The idea behind Private Power is to take samples from traditional musicians around the world, from African percussionists to Arabic singers, and embed them into hard rock songs with affinities with progressive rock. The resulting hybrid is something like "world-progressive" or even "world-hard-funk" on some tracks. The brainchild of guitarist Jim Matus, this album is supported by the very competent Thorne Palmer, a hard rock singer in the vein of Deep Purple's Ian Gillan; bassist Bob Laramie; drummer Geoffrey Brown; and violinist Rohan Gregory. On one end of the album's spectrum, one finds the addictive "Instability, Containment, Rollback" (based on a text by Michael Parenti), a progressive hard rock number fans of Grey Lady Down will surely appreciate, and other strong rock numbers like "Mechanical World" and "Not There." On the other end (and interspersed throughout the album) are funky hard rock instrumentals like "Evil Vs. Evil" and "Structural Adjustment," songs that are very close to what Robert Musso attempted on his 1992 album Active Resonance, although Paranoise's angle is less funk, more hard rock. It's very danceable nonetheless. Private Power is an original way to blend cultures with interesting results. Lyrics and liner notes are all related to anti-globalization (samples of Noam Chomsky are even used on the title track).
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AllMusic Review by François Couture