Prog Rock is an interesting genre. Sometimes a band (or song) can blow you away with its imagination and musicianship. Sometimes a band (or song) can leave you feeling, “What are they trying to prove?”
And reactions tend to be both extreme, and extremely personal. One person’s “Man, this is so good,” can be another’s “How can you even listen to that?”
My favourite bit of self-indulgent showing off is Thick As A Brick by Jethro Tull. You may agree, laugh uproariously, or hurl as you see fit, but for me it’s an amazing tour de force, as complex as any classical symphony or opera.
The transitions from section to section (and there are a lot of them) are seamless. The intricacy of the arrangement is impressive. And the tightness of the band is second to none.
Perhaps what’s most impressive, though, is that those cats played the entire piece live (I saw them do so in 1973), and they were just as tight as the record.
Love it or hate it, the one thing prog rock will do is impress you with the skill of the musicians.