(2019 - Bad Elephant Music - UK)
A masterpiece of dreamy progressive music that pulls the drawstrings on aggressive melodic pop and rock, then mirrors epic overtures into your ear canals. With nearly every particle of all the most attractive "progressive rock" icons over the last four decades, Joost presents 'Alter Ego' (what most will only know as his 2nd established label solo, however he has 'Prelude : a 10th anniversary of songs from 2002-2012' on CDr, and a duo with Scarlet Penta which was self released by him, and also was in Dutch band Equisa which only released 'Strange Release' - no label, 2013 and 2 of the members from that band give Joost a helping hand on this new solo). With a distinguished guest list of people like Annie Haslam, this 6 panel solo is released in full vivid audio rainbow dazzling certainty. Only goodness exists, with hardy nods to Queen, 10CC, Kayak, and a consummate solution of classic and eccentric music that also has touches of Rush and precision like Genesis.
Joost Maglev (real name Joost Doesburg, and from The Netherlands) has hit it out of the park this time. Guest musicians are: Mark Bogert – guitar (5)/ David Clarkson – drums (6)/ Valensia Clarkson – instruments, backing vocals (6)/ Ben Craven – guitars (3, 7)/ Marie Doesburg – vocals (1, 9), Annie Haslam – vocals (4), Sebas Honing – guitars (4, 7)/ Arjen Anthony Lucassen – guitars (4)/ Stefan Maas – drums (2, 3, 4, 5. 7, 8)/ Joop de Rooij – piano (8)/ Faried Verheul – guitars (2, 8)/ and the main man Joost Maglev – vocals and instruments (see booklet for details of musicians on each song). All composed, produced and arranged by Joost Maglev, except track 6 produced and arranged by Valensia Clarkson.
As the songs move, at no warning, an elect fanciful tune comes to tickle your ears. This all over the map technical marvel, with expansive composition, passion, at once intense then elegant, hugs the listener with it's sincerity. Rich with 12 string Anthony Phillips style guitar, lush with strings that could have been done by Pim Koopman (RIP) from Kayak, and so full of head spinning delights, heart throbbing ballads that are intertwined with complex passages, and bridges that connect yet another smart set of measures, you will say yes, it is that fantastic! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 5 - 16 - 2019