• VARIATIONS ON A DREAM

    Live In Concert & Studio

  • John Miner & Art Rock Circus

    Variations On A Dream

    PLANET X

    VARIATION7

    CRYSTAL

    LISTEN

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    SOUTH OF FRANCE 

    STRING THEORY #8

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    JUNK MALE

    GOTHIC SUN

    SAINTS 

    RUSSIAN SPY

  • John Miner's

    ART ROCK CIRCUS

     

    Band Members

    John Miner
    Guitars and backing vocals
    Devon Lebsack
    Drums
    Kelton Manning

    Bass
    Karyn Anderson
    Vocals & keys
    Karen Rene'e
    Vocals

    Special guests
    Ken Wenzel. Sax
    Erica Syroid. Violin

    Tracks

    Stranger of My Find
    The Promise
    Underground
    a. perceive
    transform
    release
    b. passage to clear
    Clear
    Love
    Shadows Of Style
    Goodbye The Lie
    Strange
    Poetic Injustice
    Heaven
    Cosmic Cobwebs and Lollipops
    Alone
    Stranger Of My Friend (reprise)

    This is the new release from The John Miner's "Art Rock Circus" released this year 2001 on the Tributary Music Label. On first listening to this album the thing that hit me was its quaintness, with the sound coming across as somewhat like the recent releases by Alloy Now and Plastic Overlords (minus the progressive influences). In other words this has a retro sound with, at times, a laid-back feel although once again the sound is a bit thin as was John's previous release "Heaven's Cafe".

    Having two vocalists and the added voice of John Miner, who also chips in with the occasional dialogue, gives this album only a slight rock opera sound compared to his previous full blown rock opera "Heaven's Cafe". The vocalists bring in their own individual presence which is where the rock opera influence stems from as each singer seems to live the character they are portraying. Karen Rene'e is the first vocalist to appear, her voice has more of a whine to it and, with its jazzy style of delivery, takes a few plays to get into but once you get familiar with the story line you begin to get into the individual characters and voices.

    Karyn Anderson, however, has a more pleasing voice, very '60s/'70s sounding especially on the superb folky "Shadows Of Style". This is one of those floaty kind of songs that the under rated Melanie got her trade mark from back in the '60s/ '70s. This mood continues on the following "Goodbye The Lie" although this has slightly more of a rock approach but still retains the previous track's qualities, albeit with a more vulnerable vocal style. This is a very reflective song with a haunting air about it.

    When the rock opera sound really surfaces it has a jazzy feel to it as can be found on "Strange" and especially on track 3, "Underground", more so when the violin enters, this is a very diverse track. The most out and out opera songs are "Cosmic Cobwebs And Lollipops" and "Poetic Injustice" (especially with the presence of the dialogue on the latter).

    After the initial first few plays I tended to forget the rock opera influence and basically I began to concentrate on the straight rock approach especially on the opening tracks "Stranger Of My Find" and "The Promise". This album does begin to grow once you get into the mood and spirit of it. America seems to be into this retro sound at the moment and it is a welcome change in small doses. You can't help but appreciate the recreation of rock music of yesteryear. 78%....Terry Tucker

     

    A PASSAGE TO CLEAR

    REVIEWS