Tears Of A Clown was a major hit for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles in 1970. The French progressive rock band Eye 2 Eye, used the same title on their second album After All.... Of course, it is not a cover of this Tamla Motown soul hit, but a fabulous piece of progressive rock music. After All… is much better than their first album One In Every Crowd released in 2006. On that album, you could already hear that the musicians are talented, but at the time, it didn’t come out one way or another. On this new effort, the guitar solos performed by Amirouche Ali Benali are much better than on their debut album. In fact, ‘much better’ is an understatement. The fabulous and breathtaking solos dominate the music. However, it would be too much honour for Mr. Benali to say that After All... is an album mainly consisting of great guitar solos. The other two musicians, who played on One In Every Crowd as well, are also responsible for some fine musical moments. Keyboard player Philippe Benabes provides the listener a lot of joy with his fantastic solos. His chords played on the synthesizers, brought me several times into higher spheres. I must not forget to mention drummer Didier Pegues. Of course, he knows how to fill in the right drumbeats, but the way he plays the piano must have been something he learned as a child. Didier is not only a trained musician, but he also wrote most of the tracks. Together with new singer Jack Daly, he wrote all the lyrics. Unfortunately, in my opinion Jack Daly is the weakest link in the band. He is not a bad singer, but his fierce voice not always fits the music. Another point of criticism concerns the new bass player Aymeric Delteil. He does his job, no more, no less and that is just it. I wonder if both musicians will play on the bands next release. These critical remarks, however, just slightly influenced my opinion about this album. I still think that After All… is fantastic with no weak tracks whatsoever. It contains fine music related to bands such as Pendragon , Pallas, IQ and early Marillion. Without doubt, Eye 2 Eye is a ‘must have’ for anyone who loves neo progressive rock music.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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