When I hear the opening crashes of In Circles, I get a thrill and it barely lets up throughout the course of this excellent album as the power prog-trio expand on the psychedelic and jazz-rock tendencies of Cream (with liberal splashes of orchestrated symphonic prog) to create that rare and beautiful object ... a masterpiece of progressive rock. The aching tone of Dunton's limited vocals work perfectly with the compositions (he is after all credited with having written all the songs!), although T2 can really mix it with the best of them. T2's remarkable gift is that their songs sound so fresh that one almost takes them for impromptu jams, and yet they are way too skillfully executed and structured to have been (although Keith Cross does actually play the odd "bum-note" or two on No More White Horses!).
In Circles in particular is an example of T2 applying the restraints on its own fury and then eventually letting Cross' abundant talent loose. His fiery playing puts in the Paul Kossoff bracket of special guitarist who shone brightest in their mid teens. The piano-led J.L.T introduces Dunton's propensity for writing unforgetabble melancholy melodies and its outstanding, orchestrated deceptively-timedoutro is one of my favourite "subtle" moments in all of prog.
And then we have the latent power of the intro of No More White Horses which really is a thing of beauty (even if it is here that Cross stumbles in his frenzied opening solo). The melody of the song itself is bewitching. When Dunton goes "someone is sitting there" it's like a release and as for the sudden silence after the chorus ... it's perfection! Cross's superbly-constructed blues solo that moves from ice to fire, and the ominous conclusion that echoes J.L.T.'s with piano, brass and strings giving it an epic feel all go towards making this one of my favourite ever songs.
But still the ultimate statement of intent has to be the 21 minute-long Morning. I can't think of a 20 plus minute prog track that flows more naturally than this one. It begins with a simple acoustic guitar strum and another melancholic Dunton melody ... "to a sky that answered not at all" ... but the boys soon take off on an astral blues-rock jam, full of twists and turns, there's a "bridge" 6 minutes in, a sound effects-laden section, a third vocal section that comes in around about the 12 minute mark that is jazzier and rockier than its predecessors, there are hints at a jazz-waltz and yet another majestic brass-heavy outro! Frequently sublime stuff.
The three bonus tracks that come with the SPM re-issue also add real value to this already amazing record. Questions And Answers is more of a slow-burning blues, but T2 have too much energy to let it be ordinary, and in fact Cross's soloing is some of his best although I prefer his regretably brief first solo to the lengthy second one ... his third isn't bad either!). CD tricks the listener with a meandering jazz- inflected intro before launching into a fiery Hendrix-like work, although the melancholy chorus is all T2, please note that somewhere between the power chords there lies a brief, excellent Baroque exchange between Cross and Jinks. The alternate version of In Circles is also power-packed, but even rawer than the studio original with some dodgy vocals from Dunton dragging it down, but an excellent jam that occupies the last third of the song that is spacier and less focused than the studio original, makes it a worthy addition.
All in all, this is one intoxicating, seamless album that is classic progressive rock at its least pretentious. ... 90% on the MPV scale T2 It'll All Work Out In Boomland music reviews and MP3 9 (review from progarchives.com)
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. In Circles (8:34)
2. J.L.T. (5:44)
3. No More White Horses (8:35)
4. Morning (21:14)
5. Questions And Answers (5:17)
6. CD (7:01)
7. In Circles (9:07)
Total Time: 63:32Line-up / Musicians- Keith Cross / guitars, keyboards, harmony vocals
- Peter Dunton / drums, lead vocals
- Bernard Jinks / bass guitar, harmony vocals Line-up / Musicians- Keith Cross / guitars, keyboards, harmony vocals
- Peter Dunton / drums, lead vocals
- Bernard Jinks / bass guitar, harmony vocals
T2 - In Circles
T2 - No More White Horses - HD