Phideaux | The Great Leap

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Rock: Psychedelic Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Mood: Quirky
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The Great Leap

by Phideaux

Beautiful doomladen Rock music; dark and mysterious with melodic singing, trumpets, cellos, theremins and vintage keyboards -- psychedelic progressive rock
Genre: Rock: Psychedelic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Wake Up
4:03 $0.99
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2. You And Me Against A World Of Pain
5:35 $0.99
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3. The Waiting
3:33 $0.99
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4. Abducted
6:10 $0.99
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5. Rainboy
6:15 $0.99
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6. I Was Thinking
4:24 $0.99
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7. Long And Lonely Way
4:18 $0.99
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8. They Hunt You Down
3:54 $0.99
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9. Tannis Root
4:52 $0.99
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10. One Star
5:14 $0.99
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11. Last
5:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Phideaux is back, heavier than ever, with a rock album of angry, scary, paranoid songs about life in an increasingly totalitarian society. Named after one of Chairman Mao's catastrophic campaigns, "The Great Leap" is part one of a conceptual trilogy [Part two "Doomsday Afternoon" is scheduled for spring 2007].

In terms of the music on "The Great Leap", electric guitar is the order of the day. The psychedelic production values are still abundant, but this album is based on more riff driven songs and has much in common with the second Phideaux album "Ghost Story".

We hope you will enjoy this new sound Phideaux and that the sleek simple anthems will whet your whistle for the extended symphonic epic we have planned for "Doomsday Afternoon". This is the yin to that album's yang. If you like intricate music with great melodies, some cool instruments, and a subversive message, come with us and take the leap... The Great Leap.


Here are extracts of some reviews...

"This is the coolest record of all the ones that I received to review in the last month. I am hooked on their sound and songs! ... Phideaux is an amazing songwriter and has a great voice and is very expressive with the cool lyrics. I would go through all the songs but some that really blew me away were You And Me Against a World of Pain, which I have heard 25 times in the last couple of weeks. Why can't this be the huge hit on the radio instead of the crap we get out there?? This is real music."
-Scott Heller: Aural Innovations #35 - Jan. 2007 (www.aural-innovations.com)

"In a truly just world, this would be the kind of music that scholars would dissect and analyze fifty years from now. This is "The Wall" for the twenty-first century... As Phideaux sings on “Tannis Root,” “Give us your best and your bold / We’ll give them back when they’re cold” – The Great Leap takes an unblinking and harsh look at the world, and it’s not pretty. But the music is brilliant; this is the CD of the year, as far as I’m concerned."
-Duke Egbert: The Daily Vault (dailyvault.com)

"I love the CD - it's like the very best prog albums in that it's one which rewards the repeated listener. Each play reveals more depth, instrumentation and subtle joys. In addition, it has the eerie feel and the sombre, dark mood which I love so much in Roger Waters. Is Phideaux the progressive genius of this generation ? Damn right in my opinion :-)"
-Grant Mason: Three From Leith podcast (member of the Scottish Podcast Clan)

"Thx a lot for sending me "The Great Leap". It´s a thrilling piece of music! And to be honest, in my opinion it´s another step forward for you. And it´s my album of the month..:-)...so next show i´ll play more!"
-Michael Gruber: www.forbidden-planet.net

"...not a traditional type of prog. Instead this is more of the moody prog style that is created by Marillion, Blackfield and others. Not all the inspiration on this comes from prog either. You might hear Gary Numan on this or early David Bowie. Still, there are also elements of Pink Floyd and others here. The result is a unique musical texture that conveys emotions and power quite well. I really like this album (and all of Phideaux’s discs) a lot."
-Gary Hill: MusicStreetJournal.com

"In my review of Fiendish two years ago, I wrote "the album is very eclectic with a seemingly bizarre mixture of psychedelic, folk, space rock and prog". Four albums on I could write something very similar about The Great Leap and yet there is a world of difference between these albums. I also wrote that the album was "a very fine effort by a very talented individual". That statement stands true as well but at the time I could not have imagined the breadth of Phideaux's (the man and the group) musical ambition. That they can have produced five albums all of which are different from each other and all of which have gained a DPRP recommendation says something about the consistency, the quality and the sheer enjoyment that each Phideaux album possesses. Unashamedly a fan, I look forward with eager anticipation to the next release with confidence that no matter the direction it will be an enjoyable and exciting exploration into modern progressive rock.
Conclusion: 9 out of 10"
-Mark Hughes, The Dutch Progressive Rock Page (dprp.net)

"With a dozen musicians contributing to the album, Phideaux create an exceptional warm sound that never overwhelms you with symphonic pathos. Vintage synthesizers, violins, brass instruments,... everything you ever expected in a prog band is present of The Great Leap, but used with such skill and delicacy that it never forces the song itself into the background, and that's what I call true songwriting gift.
The next album is planned to be more bombastic, and should contain only one long composition. But until that ambitious project, you should enjoy the more down-to-earth talents of Phideaux Xavier and his friends. Exceptional as always!"
-Disagreement.net

"This is not a revival of old Prog Rock where technique and concept ruled, but a use of the vehicle to express emotional turmoil. The music is closer to early Bowie's "Cygnet Committee" and "The Man Who Sold The World" than the technocratic Yes, and it is all filtered through understanding of the creations of Siouxie, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The Cure. I can guarantee that anyone who has ever loved Van Der Graaf Generator or Peter Hammill's solo work will find inspiration in this. We are introduced to a world of fleeing from rising waters, secret Government agencies, Armageddon, and The Rapture. Of course it's overblown and, some might even venture, pretentious. It's time to stop pretending that dark magnificence can have no effect on us."
-Cool Noise: Blogcritics.org

"This is true progressive rock, both in the sense that it genuinely sounds quite different from most other things you’ll have heard before (even earlier Phideaux albums), but also because there are the ghosts of so many progressive, psychedelic and space rock bands floating around in the periphery of the songs, offering gentle encouragement and support but never crassly intruding on the musical vision that is undeniably Phideaux.
Overall, a solid, inventive and highly enjoyable album, filled to the brim with epic songwriting, glorious flights of fancy and dynamic musicality. Well worth checking out if you’ve ever enjoyed the music of Phideaux before... or, come to think of it, even if you haven’t."
-Epilepticgibbon: ProgressiveEars.com

"When I opened my mail box the other day, the new parcel of Phideaux's latest offering astonished me. I think he's been really an honest and serious prog musician out there who is constantly making prog-centered modern new music. 'The Great Leap' shows really dynamic and emotionally intense melodic prog rock album with modern touch. With each release, he has molded his own sounds and colorful elements into his compositions. If you are familiar with his music previously, I would say this new album has both elements of his psychedelic rock touch like '313' and slight symphonic rock approach from 'Chupacabras'. ... The entire production of this album is superb and really pleasant. Highly recommended for fans who are into prog rock/symphonic rock with very new approach and direction."
-Pilgrim World, Prog/Power Metal Website (hamanaka.com/pilgrim2/pweng.htm)

"There are some hard rocking tracks on "The Great Leap". But also very emotional and beautiful tracks. But to me it¹s the combination between the great music and the fantastic lyrics that make me go; WOW, every time I listen to it. It is so damn beautiful put together even on the hardest rocking tracks. This is the third album I¹ve heard from Phideaux. All 3 very different in contents and all very unique. To me, they have their own life and story. And mind you, the story told here on "The Great Leap" is a scary one. Even the cover to this great release is a little scary. Phideaux have great stories to tell. So, I must urge you all to go out and find yourselves some Phideaux albums and support this amazing artist. I for one will not be without him or his mystical and amazing universe. Phideaux's got something on his mind and soul and we are lucky that he through his music shares it with us."
-Progleo, Progplanet.com

"With the subtitle “A Celebration of Lemmings,” rest assured that The Great Leap by Phideaux will, for the most part, be a fun listen. The members of this delightful and endearing collaborative of musical friends, led by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Phideaux Xavier and drummer Rich Hutchins, seldom stop sipping creative juice. And although The Great Leap is not quite as challenging of a listen as Phideaux’s last record, 313, it's actually more enjoyable."
-Michael Popke, Sea Of Tranquility

"...Phideaux has a style onto it’s own that may not be classified as ‘prog’. I would honestly say the music on this album is more in Art Rock/Punk vein, similar to the late 70's/ early 80's but with a modern vibe both musically and production wise.
Every song takes you on a journey and gives the listener a experience that lasts well after the 55 minutes is up I’m particularly fond of the straight ahead rock and roll ‘Wake Up’, the beautiful haunting ‘I Was Thinking’ and the more psychedelic ‘You and Me Against A World of Pain’. But they’re all great!"
-Ron Fuchs, ProgNaut.com

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Reviews


to write a review

Jim Mills

That's One Helluva Great Leap!
Chairman Mao reference aside, with "The Great Leap," Phideaux seems to have really jumped beyond himself as an artist! I immediately loved 9 of the 11 tracks on first listen, and with subsequent listens, I've come to worship every single track on this disc! Phideaux's voice seems to bubble over with energy and enthusiasm as it gives life to these brilliant new works of art, and it's easy to see why: "The Great Leap" is, overall, the strongest collection of songs he's released on any CD, from "Fiendish" to present (well, in my humble opinion, of course)! This is a MUST BUY!
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Rebsie Fairholm

Absolutely gorgeous
This album is proving to be quite a jaw-dropper for me.

The first song, Wake Up, has a solid rock style underlying it, but the occasional bit of banshee wailing and effected pipes float across it and transport it to another place.

You And Me Against A World Of Pain has the most exquisite melody, and a dreamy acoustic summer of loveness, carried by a very animated bass and woven into an essentially proggy keyboard structure. It has a gorgeous middle section, "all storms are beautiful", all bass and murmuring cellos. Phideaux has a very lovely voice and his vocal performance on this song is particularly stunning ... with fine female harmonies emerging ghost-like in the background.

Abducted takes a sudden plunge into darkness, with much of the melody carried by the bassline, only to come soaring out of it with Rainboy, which has a bright jangly and summery melody topped with a strong but tender vocal. The contrasts swing back and forth throughout the album.

Long and Lonely Way is another compulsive foot tapper with some throbbing psychedelic guitar, and made unique with a sprinkling of electric sitar. What an incredible sound that is!

Tannis Root goes farthest towards the prog end of the spectrum. Swelling keyboards, guitar and bass interactions (and the electric sitar again, whooo) and a whole range of vocal styles from sweet to distorted and back again.

The final track, Last, is like a chink of sunlight, bringing in soft acoustic strumming and gorgeous bittersweet vocals. It's when you get to this track that you realise you've been holding your breath all this while and can finally let it go.

This is as good an album as anything I've got in my CD collection. It sits next to Pink Floyd on the shelf and it well deserves to. It's intricate, complex, pounding and dynamic, with an underlying aura of melancholy that can be quite overwhelming, made extra poignant by the unbearable beauty of the melodies. It really deserves to be listened to when you're not doing anything else, to get the most out of it. The layers of subtle detail in it are incredible. It's not a happy fluffy album to stick on while you're doing the ironing but it wrenches at everything that makes you human.
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Harmless Criminal

Recommended
I truly am highly impressed by this disc and it has made me eagerly wish to explore the band's back catalogue (The Great Leap being the band's 5th release). Phideaux is an artist whose name is rarely mentioned on these pages and that seems almost criminal. The Great Leap is a strong, mature, musical statement, which should appeal to the pop fan hidden within the progger. Recommended.
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Ivor; Metal Storm

an excerpt from "Metal Storm"
Phideaux are essentially a Progressive Rock band with variations to one side or the other. Having labeled them a Prog band, I must say they are not aiming at producing overly complicated songs and technical solos in the first place. On the contrary, their music is primarily built around naturally flowing melodies, natural developments of sound, voice and lyrical content. Although the music is catchy and may seem simple on the surface, it is hardly that at the second glance. At times I figure their layered instruments can make an onion seem like an apple. I have been listening to "The Great Leap" non-stop for a while now but every time I listen I find something I had not noticed before.

A very important dimension of the band's music is Phideaux's singing and the way he delivers different songs. Having quite an emotional singing style, clear, clean and quite high voice, he adds a facet of sincerity to the music. At the same time he manages to put in a fair amount of theatrical performance making it all even more lively. Fine examples are "The Waiting," "They Hunt You Down" and "Rainboy" with some finely stressed lines with expressive impression of delivering poetic verses. This all taken together creates a positively tuned atmosphere with feelings of contentment, hope and even happiness.

I expected "The Great Leap" to be good. Previous albums have raised a certain level of confidence and trust in bands output, and that is not something that happens overnight - it is earned by putting out consistent high quality music. I did not expect "The Great Leap" to grab me as much as it did but it has had a great impact on me over the last two weeks. I am inclined to think that "The Great Leap" is indeed a great leap.
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Xentagz; Progforum.nl

the giant leap
Put on your pyamas on and gather around the fireplace. This CD will take you on a journey beyond your own believes. Right after playing the first track I was somehow caught in some kind of Pink Floyd Feeling. A bit of Pipers At The Gates Of Dawn sphere.

The compositions of the songs are very above the average, better yet, brilliant. Each song takes off with a mystic intro and tells its own little story.
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The Missing Piece - cd online

highly recommended
5th album from Phideaux Xavier and friends (and plenty of them too!). Just a little bit tougher than his previous, but still as melodic and symphonic as ever. Not only is this guy very productive, he also holds a very high class on all his albums. And this is one of his best! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Rating: 9
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rpmartino

finest work to date
Phideaux is perhaps the most exciting musical discovery I've made the last few years. After going through several years where I found myself growing weary of the more well-known modern prog bands and what seems like an endless recycling of prog-rock cliches, Phideaux is a true gem in that he has fully assimilated his wide variety of psychadelic and progressive influences (including artists like Jethro Tull, Van Der Graaf Generator, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd) and is offering something truly unique in the musical world.

After several listens I would have to say The Great Leap, the first of a three part trilogy of albums, is his finest work to date (this being his most recent album at the time of this review).
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rpmartino

finest work to date
Phideaux is perhaps the most exciting musical discovery I've made the last few years. After going through several years where I found myself growing weary of the more well-known modern prog bands and what seems like an endless recycling of prog-rock cliches, Phideaux is a true gem in that he has fully assimilated his wide variety of psychadelic and progressive influences (including artists like Jethro Tull, Van Der Graaf Generator, David Bowie, and Pink Floyd) and is offering something truly unique in the musical world.

After several listens I would have to say The Great Leap, the first of a three part trilogy of albums, is his finest work to date (this being his most recent album at the time of this review).
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ken s.

a natural step (leap?) in the evolution.......
when i reviewed fiendish, i titled it, do you want to hear something you've never heard before? now that i'm at the great leap, i still feel the same way (except i've listened to all 5 cd's over and over and over etc...) so it seems kind of strange but i see the great leap as the culmination of all that's come before. it has the folkish, rockish, progish psychedelics of the past, but new. my favs this time are: wake up, abducted, rainboy, and last. also the base playing on one star is fantastic. and yes, all songs are now on my ipod. i can't wait for doomsday afternoon and ..........
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