Exposé Online banner

Intelligent Music Project III — Touching the Divine
(Intelligent Music IMPCD03, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-10-28

Touching the Divine Cover art

I’m always saying “Quality is independent of genre,” and I believe it’s true that quality can be found in any style of music. Dr. Milen Vrabevski is a Bulgarian composer and producer whose music fits squarely in the genre of mainstream rock. This music attempts nothing beyond what has been done by Asia, Toto, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, and a thousand others. Saying this is not an automatic condemnation – I will grant that it’s possible to create good music in this style, and in fact some of the bands mentioned have done so. According to the website, some support for this Project comes from the Bulgarian Memory Foundation, with the goal of preserving and popularizing Bulgarian Cultural Heritage. I’m not sure how a CD full of music patterned after American and English rock of the 70s and 80s advances either of those goals, but it’s not my grant money to distribute. Vrabevski is aided in this venture by an all-star cast of American and English musicians, veterans of Asia, Toto, Bon Jovi, and so on, further obscuring the Bulgarian Culture connection. Lead vocals are by John Payne (some versions of Asia) and Joseph Williams (certain versions of Toto); lead guitar is by session wizard Tim Pierce (who has worked with nearly everyone on the planet from Celine Dion to Madonna, Springsteen, and Elton John); and the drums are handled by none other than Simon Phillips, who needs no explanation here. The music adheres closely to established traditions of the genre, with no surprises in the chord progressions or the melodies, and every note is immaculately placed and impeccably recorded. Given that the singers are native English speakers, it’s a little odd to hear them singing awkward lines like “See again me, see again our life! / Visions of you make me live! / It is so true we accept our strife / Hoping our love is to be.” I don’t necessarily have a problem with “uplifting” lyrics, but it helps if they are grammatically correct, make sense, and are not too preachy. “You’ve got the power of action. / What you achieve in sum / Is just your mind projection / Of your fate to come.” Really? This album is a must-have for die-hard fans of the John Payne version of Asia. For anyone else… approach with caution.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Simon Phillips, Intelligent Music Project (Milen Vrabevski)

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Amon Düül II - Carnival in Babylon, Wolf City & Vive la Trance – Revisited Records is busy reissuing classic Krautrock albums by Klaus Schulze, Kraan, Guru Guru, Holger Czukay, and Amon Düül II. These latest discs are Amon Düül II’s fourth, fifth, and sixth...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues