3.2 is a continuation of the progressive rock band 3, in which multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Robert Berry played alongside ELP members Carl Palmer and the late Keith Emerson. ‘Third Impression’ is the follow up to 2018 debut album ‘The Rules Have Changed’ and is a fine match for its predecessor, presenting a mixture of epic songs that include album opener ‘Top Of The World’ and the closing ‘Never’ (the latter co-written by Berry and Emerson), plus more melodic and AOR moments.
“Being left with ‘Never’, the final song that Keith and I worked on, weighed heavily on me,” explains Berry. “It was as if my friend was still here as we had this song unreleased to the world. It was a big and powerful piece of music, but was too long to fit on ‘The Rules Have Changed’. However, the more I listened to it, the more it brought me back to the many conversations Keith and I had about style and where 3’s sound may have headed. I am so proud of these 3.2 albums and my time in 3. Playing with Keith was, and will remain, the best experience of my musical life.”
The choice of ‘A Fond Farewell’ as the first single to be taken from the new album was swiftly agreed between Berry and Frontiers. “It can be difficult for an artist to pick which song from an album should be released first,” he continues. “The choice made by Frontiers made complete sense. Not only because of the current state of the world, but also for reasons that true fans of 3.2 will understand, ‘A Fond Farewell’ is the perfect launch for the final works started with 3.”
Conversations between Berry and Frontiers about a new 3 album took place in 2015 as Berry and Emerson had discussed a follow-up to ‘…To The Power Of Three’ album from 1988. From old cassette tapes, including Emerson keyboard parts and demos, collaborating on musical ideas over the phone, to long discussions about musical direction, the framework of the album was set, but Emerson’s untimely death in March 2016 made the album an uncertainty initially. After months of grieving and contemplating what to do with these co-written songs and musical fragments from Emerson, Berry decided to resume work on the material and craft a record that would ultimately be a fitting tribute to his late friend’s legacy and at the same time re-energise and update the musical style begun with 3 more than three decades previously. This resulted in 3.2 and a debut record of exquisite progressive music.
The working relationship between Berry and Emerson began in 1987 when iconic manager Brian Lane (Yes, Asia, A-ha, etc.) and drummer Carl Palmer arranged a meeting between the two prolific musicians. The plan was to form a more melodic, song oriented band (in comparison to Emerson, Lake & Palmer) that would allow Emerson, Berry and Palmer to follow in the footsteps of the success that Asia and GTR were enjoying during that period. 3 was thus born, resulting in a top 10 US single in ‘Talkin’ Bout’ and an acclaimed North American tour.
1 Top Of The World
2 What Side You’re On
3 Black Of Night
4 Killer Of Hope
5 Missing Piece
6 A Bond Of Union
7 The Devil Of Liverpool
8 Emotional Trigger
9 A Fond Farewell
3.2 is Robert Berry