Title - '3.2 - The Rules Have Changed'
Artist - Robert Berry
For those not already aware, the working relationship between the legendary keyboard player Keith Emerson and singer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Berry started in 1987.
Iconic manager Brian Lane (Yes, Asia, A-Ha, It Bites, etc.) and Carl Palmer arranged a meeting between the two prolific musicians.
The plan was to form a more melodic, song oriented band (compared to EL&P), which would allow Emerson, Berry and Palmer to follow in the footsteps of the success that Asia and GTR were enjoying in that period.
The result of that collaboration between Emerson, Berry and Palmer was the band 3, and the album ... To The Power of Three released worldwide by Geffen Records in 1988.
The first single, 'Talkin' 'Bout' reached #9 on the Billboard Magazine charts and the band toured the US to support the album.
With the success of the first release, Geffen urged the band to go back into the studio to begin work on a second album, but Emerson felt uncomfortable with Geffen's momentum stifling, inconsistent strategy that ultimately cut the first album's success short; consequently prompting the band to call it quits.
At the time of their breakup several songs were already written for that second release (later released on Robert Berry's solo album, Pilgrimage to a Point ).
However, in October 2015, conversations about a new 3 album started between Robert Berry and Frontiers President, Serafino Perugino as Robert had been speaking to Keith about releasing the long-delayed 3 follow up album.
Along with renewed fan interest in the band and those conversations, Berry had sparked revived enthusiasm from Keith Emerson for pursuing the project.
The exchange of musical ideas and song collaborations ultimately paved the groundwork for this new release to be called 3.2.
Everything was set. Song ideas, studio time, record contract... and then, that dark day. Emerson's untimely death made the album an uncertainty.
Ergo, Robert was left with Keith Emerson's final musical ideas for the project. From old cassette tapes, keyboard parts written over the phone, to long discussions about style, the framework of the album was set and ready to be produced.
After several months of grieving and contemplation about what to do with these co-written songs and musical fragments from Emerson, Robert decided to resume work on the material that was created and craft a record that would ultimately be a fitting tribute to Keith Emerson's musical legacy.
One that at the very same time would re-energize and update the musical style started with 3 some 30 years ago.
Released August 10th, 2018 by Frontiers Music, the final result is the aforementioned 3.2 - The Rules Have Changed, a reboot of the original 3 project, now centered on Robert Berry's amazing talents.
1. 'One By One'
2. 'Powerful Man'
3. 'The Rules Have Changed'
4. 'Our Bond'
5. 'What You're Dreamin' Now'
6. 'Somebody's Watching'
7. 'This Letter'
8. 'Your Mark On The World'
Beginning with the stunning piano work and synth lead in on 'One By One,' that bleeds seamlessly into the prog rock, melodic AOR sounds of 'Powerful Man' before the power ballad 'The Rules Have Changed' is upon us.
The dulcet piano work of the ballad 'Our Bond' is both stunning and alights just perfectly as it flows, with the soaring, towering synth and guitar work of 'What You're Dreamin' Now' a delicious stand out highlight.
The age old, classic, sprawling prog synth sensibilities of 'Somebody's Watching' is yet another highlight here, with the lo-fi acoustic guitar sound of 'This Letter' and the pulsating album closer 'Your Mark On The World' rounding out the album perfectly.
In truth, 3.2 - The Rules Have Changed is a record that deserves to be heard by each and every fan of the great Keith Emerson.
Inclusive of some exquisite musical parts, which every progressive music fan will be delighted to indulge in, this album is, without a shadow of a doubt, for fans of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Asia, John Wetton, GTR, Dream Theater, et al.
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