Here's a fun 3 disc set from keyboard virtuoso Erik Norlander; 2CDs and a DVD all featuring new in-studio performances of original Norlander compositions that were previously recorded and performed by his various projects, now given new life by his new outfit The Galactic Collective. Though you've heard these songs before, these new versions are fresh and vibrant, and given royal treatment by Norlander, guitarist Freddy DeMarco, bassist Mark Matthews, drummer Nick LePar, and guests John Payne, Mitch Perry, Mark McCrite, Ron Redfield, and Lana Lane. The DVD features all the tracks, filmed in the studio, along with Norlander's interview segments introducing & explaining in detail each song, and the 2 CDs contain the audio versions of the songs, plus a few bonus alternate takes.
To say that this is a classy, informative, and enjoyable release is an understatement. Erik Norlander is such an engaging and intelligent musician who obviously loves what he does and strives to give the most professional and polished product to his fans, and you can't help but feel that vibe throughout the DVD portion of this set. There are some classic tunes on display here, such as the gorgeous "Sky Full of Stars", the dreamy "After the Revolution" (featuring some wonderful guitar courtesy of Perry, Redfield, and Payne), the keyboard shred of "Neurosaur", the symphonic "Astrology Prelude", the futuristic & quite progressive "Trantor Station", the epic "The Dark Water", and the hard driving, orchestral, Lana Lane instrumental staple "Garden of the Moon". Through it all, Norlander's vast array of vintage and current keyboard gear is on display and utilized, and the new band really smokes, especially DeMarco, who is a sizzling guitar player.