My A To Z Music Challenge: Letter N – Navigator

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I absolutely love Navigator! I can not say enough positive things about this American progressive rock band. Their musical heart is planted firmly in 1970’s progressive rock. But their sound and approach are thoroughly modern.

Formed in 1998 Navigator currently has released three albums of high quality progressive rock. The band’s debut album, reEvolutionone, was released in 2002. It is one of the best progressive rock albums that I have heard over the last fifteen years.

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Musically the band builds on the influences of progressive rock giants such as Genesis, ELP and Kansas. With that kind of foundation you can expect a great deal of keyboards. Navigator does not disappoint in this area. Keyboards are one of the many strengthes of the music.

Often times in progressive rock music there is a fine line between the balance of keyboards and guitar. Far to often there is to much of one at the expense of the other. Navigator displays a perfect balance between guitar and keyboards. Both instruments drive the songs and complement one another.

Each member of the band  is a highly  skilled musician. As a collective they play for the song. Long, meandering virtuosic solos are not a part of the music of Navigator. There are lengthy instrumental passages and solos to be found. But Navigator goes for mood and atmosphere over instrumental showboating.

I am quite fond of the lead guitars on Navigator’s albums. Michael Soro handles the guitars on the band’s first and third albums. Robert James Piper has six string duties on the second album, reEvolution 2 (2005). Both have provided the music with a great deal of wonderfully engaging guitar work.

The smooth vocals of Marc Perrcelli are a pleasure to listen to. His voice is one of the major highlights of the band’s music.  He is a confident vocalist whose voice has traces of Paul Carrick, Phil Collins, Greg Lake and John Wetton.  Percelli also handles the dramatic keyboards.

This is a progressive rock band that I highly recommend. Their most recent album, Phantom Ships (2014), is their grandest musical statement yet. I definitely look forward to hearing more fantastic progressive rock music from Navigator in the future.

 

Troy T.

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