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Cairo — Cairo
(Magna Carta MA-1081-2, 1995, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-07-01

Cairo Cover art

Having heard the Frog Pest sampler tape, I was expecting quite a bit, as Cairo's long 20 minute cut (that appears here as well) was very promising. The track was a cross between complex keyboard fronted progressive rock and a more accessible Asia/Saga/Pendragon melodic rock style more typical of the Magna Carta label. It had some excellent instrumental sections with great dynamics and technical virtuosity. After hearing the full CD, I must admit I was disappointed, as the remaining tracks, although long and involved, fit neatly into the bombastic neo-progressive style. They certainly do it better than most, filling in the cracks with lots of synths and Hammond. After the introduction (also on Frog Pest) there are several songs with lots of accessible vocals – I hear Asia, Pendragon, Queensrÿche, Toto, Magellan, Dream Theater, and others. Although I can't admit to liking this type of music a whole lot, as the more commercial moves sound quite trite, this certainly is one of the better neos around. I'd like to hear more of the Hammond as at times they approach the classic Italian 70s stuff. Recommended to neo/ELP fans.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 7, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Cairo

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