What the hell is HAPPY THE MAN? I am quite sure that no one has ever heard of this band even if you are an uber underground listener of music from the beyond. According to the bio, the band released two records in 1978 and 1979 which was both the pinnacle for Prog and the beginning of the demise. The band called it a day until now. All I have to say is that do we really need this dated music when we are in a time when music is constantly changing faces and adding new dimensions to sound?
Sure, it's fine to use countless influences into your own brand of music and mix it up, but when it's all the same, it just doesn't do much for me accept if you are stuck in a time warp. "Contemporary Insanity" sounds like a blast from the past circa 1975 or something. Other than the production being top notch, this sounds like yesteryear. There is nothing new or innovative here as it has all been done several times over during the years. Tons of keys saturate the track complete with the typical semi complex drum work and odd time changes from everyone. The title track is slow and boring. This track is probably a bit more tailor made to be used as elevator music with a Prog vibe. It's mellow enough on here to warrant that comparison. I see on my CD that Stanley Whitaker is the vocalist of the band and we are four tracks into this disc and it's all instrumentals.
I am already at the point where I am nodding my head because this is just too slow for my taste or any other modern Prog head for that matter. "Kindred Spirit" is a nice slow tune, but once again, it's more or less better suited if you are an insomniac and need something to fall asleep to pop on when you are on that long plane ride. "Lunch At The Psychedelicatessen" is more along the lines of smooth Jazz and could be played on a Clear Channel friendly radio station because it's so laid back. Just omit some of the quirky moments and you have a potential radio hit. Things finally get rocking on "Barking Spiders" and probably has to be their best track. It woke me up and it wasn't all that bad.
God damn! Did I just hear some singing from Stanley? It takes track nine "Shadowlites" for him to work the mic. Finally, "Il Quinto Mare" sounds more modern and is the best track on here. The mix of Jazz, contemporary Prog and killer time changes makes this the one stand out track. I don't mean to slag on the band so much, but this is just a boring instrumental that will pretty much put anyone to sleep. It does nothing for me and I was just bored to tears. Sorry! When the bio said the band picked up right where they left off, they weren't kidding. The only thing modern about this band is the fact that they have a website like everyone else. (Online March 7, 2005)