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Somewhere I've Never Travelled

Ambrosia

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Album Review

After achieving moderate success with their self-titled debut, Ambrosia decided to up the ante by going for a bigger, more symphonic sound on this follow-up outing. To achieve this goal, they enlisted Alan Parsons, who mixed their first album, to produce and Andrew Powell (arranger for the Alan Parsons Project) to do full-blown orchestral arrangements on a number of the tracks. The resulting album lacks the careful fusion of pop and prog elements that characterized Ambrosia, with songs tending to fall into either progressive or soft rock categories. Just the same, it is a strong album with a number of sonically arresting moments. The finest songs are the most overtly progressive, the most dazzling being "Danse With Me, George," a tribute to Chopin that leads the listener through a bewildering array of styles (classical, jazz, and pop, to name just a few) in just under eight minutes. "Cowboy Star" is another knockout, bringing its tale of a city dweller who dreams of cowboy glory to life with a beautiful orchestral mid-section that is strongly reminiscent of Aaron Copland. None of the straightforward pop songs are as catchy or instantly memorable as "Holdin' on to Yesterday," but "Runnin' Away" presents an appealing blend of carefully arranged harmonies and acoustic sounds, and "We Need You Too" provides the album with a suitably stately finale by building from a piano-led solo ballad into a cascade of soaring strings and harmony vocals. All in all, Somewhere I've Never Travelled lacks the crossover appeal that made Ambrosia such a unique album but is still a worthwhile listen for progressive rock fans.

Biography

Formed: 1971 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Los Angeles quartet Ambrosia, whose founding members included guitarist/vocalist David Pack, bassist/vocalist Joe Puerta, keyboardist Christopher North, and drummer Burleigh Drummond, fused symphonic art rock with a slickly produced pop sound. The group was discovered in 1971 by Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Zubin Mehta, who featured Ambrosia as part of a so-called All-American Dream Concert. However, it took them four more years to get a record contract; Ambrosia was released in 1975 and spawned...
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Somewhere I've Never Travelled, Ambrosia
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