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The Great Game is a progressive world music band from Europe, and they have just released their self-titled debut album. Depending on the situation, singer David Hastings voice seems to bridge the gap between a smoky, rambling blues singer and the prowling, sleekness of Frank Tovey, aka Fad Gadget. Just as bipolar as these two influences sound, so is the styles represented from track to track on this album. Priding themselves on truly being a band of the world, The Great Game straddles every cultural style at different times from Reggae, Middle Eastern stylings, Spanish boleros, and even genres like Progressive, Jazz, and Blues.
If you’re wondering at all how this could come together without sounding like a big cacophonous jumble, you wouldn’t be criticized for thinking so. And you’re partially right. It can be a little jarring to go from a harder rock song like “Religionism” to a light, jazzy number like “The Turning Of The Wheel Of Dhamma,” but once you grab hold of their concept, it can actually be quiet enjoyable to hear how everything intertwines. That’s the point of the band. As improbable as it would sound to have accordion playing predominately on a song like “Hungarian Dream,” it works surprisingly well. The Great Game is like taking a flight to every continent and realizing there are very little fundamental differences after all.
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