We're All In This Together is the fifth studio album of the English band IT. The band started in 1994, so you can conclude that they are not very productive. But this is no big deal! Quality is more important than quantity. In the beginnings IT was a progressive rock band which combined progressive rock with new wave. The reviews were good. The second last album Departure was released in 2009, so it took eight years of labor to release this album. I must confess that my expectations were very high.
The line-up of the band is: Nick Jackson (lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards, synth, samples, percussion), Andy Rowberry (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Ryan McCaffrey (sax, piano, organ, Fender Rhodes), James Hawkins (bass, bass synth) and Will Chism (drums).
The band uses a lot of additional Musicians: Paul Waller (lap steel guitar), Rupert Greenall (PPG synth, organ and strings), Rob Archibald (organ), Alex Fletcher (trumpet), Henry Bennett (backing vocals), Jessica Clemmons (backing vocals), Reyhan Yusuf (backing vocals), Gavin Lambert (backing vocals), George Galloway (speech).
After my first listening session I draw the conclusion that the album was worth waiting for. The album have a lot of variation, a lot of tension and last but not least great musicians. Let's take a look at this album.
The album starts with a rather dark side of the band. Power is an up-tempo song with spoken intermezzos. I got the feeling of taking back to the eighties. This song reminds me of The Mission. In my opinion the right song for opening this album.
Born Into Debt is a serene, short intermezzo which connect two songs. Once more the atmosphere of this song is dark. On part of the lyric contains the sentence “Can't see no future”. I think this is typical for the first songs. It describes a world which is unstable and has lack of future. This song flows into The Working Man. The search for the future continues in this song. The song is a nice, mid-tempo song and has a great lingering guitar solo in it. All instruments are totally in service of the song. In general this song reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd.
Last Chance starts with a statement of the news. It's a mid-tempo, melodic song. Further on it is beautiful chorus. Beside the instrumental quality, vocals are also very strong on this album.
Gamble The Dream is a song which has also a The Mission character. The song has a more or less aggressive character.
Voices is a low-tempo song with great atmospheres. The soundscapes of the keyboards, the sound effects and the brilliant guitar parts are creating a phenomenal song. This reminds me of Pink Floyd once more. Substantively this song is about politics.
The song directly goes on with The Path Of Least Resistance. Personally I think this is the most epic song of the album. In 11 minutes a variety of atmospheres, great guitar parts, brilliant vocals and effects are brewed together to the best song of this album. This song is IT, it has all the elements the band stands for.
The band takes us once more back to the eighties. House is a mid-tempo song which reminds me of the new wave band The Fixx. The song has a great beat and is danceable.
Down The Hatch starts low-temp and has a great bass beat. The song is rather dark and has also several effects in it, which connects the several parts.
Last song of the album is Revolution. The song starts rather modest. The vocals are more or less in a talking manner. The song continues up-tempo and it reminds me once more of The Mission.
In summary We're All In This Together is an excellent album. I think it is neo-prog with a wink to new wave. These two style can be combined together in a great way. IT is certainly a band with an own character.
The album was worth waiting for and I hope we don't have to wait another eight years for a new album. The IT is slowly crawling to the top of the progressive rock scene.
**** Aad Bannink (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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