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Art Rock Circus


Heavens Cafe' Live - A Rock Opera by John Miner

Year: 1998
Format: CD
Label: Tributary
Genre: [Psychedelic Art Rock]
Overall Rating: 8.0
Music: 8.5
Production: 7.0

Since the "Heavens Cafe'" rock opera took the stage again (currently on six week run in Los Angeles with Insurgo Theater), a review of corresponding live recording could be in place. John Miner is the man behind Art Rock Circus, and he recently did the guitar work for the K album "Book of the Dead" except for the guest guitar solos by Allan Holdsworth. As the name of the band (Art Rock Circus) suggests, the music they play is art rock in the vein of the acts of seventies. Unlike the so-called metal operas that are quite popular these days, ARC's Heavens Cafe' is a real play with dancers and all - a true musical.

It's a shame this release doesn't come as a DVD, since it would have been great to see the play in addition to the music and the story, which by the way is rather good. Musically this album is laid-back art rock with great performances by the cast members (the lyrics are eloquent). The songs float effortlessly and blend together almost seamlessly.

Unfortunately the recordings on this album aren't as good as the music is. There's slight background noise on the recordings, which luckily isn't too obtrusive. The sounds, on the other hand, are quite atmospheric and fitting but I reckon this would have sounded great on the spot.

If you listen to art rock and are intrigued by concept albums, you should check out Art Rock Cafe. This live album captures their lively performance, to which one can come back from time to time... but if you get a chance, I recommend you to check out the whole performance live.

Visit Artist's Website

- MAGE (May 27th, 2005)


Miner, John: Guitar
Cornell, Jon: Bass
Weisberg, Jon: Drums
Grimmett, Melanie: Violin

The Cast:
Ashmore, Todd: Lark
Gifford, Allison: Robin
Burris, Timothy: Kral
Critchfield, Sean: Classical Man
Miche': Guardian Angel
Josh: The Dark One

In addition there are the dancers...
Producer: Miner, John
Mixing by: Miner, John
Mastering by: Digital Insight
Art Rock Circus - Heavens Cafe' Live - A Rock Opera by John Miner  CD  Cover Image
01. Last Smile Sunshine
02. Astralography
03. Heavens Cafe'
04. Never Alone
05. Classical Man
06. Labyrinth
07. Tower of Information
08. Again
09. Flowing Home
10. The Dark
11. Robins' Lullaby

Length: 46:04
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