4.5 out of 5 Stars!
This is one of my most recent favorite bands from the U.K. I discovered Also Eden only a few years ago and have come to enjoy the band’s releases quite a bit, and for those who love the style of IQ, Pallas, early Marillion, Genesis, and similar fare, this is likely a band you’ll also appreciate.
Indeed, Huw Lloyd-Jones, the vocalist on this release (and his final release with the band), has a similar tone and delivery style as Paul Menel (formerly of IQ) and Steve Hogarth (Marillion), so expect music within the same majestic Neo-Prog realm.
Overall, Also Eden’s second studio album, It’s Kind of You to Ask—like all releases from this band, actually—has consistently high quality production values and musicianship, with dynamic arrangements and melodic songwriting.
The eleven-minute opener “Star” instantly dispelled any concerns I had originally fostered about whether the band would be able to match the excellence of the debut, and the track delivered what I had hoped, intriguing melodies and lush instrumentation that had so enamored me on the first album. Another of my favorites here is “Skimming Stones,” where Lloyd-Jones’s vocal melody line is simply magnificent, while the lengthier “Outside In” contains creative keyboard orchestrations as well as a complex rhythm pattern in one section. “A Widow’s Eye,” the album’s longest composition at nearly thirteen minutes, is nothing short of a mini-masterpiece, offering additional Prog-Rock majesty with it comes to the splendiferous melody lines, the intricate song arrangement, sumptuous instrumentation and solos, and a dramatic atmosphere.
So to me, It’s Kind of You to Ask, like all of the band’s releases, hovers somewhere within that enviable territory between 4 and 4.5 Stars, with moments of 5-Star splendor often creeping in, hence my overall rating.