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The Tangent: To Follow Polaris
The Tangent - To Follow Polaris Album Art

The Tangent: To Follow Polaris

Melodic Progressive Rock
4.5/5.0

Formed in 2002 by principal songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Tillson, The Tangent enters their third decade with their thirteenth studio album, To Follow Polaris. But this time Tillson goes it alone. Despite touring for 2022's Songs from the Hard Shoulder, the band discovered they could not sufficiently get together for the next material. Tillson describes the new album as The Tangent for one. Tillson handles every aspect of the album from artwork to composition to performance and production. As he states: "I've always wanted to do this, use what I have learned from Luke, Jonas, Steve, Theo and many other alumni and take it to final production ..." The concept reminds of early Todd Rundgren with A Wizard, A True Star without the acid tripping.

The Tangent's Andy Tillson - Click For Larger Image

The Tangent's Andy Tillson

As you would expect from Tillson, To Follow Polaris is a keyboard-centric album while he still plays bass, drums, and guitar. However, it's definitely difficult to distinguish a synth solo from a guitar solo. Nevertheless, the arrangements turn upon Tillson's prog ingenuity and creativity, and emotionally charged lyrics. Let the prog wonkery begin.


The album consists of five tracks at nearly 60 minutes. The longest track is the 21 minute opus, The Anachronism; the shortest, aptly-titled with tongue in cheek, The Single. Not to be reductionist, I found The North Sky, A Like In The Darkness, and The Single to be simply classic Tangent material. The songs are ambitious and roomy with twists and turns in tempos and signatures with plenty of Tillson's wistful synths.

With The Fine Line, I found some parts, mostly in the second half, reminding me of prog/jazz/rock fusion. Lyrically, it's discourse upon current American and British media, culture, and politics. And so is The Anachronism which could be described as a 21 minute angry rant on the ills of the aforementioned wrapped in expansive Tillson-Tangent prog experimentation. Tillson seems really pissed.

With The Tangent's To Follow Polaris we find founder Andy Tillson going it alone as a one man band. He literally handles everything to produce another creative, speculative, and entertaining album of traditional and classic, keyboard-centric, melodic progressive rock. Easily recommended.



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The Take Away

With The Tangent's To Follow Polaris we find founder Andy Tillson going it alone as a one man band. He literally handles everything to produce another creative, speculative, and entertaining album of traditional and classic, keyboard-centric, melodic progressive rock. Easily recommended.

Support the artist, click the link below to buy the album in your favorite format.

Purchase The Tangent - To Follow Polaris at Amazon
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