Umphrey's McGee was and is a grab bag. Started as a technically experienced prog project, the six-man from the US-American Indiana turned out to be a flawless jam band, who liked it most of all to be tricky. With the seventh album, the band now flirts more with rock and pop. "Similar Skin" nevertheless offers eleven highly entertaining pieces. Because strong melodies run through the whole album, refining not only more pop songs like "No Diablo" or "Hourglass", which remind of Supertramp, hard and blues rockers ("Little Gift", "Hindsight") as well as epic AOR-inspired songs ("Cut The Calble"), but also the only two tracks which could still be called prog: the opener "The Linear" and the nine-minute, outstanding "bouncer" "Bridgeless", which skilfully combines Math, Latin, Rock and Progmetal elements. Despite all the diversity of the sound material, it's always a pleasure to listen to the band as they make mainstream structures into something very special through small changes in the arrangement.
Top Track: Bridgeless