Snopek

Thinking Out Loud

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Sigmund Snopek followed the path that most '70s progressive acts took toward the end of that decade. From Genesis to Renaissance, Camel to Yes, and Gentle Giant to Horslips, the dawning of the new decade spelled doom or significant changes for the leaders in the progressive rock scene. In many cases a noticeable drop-off or total abandonment of previous songwriting standards and stylistic approaches was the result. Invariably, a more commercial/pop sound infiltrated their music in the hopes of competing with punk, ska, new wave, and arena rock on the changing radio formats. Snopek, who has always been slightly more offbeat than his progressive brethren, possessed more variables for the changing musical equation. His quirky blend of pop, prog, jazz, and rock coupled with frivilous lyrics, subsequently didn't sound as contrived and out of place as did the likes of Genesis and Yes. In retrospect, this album was the perfect vehicle bridging the decline of prog and introduction of new wave. While Snopek's keyboard playing dictated the sound of previous albums, this recording was much more of a band effort, hence the change in name (from Sigmund Snopek III to Snopek). Byron Wiemann's conspicuous guitar playing and shared songwriting was indicative of the evolution of Snopek the individual to Snopek the band. This is not a progressive rock album in the conventional sense of the term; however, it definitely contains progressive rock elements and unpredictable shifts in tempo and structure. The tracks that received the most regional airplay, "Kathleen" and "Shining in Here," were undeniable pop numbers that had just enough character and uniqueness to disqualify them from widespread appeal. And it's that off-kilter quality that makes Snopek stand out in a world of processed and force-fed sounds.

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