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To say that Flower Kings bassist Jonas Reingold's side project Karmakanic, heard here on its fourth album, is decisively influenced by British progressive rock of the late '60s and early ‘70s is only to say that the style simply constitutes Reingold's musical vocabulary. He cannot restrain himself from writing arrangements in which tempos change suddenly, dynamics shift, new melodies are introduced well into a given song, and solos are constructed around rapidly played arpeggios. Even when he begins "When the World Is Caving In" with an introspective a cappella vocal, he has to then repeat the verse set against a complicated musical track played in a different time signature. The only real exception on In a Perfect World comes toward the end with "When Fear Came to Town," in which the slow tempo does hold throughout the track, even though halfway through what had been a simple arrangement takes on a long, involved instrumental coda. Elsewhere, complexity rules, but complexity of a familiar sort. A song like the 14-minute opener, "1969," is typical. Lyrically, Reingold may be referring to the end of the glorious ‘60s, but he's also referring to the birth of the musical style he loves. And lyrically, the song sounds like a battle of the bands between a Yes tribute group and a Peter Gabriel era Genesis tribute group, both on-stage at the same time. That isn't a bad thing, necessarily, and it certainly takes a technical proficiency. But some of the best moments on the album come when Reingold varies things somewhat, such as the Latin rhythm he introduces into "Can't Take It with You" and, every now and then, his fretless bass, popping up unexpectedly, as if the ghost of Jaco Pastorius were haunting the sessions.
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