3.2-The Rules Have Changed
Frontiers Music srl
One of the best albums of 1988 was the one by the group 3 entitled ‘To The Power Of Three’. It was a new collaboration between keyboard virtuoso Keith Emerson, drummer Carl Palmer (both of ELP fame) and talented singer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Berry. In those days other similar progressive/symphonic acts like Asia were storming the charts and record company Geffen wanted a piece of that action by launching 3. Things did not completely work out and although several songs for a second album had already been written feeling stifled and pressured by the record company Keith Emerson pulled the plug. Robert Berry (who formed Alliance) later used some songs for his solo release ‘Pilgrimage To A Point’. We forward the clock to 2015 as Berry and people from the label Frontiers started talking about that long overdue second 3 studio album (two live albums were released after the demise of 3) and even Keith Emerson showed interest. So Keith and Robert started discussing material, exchanged ideas and arrangements. That process was rudely interrupted when Keith Emerson died in March 2016. After a while Robert Berry decided to bring this project to the finish, working totally on his own on the old ideas and fragments, making them into songs. In between he got also involved with the new band All 41 releasing their debut CD on Frontiers last year. Although Keith Emerson has not played a note on ‘The Rules Have Changed’ I think he would have been happy with what Berry has cooked up. The songs are dominated by big arrangements and are very versatile, a bit bombastic at the time but crafted and very much in the style of that epic first album. Fans of progressive and symphonic rock that have bands like ELP in their favourite corner will for sure feel the spirit of Emerson being present in the material. Robert Berry can be proud indeed. Not only has he managed to recreate the magic of that first album, he also managed to do it on his own with no real outside help, showing how talented he is as a writer, singer and overall musician.