Exposé Online banner

Leon Alvarado — The Future Left Behind
(Melodic Revolution MRRCD 221, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-11-01

The Future Left Behind Cover art

For listeners hungering for a keyboard-heavy concept album along the lines of Rick Wakeman’s early work (Journey to the Centre of the Earth or King Arthur) might find some sustenance in this release by Venezuela-born keyboardist Leon Alvarado. Eight instrumental tracks are separated by shorter tracks featuring narration presenting a scenario (not really a story) about a future Earth where pollution and over-population have left the planet nearly uninhabitable and mega-corporations have built colonies in orbit, on the moon, and on Mars, offering escape to those who can afford it, and leaving behind those who can’t. Alvarado handles a multitude of keyboards as well as sequencing, drums, and percussion; he is joined by Rick Wakeman himself on additional keyboards, the omnipresent Billy Sherwood on guitar, Johnny Bruhns (Sherwood’s bandmate in Circa) on one track, and narrator Steve Thamer. The music is pretty much what you’d expect — big, melodic, sometimes bombastic, and impeccably played. When compared with Wakeman’s Journey, the most obvious difference is the prevalence of digital keyboard sounds, with only occasional vintage tones. There are a few parts where it seems the intention is to present an orchestral sound, and they wisely choose not to go too far in this direction, as it is by far the weakest material on the album. Another difference is that (in spite of what the promotional blurbs say) there is no story here, just dry statements about the setting, informing us how many hours a day the colonists work and what kinds of furnishings they have in their lodgings. This might be interesting if we had a character to put in the setting, but as it is, you’ll want to skip all of the narration after the first time through. Of course, there are many prog fans who think that Journey to the Centre of the Earth represents some of the worst of progressive rock — obviously this album is not for you. But for listeners who are happy with recent incarnations of Yes, this should be a welcome addition to their collections.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Rick Wakeman, Billy Sherwood, Leon Alvarado

More info
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/leonalvarado5

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cafeine - La Citadelle – I'd first heard of these guys a few months ago via their contribution to the A Propos d'Ange compilation, their song being one of the highlights of that disc. La Citadelle is the band's...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues