A Time and a Place

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Number three for Pangaea delivers no surprises, but it reinforces the group's already clear neo-prog sound. In other words, if you can't stand Pink Floyd-derived neo-progressive rock or if you didn't like the group's first two albums, flee. If you were already won over, then A Time and a Place should meet your expectations. Once again the album has been engineered and produced by Robert Berry. It has the heaviness in sound and sharpness in production values of the albums released on Magna Carta. The man also provides bass guitar for this bassist-deprived group from Texas. His agile playing often threatens to steal the show and it actually does so once, in the cover of Pink Floyd's "Time," otherwise pretty bland. Pangaea's strengths lie in its tasteful use of keyboards, its vocal harmonies (strongly reminiscent of '80s/'90s Yes), and the pleasant voice of Steven Osborn. These guys lose some of their punch when limiting themselves to the AOR format. A ballad like "Hollow Life" or "The Panther" (a jungle percussion cliché) falls flat on its back, but the opening and closing tracks are very convincing. "Something Happened Yesterday" evokes Anderson- Bruford-Wakeman-Howe with a stronger rock momentum, while "The Human Condition" pairs Rush-like instrumental runs with a catchy simple chorus. Originality and personality are two different things. On A Time and a Place, Pangaea displays the latter and convinces listeners that sometimes that can be enough.

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