Artist/ Band: Xinema
Title: Basic Communication
Label: Unicorn Digital
Year of Release: 2006
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

Having enjoyed this Swedish band’s 2001 CD “Different Ways,” I was excited to hear Xinema’s newest 2006 release “Basic Communication.” I really enjoy the style of progressive rock they play in. For reference points, imagine a kind of Pink Floyd/Alan Parsons crossed with Saga-style electric guitar work. I also noticed on this recording some similarities in singing style to Eric Stewart’s (from the band 10cc).

The CD opens with great keyboard work from Mikael Askemur that establishes the ethereal, soft AOR yet prog sound that I appreciate this band so much for. It then picks up when the forceful guitar riffs come in. The guitar work from Sven Larsson brings an excellent aggressive quality to almost every song on this album. Otherwise, the dynamics would definitely skew way too far to the easy & mellow. Kudos to Sven!

“Speak to the World” is the first prog-epic on the album and includes tracks #4-7. #4 & 6 are very short instrumentals that introduce and connect the two vocal tracks “Newton’s Cradle” and the title track “Basic Communication.” This opus is very good! I think I would have preferred this track as a whole, but that is little complaint for such a strong piece. I especially enjoy the incredible build on “Newton’s Cradle” that uses great drum fills (from occasional vocalist Jonas Thuren) and a toy piano sound to take itself to a wonderful guitar solo that shows you just how good this band is. The whole four track composition closes with a soaring guitar lead on “Basic Communication.”

The second epic “Ghost of a Memory” is not quite as strong as the first, despite more excellent musicianship from all three members of Xinema. However, it’s still quality prog with superior AOR and Neo leanings just as the entire album is. Basic Communication will appeal to any prog-fan who appreciates a strong melody and tight songwriting.The Review:

Reviewed by Terry Jackson on January 9th, 2007


1. Colours (5:08)
2. Train To Nowhere (4:50)
3. Talk (5:54)

4. Speak to the World Part I - Awakenings (1:57)
5. Speak to the World Part II - Newtons Cradle (4:58)
6. Speak to the World Part III - At the Hovel of Eddies (0:51)
7. Speak to the World Part IV - Basic Communication (4:48)

8. Life The Way I Knew It (3:41)

9. Ghost of a Memory Part I - Nothing to Fear (4:00)
10. Ghost of a Memory Part II - Grapes of Wrath (0:43)
11. Ghost of a Memory Part III - the Passage (1:18)
12. Ghost of a Memory Part IV - Black Pigeon (5:22)
13. Ghost of a Memory Part V - Deus Ex Machina (1:26)

14. Dust In Your Eyes (5:40)

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