Progarchives.com recently did a review on the album Mind over Matter. The review offered a great deal of insight into the various works by the artist and also reveals things about what the listener should look for.
The author of the review begins the article by describing what time has been like since the previous album, Conspiracy Theories, launched. Guitarist Phil Miller and band In Cahoots created these albums and stunned the author of the review. Phil has been described as a “meticulous composer”. He does take his time so that as to create the perfect album. Paul Booth, the saxophonist, and Mark Armstrong, the trumpet player, are featured initially in the beginning of the album.
The author goes into detail about listening to the album multiple times in a row and the initial impression received upon doing such. The melodic voices and the detail that was placed into composing them was exquisite. There are moments when the theme arises in unison and moments when it is the melody takes control.
The listener is on edge in a variety of noises and beautiful harmonies which continuously captivate them with each note. The 18-minute medley in which the album begins with opens up the listener to a different form of enjoying music. It is simply caused by pure tonality and harmony between the voices. As the song progresses, it takes on more of a rock vibe. The heavy guitar solo accomplishes this almost effortlessly. This is accompanied by a synth soloist.
There are multiple instances in the album when the rock sound transforms into a jazzier type feel. However, when that same large harmonic pattern begins once again, the rock sound creeps back in.
On the album, there are harmonized horn voices which go against the movements of the guitar music being played. The bass player creates a walking bassline which is partnered with a guitar solo. The trumpet then creates a line of double time which precedes the bass solo performed by Fred Baker. The solo is played in a fretless style which is anything but easy.
The song “Pent Up” is in the time signature of 5/4. The first part of the song is slow in tempo. The second part speeds up quickly as it is composed in a Latin style. At the end of the piece, the listener experiences the slowed tempo which was played at the back at the beginning.
The song finally ends with a guitar solo. The only piece on the album which is not composed by Paul is called, “Focus Pocus”. Pete Lemer, the keyboardist, composed this song and it is centered on the pulsation of a solid eighth note. This ballad is pleasing to listeners as it has challenging solos. The soprano sax offers a different voice than the rest of the album and listeners love it.
There are many wonderful reviews written about the band in general as well as the album itself. This band is a talented group and has been making music for quite some time now. What makes the albums so great and so successful is the amount of experience as well as passion that each musician has. Whether it be in classical, rock, or jazz, this band offers a unique sound because of the great variety of musicians that play in it.
Their fans appreciate the attention to detail, specifically with the harmonic and melodic voices, used while composing. The soloists always commit a great deal of time as well while making the beautiful solos appear to be effortless. Phil Miller and In Cahoots has always been a group of talented individuals.