To his credit, Taylor's description of the album isn't totally off. Each track is carefully constructed and has a newfound sense of direction. There are still left turns, but they're more intuitive, and the mood shifts are more climactic (like the hallucinogenic explosion in the midsection of "Grove.") Each song feeds into the next, starting with the cartoonish "Forum," which morphs into the buoyant basslines of "Serialiser." By the time the album reaches its centrepiece, a two-track movement "At Sixes..." & "...and Sevens," the music is as dense and virtuosic as any '70s prog rock album.
Your own experience with Six Degrees depends on how well you handle excess. The supremely artificial sound palette—chirpy bleeps, splotches of wet synth—means that Six Degrees can slip into a bland sugar rush if you're not paying close attention. But it also contributes to the album's distinct light-heartedness, a delight after the sprawl of Cowan's previous work. Echoing the dense compositional wizardry of bands like Yes and Emerson Lake & Palmer, Six Degrees takes a combination of patience and good humour to understand and enjoy. If you've got that, it's a wild ride.