introduction by bass and/or percussion with some slightly concealed drones. This is good part. Then the guitar begins to embellish upon the atmosphere, which is still a good idea. Then things start going down the tubes, because after some inventive embellishing the guitarist seems to get bored or something and start soloing, and suddenly the song begins getting more and more tedious, with only my dedication as a reviewer stopping me from hitting the next track button. This pattern is followed on basically all of the tracks, with only variations in the length of the 3 sections ("Yellow," for example, goes almost immediately to the boring solo part while the aforementioned "Invisible" barely gets there before the track's over). However, for the part or so of each track, the album's pretty great. Maybe Priority thought that the extra time was needed to cement the mood of each track (I'm not really big into ambient music, so maybe dedicated listeners will appreciate this). Even so, I'd approach this album with caution, but at the same time keep my eyes on the 3 lads in the band, because they appear to have a good thing going for them - they just need more polishing and refinement. ~Jon Murphree~
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