Three giants of prog rock on this incredible album: Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson), Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani), and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theatre). This album has won number "Best of 2013 Albums" accolades. Go to LevinMinnemannRudess.com for full details.
Here are some reviews:
Rating: A+ . . .I would simply say that Levin Minnemann and Rudess have released an album that drips of pure talent and unleashed pure music into our often drab universe. The music these three men have made imitates the emotional aspects of humanity. At times it rushes, nearly out of control, other times it sets a mood with musical light and shade, all the while stretching the very fabric of our imaginations. The music becomes a living entity much stronger than that three men who were chosen by the Musical Gods to be the mediums used to create this audio nectar. It is no wonder, upon closer examination, how this came to be, as Tony Levin is perhaps the best bass player to ever grace the musical world, while drummer Marco Minnemann is a pure maestro of the beat and Jordan Rudess is, simply put, a keyboard freak. Together these guys have made something special. And I am a guitar guy. I like Foghat. If I can get into this then anyone can get into this, for this album is a musical trip that once taken, never gets old. . . --Jeb Wright, Classic Rock Revisited
. . .One of the most intriguing and listenable albums of the year. It started with Levin and Minneman building most of the foundations before sending them along to Rudess to wave his musical wand over them (and play his ass off on some stunningly fresh keyboard immersions). And by the way, Minnemann also handles the guitars on the album. Who knew? Given where these guys have been in their careers, there are certainly some things that you would expect. Wildly inventive, proggish excursions with strange sounds and textures? Check. Unconventional time signatures and elastic tempos? Check. But beyond the marvelously weird and creative things one might anticipate, there are other bonus jackpots along the way. For instance, as ethereal and free-flowing as many of the songs are, there are melodies embedded within that are so solid and memorable that they begin to feel like hit records you've just never heard. Lakeshore Lights swings and grooves with so many snazzy little riffs it's hard to keep track of all of them. In fact, you can all but toss the term prog out on many of these charismatic tunes. The beautifully crafted melodies live within many different styles here - from the steely and metallic Dancing Feet to the spacey and frantic Fossil Fool, but live they do. As Levin explained to me recently, the songs do matter to him and he works hard to make sure that, for all the experimentation and musical wandering, it all has some sort of point. And it's not to say that the band doesn't indulge in a little musical muscle flexing to remind us all that progressive music matters to them. Mew, one of the more longish tunes (clocking in at 7:48) features lots of funky little excursions that will fit well on any prog playlist. But then you get The Blizzard, a sweeping and jazzy dream piece that lushly illustrates the tastefulness of these three players. LMR is quite the remarkable feat. In a day and age when many veteran artists choose to rest on past performances, these three experts have carved out a distinctly modern and memorable piece of free-spirited work that feels very much like it has a future beyond this debut release. The chemistry and trust they seem to place in each other has resulted in a complex and crafty collection that would also seem to have a much broader appeal beyond just the ardent fans who follow the other projects these guys are involved in. Prepare to be dazzled, charmed and certainly entertained. --Chris Epting, VintageRock.com
First, these furiously inventive tracks were borne not out of jam sessions something you might have reliably assumed considering the musical lineage associated with Tony Levin, Marco Minnemann and Jordan Rudess but from a period of focused songwriting. Levin and Minnemann worked out each track s contours, and then Rudess added finishing touches...The album eventually comes to take in elements of their celebrated tenures with King Crimson (Levin), Steven Wilson (Minnemann) and Dream Theater (Rudess), but only enough to provide a road map to fresh discovery. There are times (and they come often) when this couldn t sound less like those well-known antecedents, starting when Minnemann picks up his guitar another thrilling feint. Levin Minnemann Rudess actually opens with a thunderous, Deep Purple-ish groove on Marcopolis, signaling that this isn t going to be another typical prog-inflected excursion. In fact, there are a number of intriguing, wholly astonishing textures here, things that previously existed far off this trio s individual beaten paths.
So we get these brutal (and I mean that in the best possible way) moments like Frumious Banderfunk and Afa Vulu. But also Mew, which has a ruminative, almost (dare I say this?) smooth-jazz quality at times. The Descent, though powered by a patently elastic performance by Levin, roams through these transfixing, very cinematic landscapes only to give way to Scrod, which explores a galloping, mind-bending rock calculus. Lakeshore and Service Engine, in their own unique fashion, combine both aesthetics before soaring to these anthemic conclusions.
Rudess, throughout, is simply a wonder the very personification of this madcap disregard for expectations surrounding Levin Minnemann Rudess. As he tries out a blur of sounds and samples, painting in an often-stunning new tapestry of colors, the album shakes off any comparisons to the Liquid Tension albums, which also featured Rudess and Levin but could have felt very much like a Dream Theater side project. Then there s Minnemann, reasserting something that s been largely forgotten during his time as a back-stage rhythmnist: He is more than capable of creating his own songcraft, and of unleashing riffs that could bring down buildings.
Working in tandem with the endlessly dexterous Levin, they ve created a layered, dizzyingly inventive project bruising when it needs to be, and stirringly translucent at others. That Levin, whose journey has been defined by switching gears, is standing in the middle of this maelstrom of musical delights might just be the only thing that isn t a pleasant surprise about Levin Minnemann Rudess. --Nick DeRiso, Something Else Reviews