The earlier recordings from this band are more of a band effort, but through loss of their rhythm section became only three players on keyboards, recorder, guitars, and vocals with their newest release Twisted. The impression I get from this CD is an acoustic, folky style of neo-prog. Sure enough, when visiting the Tea For Two website, they have described themselves as “Art Folk Progressive Rock.” I think that is an apt description.
The disc opens with “Spanish Night,” which through use of flamenco-style guitar validates its name, although the frequent use of the recorder on this song and throughout the album gives it a Celtic feel as well. This is the most extensive use of the recorder instrument that I’ve heard in a prog release and find it very interesting and unusual.
Several instrumentals also appear on this disc. The first is “Soundscapes” which reminds of Anthony Phillips as it trades instrumentation between acoustic guitar and piano. It picks up about halfway into the song by introducing electric instruments, alternating motifs with the guitar and keyboards. I find it to be a very strong piece. “Last Drink” is a solo grand piano song that strongly recalls George Winston’s better works. “Why?” is slow and deliberate, also reminding me slightly of Anthony Phillips’ earlier albums.
The vocal tunes all have tuneful melodies and track about four or five minutes with the exception of the last cut, “Come What May” that’s over 7 minutes. Some stand out songs include “Out In the Sun” that alternates the Celtic sound with Focus-style guitar, “My Own Way” that builds nicely to a dynamic finish and a memorable chorus, and the aforementioned “Spanish Night.” All songs on this CD are worth mentioning as making a strong impression on the listener however.
This release by Tea For Two is progressive rock with very simple, basic roots. It’s very much steeped in the folk tradition with catchy motifs and great instrumentation. This is acoustic art-rock reminiscent of some of the quieter works by Mostly Autumn, Pendragon, and others previously mentioned. Recommended.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on May 12th, 2007