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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Seven Steps to the Green Door

Step in 2 My World (ProgRock Records)

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Seven Steps to the Green Door blurs pop, jazz, rap and progressive rock, never stylistically standing still long enough for listeners' attention to lapse. The German collective featuring four musicians and a trio of male and female vocalists previously won two prestigious German Rock and Pop Awards in the progressive and experimental categories, and it's easy to hear why on the Prince-ly titled Step in 2 My World.

"New Rising" kicks things off with musical references to Saga and '80s-era Yes, while "Moon Talks to Me" recalls Seal. But tracks such as "Stay Beside," "Attract Me," "Closer," "Rising Shore" and the title cut include rapping or aggressive vocal distortion over urgent riffs, dreamy arrangements or soulful grooves. The members of Seven Steps seldom lose sight of the infectious melodies that propel most of these dozen songs, but the variety may be too eclectic for less-adventurous listeners.

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