Exposé Online banner

Ezra — Shapes
(Cyclops 017, 1994, CD)

by Mike Grimes, Published 1996-03-01

Shapes Cover artAs heavily featured as keyboards are on Shapes, It is surprising that Ezra is a three piece outfit consisting of vocals/guitar, bass, drums — and no keyboards. In fact, I'd say that the keys are one of the highlights of the album. Often the tracks are assembled in such a way that they are thick yet sparse (if that makes any sense) — a wall of sound, but a lot of the keys especially are just chordal padding and doubling of the bass, and don't really add anything harmonically. With their simple arrangements and up-tempo writing, they remind me of Cheap Trick or The Police in places. The clean recording quality and smooth production certainly add to this. The songs sound like straight ahead rock numbers during the parts where there are vocals, but they stretch out and do more interesting things while in instrumental sections. If the songs had more diversity during those vocal sections, the tracks would be stronger for it. This is especially pertinent given the weakness of some of the lyrics — which really stands out in several places. Ezra is one of those bands which I'm sure are playing well below their abilities most of the time. I think they could make a better album by experimenting more in the vocal sections and varying their arrangements.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Ezra

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Unitopia - The Garden – It is quite ambitious for a group to issue a double CD of new material as their second release. Many groups are challenged to fill one disc with decent music, let alone two. In addition, much of the...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues