Simply They

Prog Head

New Canadian group under the moniker of SIMPLY THEY hits the scene, and their debut offer 'Calendar' is bound to cause a stir. The core consists of: Derek Bielenik (acoustic & electric guitars, bass, synthesizers, piano), Phil Naro (lead vocals), Bertil Schulrabe (drums & percussion), Scott Stratton (lead guitar), Rick Kazmirchuk (Hammond organs, piano, keys), Bill Dillon (guitars, Omnichord), Bear Zak (guitars), Myrrhine Faller (back up & lead singing). They are assisted by the array of involved guests. Respectively: Tamar Ilana (vocals), Justin Koop (guitar), Felicia Mittica (soprano vox), Jorge Miguel (flamenco guitar), Silvio Simone (mandolin), Mark Lalama (accordions), Jamie Robinson (piano), Alex Toskov & Janetta Wilczewska (violin courtesy), Vedran Curic (viola), Jonathan Tortolano (cello). Their collaboration provides the perfect vehicle to embody the terrific work. Finding a great formula, CD 'Calendar' moves across a range of pronounced nuances within the overall template of what may be described as the cross-over style; and thus provides sufficient diversity to keep the listener interested. Properly speaking, Simply They have managed to represent a tasty mixture of progressive tendencies, bombastic fervor, power of classic rock, dramatic pop sensibility, ethnic patterns, et al. This disk features 16 tracks and spans over 60 minutes of supremely qualified material. Now let's get down to individual cuts. The principal artistic merits of the opener ‘Day’ might be characterized like interaction between Styx and Karnataka (circa 'Delicate Flame Of Desire'). Both comparisons (while justified) are just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps, I can append Yes as another point of reference. The mood changes on a muscular song ‘Day After’, heavily driven by formidable guitar loops. It would have graced any Kingdome Come album, i.e. gets homage to Led Zeppelin. For another contrast, a brief interlude ‘Beginner’ follows then. Next up, the staggering ballad ‘Sacrifice’ imbued with unforgettable passion. I do think that 'Epitaph' from legendary King Crimson provides a big influence here, in the context of grand effect. Of course, the listener (me in this case), can hear what he wants to, returning back to Golden era. Goosebumps! The brooding successor ‘Bullfight’ has a rather whimsical structure and occasionally brings some Spanish flavor decorated by the engaging female vocals. The album continues with a properly formed expression of mid-tempo ‘First Kiss’ which segues into a two-way piece titled ‘Halloween’. While its first half brings the tricky instrumental extravaganza, the second part fits to mellow mode featuring an emphasis on spectacular lead vocals, big choruses, excellent guitar performance and neat rhythm section. The keyboards are not overbearing here. From the musical standpoint, a follow up ‘Requiem’ is a smooth chapter which yet has a mellow Pink Floyd-kinda entrance. A few forays into Supertramp territory are also traced. But these Canadians are still willing to experiment and the plot '2 Minutes' delivers a psychedelic atmosphere. Then, ‘Face To Face’ that recalls Great White along with obscure hint to Saga legacy. By surprise, the midway of proceeding offers up pretty nice oriental motifs. The juxtapositions are presented in a peculiar endeavor that stands on its own. The next plot is an invigorating tune ‘So Far So Good’ that sticks to memory. ‘Hero’ bears some stylistic parallels to the Swiss band Gotthard. What's further? Being flawless in every respect, ‘You And Me’ is a hauntingly beautiful, heart-felt composition. It just takes my breath away!.. Subsequent ‘Beast And Beauty’ is a concise instrumental bridge which leads to the title track ‘Calendar’, slightly reminding of country-rock but not seeking to copy that. The whole set reaches its elegant final with relevant 'Goodbye'… So, all things considered. A sheer amount should be enough to seal the deal. There’s no doubt, worth the purchase.
At the moment, official website is under construction. But you may contact the band via e-mail address:
[email protected]

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New member
Very nice album! I like the melodical structure of the most of the songs - with very good arrangments with instruments. I wish you all the best! :)

Prog Head

Phillip Sampognaro, known professionally as PHIL NARO, has died at age 63 following an extended battle with tongue cancer. He kept himself busy with a multitude of recording collaborations (firstly, in the cult rock band TALAS) and other projects with Peter Criss (Kiss), Vanilla Fudge, Whitesnake, Bryan May, Yes, Asia, Unified Past, Druckfarben, etc. More recently - Phil Naro was a lead singer for Simply They, and reunited with Billy Sheehan on a new Talas album, which is due this year. RIP. :cry:


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