New Release Spotlight: Jordan Rudess / Kayak / MEER

A list of new and recently released albums we recommend.

The New Release Spotlight is a roundup of new and recently released albums.

Jordan Rudess – A Chapter in Time (March 12th, 2021)

Like many musicians stuck at home unable to tour, Jordan Rudess found himself with nothing but time and his own creativity.  The result is his latest solo release, “A Chapter in Time’, surprisingly released on March 12th. The instrumental piano album is far away from the keyboard wizards work with Dream Theater and recently with Liquid Tension Experiment, but it is captivating nonetheless, offering a glimpse into his more contemplative, classical side.  As Jordan describes, “This album was created as a musical reflection of a most unusual time in our history. When Covid forced everyone to stay at home, I felt an intense desire to express myself the best way I know how. Like a musical diary, I would capture my thoughts and feelings at the piano to create what is now presented to you as “A Chapter in Time.”

Order here:

1. Weightless (3:15)
2. I Surrender (2:41)
3. Light as a Feather (3:47)
4. The Quiet Mind (2:43)
5. After the Storm (3:16)
6. Once Upon a Time (2:16)
7. Empty Streets (2:38)
8. And Breathe (3:32)
9. Into Sleep (3:41)
10. Flying (2:33)
11. Patterns of Thought (2:48)
12. Touching Light (3:07)
13. Twilight Rain (3:31)
14. Stellar Enigma (3:26)
15. Beyond the Clouds (3:04)

Jordan Rudess / Everything


Kayak – Out of This World (May 7th, 2021)

Legendary Dutch progressive rockers Kayak return with their 18th studio album ‘Out Of This World.’ With 15 new tracks spanning 70 minutes of energetic and incredibly diverse material the band still sound very much recognizable as Kayak. The group were forced to cancel all tours because Ton Scherpenzeel suffered a heart attack at the end of 2019, and then because of the Covid pandemic. But on the album, they sound focused and as tight as ever. The title track is a powerful, epic opener, while “Waiting” is a surprisingly catchy pop song. Other highlights include “Under A Scar” and the first single “Mystery.” Long time fans will not be disappointed.

Order here:

1. Out of This World (6:06)
2. Waiting (4:04)
3. Under a Scar (6:29)
4. Kaja (3:15)
5. Mystery (3:58)
6. Critical Mass (7:09)
7. As the Crow Flies (4:09)
8. The Way She Said Goodbye (3:18)
9. Traitor’s Gate (3:18)
10. Distance to Your Heart (4:18)
11. Red Rag to a Bull (4:17)
12. One by One (4:14)
13. A Writer’s Tale (9:29)
14. Cary (2:59)
15. Ship of Theseus (3:43)

Ton Scherpenzeel / keyboards, lead & backing vocals
Bart Schwertmann / lead & backing vocals
Marcel Singor / guitar, lead & backing vocals
Kristoffer Gildenlöw / bass, lead & backing vocals
Hans Eijkenaar / drums

Maria-Paula Majoor / violin
Daniel Torrico Menacho / violin
Francesco Vulcano / violin

MEEER – Playing House (Jan 29th, 2021)

Norwegian 8-piece alt/prog group MEER released their album Playing House back in Jan this year and it is one the snuck by us. But fans of grandiose string arrangements, polyphonic vocals, and interesting prog passages will certainly find a lot to enjoy on this collection. Originally created as a duo in Hamar, Norway in 2008, the duo has expanded considerably to become what it is today – an eight-piece eclectic collective whose music is a mix of orchestral pop, classical music and progressive rock. The opening track “Picking up the Pieces” immediately sets the table with powerful orchestration and great hook in the chorus. “Beehive” builds on the opening track, layering strings over tribal drums and distinct vocals. “You Were A Drum” is another avant-garde piece that will get stuck in your head. An album worth spending sometime with.

Order here:

1. Picking Up the Pieces (6:15)
2. Beehive (4:37)
3. All at Sea (5:04)
4. Songs of Us (4:31)
5. Child (4:22)
6. You Were a Drum (3:25)
7. Honey (5:49)
8. Across the Ocean (4:43)
9. She Goes (4:16)
10. Where Do We Go from Here (4:53)
11. Lay It Down (6:44)

Johanne Margrethe Kippersund Nesdal / vocals
Knut Kippersund Nesdal / vocals, keyboards
Eivind Strømstad / guitars, mandolin, keyboards, programming, backing vocals
Åsa Ree / violin, percussion, backing vocals
Ingvild Nordstoga Eide / viola, backing vocals
Ole Gjøstøl / piano, keyboards, programming, electric organ, glockenspiel, backing vocals
Morten Strypet / bass, backing vocals
Mats Lillehaug / drums, percussion, backing vocals

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