Perfect Beings

Perfect Beings

My Sonic Temple, 2014

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


The idea behind Perfect_Beings is a bit old fashioned in this day and age of quick and easy gratification: band leader Johannes Luley had the intention to create an album that honored the style and live musicality in traditional prog rock mediums…yawn! The kind of human with the musical palette to appreciate a fine prog rock album is a dying breed.

And if this wasn’t enough, Perfect_Beings is a concept album based on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 TJ & Tosc: A Field Guide For Life After Western Culture, a science fiction novel written by little-known author Suhail Rafidi about an artificial intelligence who was once a human being. It doesn’t get more geeky, fraught, and just plain uncool than this.

However, this is just on paper.

There is one thing – and a pretty huge one – about Perfect_Beings that actually makes it quite an amazing and cool record: it is built on a foundation of pretty tunes. One doesn’t need a sophisticated musical taste to appreciate pretty music; it is as primal as one’s affinity for sugar. Perfect_Beings could be any genre, and it still would be an awesome album. This trait is what makes the detours and complications on some of the disc’s lengthy numbers seem like a walk in a maze of beautiful flowers on a bright sunny day – the twists and turns seem more inviting than intimidating.

The prettiness in this album’s music comes mostly from their psychedelic pop nature in all its fanciful and beautiful glory. In fact, this album owes as much debt to the influence of The Beatles and the Beach Boys as it does to classic prog rock. And with singer Ryan Hurtgen’s cordial and soothing vocals, this Los Angeles prog rock outfit could be easily mistaken for an eccentric – although well-mannered – Britpop band.

Even though Perfect_Beings is a soundtrack, recasting TJ & Tosc into music, it never feels stuffy or burdened by the novel. This album can just as well be enjoyed without any knowledge of this book or its story. Music always takes precedence over the narrative here.

Unlike the pomposity that the genre of prog rock is known for, Perfect_Beings is one prog rock album that actually wants to welcome the masses into its abode with wide open arms and win their hearts with a smile.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of My Sonic Temple, and is used for informational purposes only.