(All Album Reviews by BrianG)
With high ideals of world peace and environmental conscience, Australia’s Unitopia use their music as a staging ground for their – yes I get it - Utopian message. Mark Truack and Sean Timms are the guiding light here, providing lead vocals, songwriting and keyboards. The band is very tight, and the production is clean and clear.
Unitopia seems to have three gears –
First Gear: A slick, 1980’s neo-prog sound used in “Fate”, “Ride” and “More Than A Dream” reminiscent of The Flower Kings, circa Rainmaker or Adam and Eve, or even in places, The Police. Use of a Kenny G saxophone sound and over-repeating choruses amplify the resemblance.
Second Gear: A crunchy and spacey Porcupine Tree / Incubus sound used in “Common Goal” and “Justify”. This makes the beginning of the album sound very different from the rest, and leaves one waiting for it to reappear.
Third Gear: All out symphonic with full orchestration and chorus like in “Take Good Care” and “Slow Down”. These songs sound like a full orchestra playing pop similar to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, culminating in a very enjoyable, sing-along chorus lead by lead singer Shireen Kemlani. And look for the superb African chorus sounding very much like the soundtrack to the Broadway show “Lion King”. A clever and moving touch to their epic track.
Although the songwriting range is mostly a rather cookbook affair, the album has a message of environmental awareness and world peace, making it a positive outing often missing in the music world. Best of fortune to them all.