2008 starts off with the return of a long lost pal
in the progressive rock community: Tiles. Four long years has
passed since their latest album 'Window Dressing' saw the
light of day. And to all the fans that felt a bit let down by
'Window Dressing', there's good news to report; 'Fly Paper' is more
mature and darker, and simply a better album.
The albums is produced and engineered by Terry
Brown (Rush), and it has plenty of hints of the grandfathers of
progressive rock. If you make the plagiarism your own, and give the
songs their own identity, then I do not see any harm in wearing your
influences on the outside.
And to make things better (or worse) guitarist
Alex Lifeson (Rush) lends them his classic signature guitar style on
"Sacred and Mundane", which results in a first class progressive
rock song. Alex Lifeson isn't the only prominent guest on the album:
Alannah Myles helps out in the vocal department on "Back and Forth",
Kim Mitchell delivers a splendid guitar solo on "Dragons, Dreams and
Daring Deeds" and Hugh Syme plays keyboards on "Crowded Emptiness"
and "Passing Notes" (bonus track on the initial pressing).
'Fly Paper' is significant different than its
predecessor, featuring eight multi-faceted and varied songs in terms
of structural density. The album is challenging and needs multiple
spins before you really come to term with the complexity and
intensity of the varied songs.
Tiles has taken a step towards darker and
moodier songs with 'Fly Paper', and I think it suits their style and
sound well, and they are clearly focussing on their strengths, which
results in a musically and sonically a better experience than