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Pure Reason Revolution: Eupnea
Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea Art

Pure Reason Revolution: Eupnea

Melodic Progressive Rock
4.5/5.0

With a mere phone call to long time musical partner Chloe Alper, Jon Courtney resurrected the tag team's project Pure Reason Revolution (PRR). This came after a near ten year hiatus where both artists pursued various personal and musical interests. Notably, Alper worked a solo project and also created the band Tiny Giant. Courtney performed with Bullet Height, a electronic duo with vocalist Sammi Doll. Now, Courtney and Alper return with Eupnea, Pure Reason Revolution's fourth full-length studio album.

Pure Reason Revolution - Click For Larger Image

Pure Reason Revolution

To be honest, I had mixed feelings about reviewing this new PRR album. My last listen was 2009's Amor Vincit Omnia which, as I said back then, was "mostly dance floor electronica that sways horribly between the two poles of industrial and psy-trance music." And so, I passed on the follow up, 2010's Hammer And Anvil. But every band can dissolve, resurrect, and evolve. Why not a listen to Eupnea? So on to some thoughts and observations.

If anything this album takes PRR back to its early days where they wished to merge classic prog, like Pink Floyd, with more modern currents, such as Muse, only to inject their own musical ideas and presence. In the light of this, I found some songs within Eupnea to feel more like a progressive rock album, emphasis on rock. Notably, these include Silent Genesis, Maelstrom, Beyond Our Bodies, and especially New Obsession. All these songs offer some tight rock rhythm and groove led by large drums and rhythmic bass. Yet, the arrangements also include some PRR trademarks: the male/female vocal harmony, lush to ethereal to pop pragmatic synths, and that juxtaposition of a light start to a bolder middle and/or an assertive finish. Of these songs, the aforementioned New Obsession captures some AOR accessibiliy with it's melody, rhythm and groove, and a crushing guitar solo. It was easily my favorite song here. Alternatively, the title track, Eupnea (meaning breath or breathe) turns mostly on synths with lingering piano, the male/female vocal harmony, and a classic, more intricate, prog arrangement. An arrangement that starts with synths and vocals, bu then offers an eruption of big drums with guitar-esque synth lines, then bolder riffs fighting with vocals at the half and directing the song to a heavy second half. There should be enough density and complexity within Eupnea to please the most stodgy prog punter.

Perhaps my final thought is this, When I think of traditional prog rock merged with its modern descandants, Pure Reason Revoultion's Eupnea will come to mind. Both the band and the album honor and build upon the former, then use the latter to invigorate and freshen the genre. Recommended. (Cool album art, by the way.)



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The Bottom Line

Perhaps my final thought is this, When I think of traditional prog rock merged with its modern descandants, Pure Reason Revoultion's Eupnea will come to mind. Both the band and the album honor and build upon the former, then use the latter to invigorate and freshen the genre. Recommended.

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