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**** Tea For Two -- 101

Tea For Two is a German band that has been around for about 15 years and over that time, they've released three albums. This one, from last year, is a concept album that I won't try to explain, except to note that it's dream based, in the old "is it a dream or not sense." The story, at least for me, is secondary to the music, which is varied and expressive. There are a lot of genres here and the influences are many. You can hear a fair sense of Genesis, Alan Parsons and classic symphonic bands like Yes and Camel. In addition, there is a folk aspect to much of the album, while some tracks feature heavy guitar. Vocals are in English, although with a heavy German sound, the result being a kind of overall Scorpians or MSG feeling to the vocals. One track in particular, "Torn in Two" sounds very much like a classic Scorps track and is one of my favorites on the album. If you liked Operation Mindcrime by Queensryche, you may find this album of interest as well. The core band of three members (Stephen Weber, vocals; Jens Oliver Sorup, guitars; Michael Schumpelt, everything else) all do outstanding jobs (keyboards in particular stand out for me) and is supplemented by Uwe Haas, bass (one track), Katja Schimmele, violins (two tracks) and Ruth Sharp, who does a nice job on vocals on three tracks. Overall, a memorable album that features many diverging styles which work together into an overall piece quite nicely. Fans of any of the aforementioned bands should at the very least download the samples available on the band's web site and check out the album.

Reviews by A. D. Jensen
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