Review THE TANGENT ‘Songs From the Hard Shoulder’

The Tangent recently announced their 12th studio album – ‚Songs From the Hard Shoulder‘. The Band started in 2002 as a side project, featuring members from bands like Po90, The Flower Kings and Van der Graaf Generator. The Tangent and the first release, ‘The Music That Died Alone’, was rather successful and what began as a one-off project evolved to a continuous player in the fields of progressive rock.

The newest effort is called ‘Songs From the Hard Shoulder’ and brings four songs to the plate, all different. The first three tunes are the expected 17-20-minute tracks that are more than only songs. They are compositions and they all tell a story. Like with some of the other releases these days, the pandemic and the connected lockdown had an impact on mood and music.

‘The Changes’ starts the album and is a multi-layered song with twists and turns. Fans of progressive rock music will like what they get offered here and the same goes for ‘The GPS Vultures’. Progressive rock and jazz blend into each other, resulting in 17 minutes journey through the wide range of sounds. The versatility of this song is immense and ‘The GPS Vultures’ has so much to offer that vocals would be more of a distraction. It’s the music and the singing guitar that take over the role of the storyteller.

The Tangent’s new album isn’t a happy flow album. It starts with the artwork with a girl, standing at a road where everybody passes. It is almost like it felt during the lockdown when one could have the feeling of life passing by while oneself standing at the sideline. ‘The Lady Tied to the Lamp Post’ builds on this situation. It’s a thoughtful song with the music creating the perfect vibe and acoustic surrounding for a darkened theme.

To not drown in the quicksand of melancholy the album includes with ‘Wasted Soul’ also a positive and swinging song. The Motown tune is an upbeat one, giving the album a twist towards the bright side of life. There is always sun after the rain and although it might be naive optimistic, there is always a chance for a twist.

‘Songs From the Hard Shoulder’ is an album with sophisticated music beyond trends and hypes. Tillison and his bandmates use their musical skills to create a touching and reflecting album that echoes the mood during the pandemic and at the same ends with a positive outlook. The Tangent, that was and is an interesting musical mélange that takes time and attention to unfold everything that’s woven into their music.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  • The Changes
  • The GPS Vultures
  • The Lady Tied To The Lamp Post
  • Wasted Soul
  • In the Dead of Night (Bonus Track)

Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: June 10th, 2022


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