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Margin - Psychedelic Teatime CD (album) cover

PSYCHEDELIC TEATIME

Margin

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.27 | 20 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
3 stars MARGIN is basically a one-man band from Berlin, Germany with that one man being Lutz Meinert who handles virtually every aspect of the album ranging from all instruments, all lead vocals as well as songwriting, production and even the paintings for the album art. He is helped out a bit by his wife Carola on background vocals on a couple tracks and Arne Spekat who supplies acoustic guitar on two tracks. The name MARGIN may seem like an unlikely name for a psychedelic band but it in fact comes from a live album by Peter Hammill titled "The Margin." The music on this album is advertised as heavily influenced by early 70s Pink Floyd and it turns out that it is for the most part, however there are a few surprises on this album as well.

The album begins with the best part of the entire album, the five-part suite "A Mysterious Cup Of Tea" which does come off as one of the best Pink Floyd tributes I think i've ever heard. There are many parts that remind you of your favorite Floydian moments from various earlier albums. The acoustic guitar of Arne Spekat is quite brilliant and provides the backbone for the entire suite to expand its psychedelic tentacles including very well done effects complete with contemplations of a cup of tea that contains its own universe. One that expands its world around you and beckoning you to take the plunge and promises a relaxing tranquility and a saucerful of secrets. Definitely my favorite part of the album.

After the 23 minute plus suite MARGIN changes gears a bit and unfortunately not for the better. The next track is "Psychedelic Underground - The Short Trip" which is clearly intended to be the single off the album. It is a nicely crafted neo-psychedelia pop song that seems a little disjointed from what came before, but ok for what it is and kind of a gleeful celebration of the psychedelic world in general. Up next is the beautiful folk song "Landscapes On The Sky" which is my second favorite part of the album. We are treated to a lush trippy arpeggio laden acoustic guitar musing continuing the dreamy hallucinative lyrics that make you want to drift on the big puffy clouds and count the refracted colors as they pass through crystalline pyramids with wings in the sky. Melodic freak folk at its finest. Unfortunately this is where the album should end.

The next track "Last Exit To Pluto" feels like filler to me. For a 10 minute plus lengthy track it seems to be a bit repetitive and without enough variations to warrant its duration. I don't find the riff particular catchy and it certainly isn't as trippy as it should be. Finally we get a reprise of the "Psychedelic Underground" but this time it's "The Long Trip." Again, this seems like a futile exercise in trying to make the pop-oriented single of album seem more important than it really is. I didn't mind "The Short Trip" as it was quick and to the point but this one just seems a little forced and arbitrary. The pop hooks just don't work with the attempt to create a tripped out musical ride and doesn't really contribute to the theme of the album as it ends.

Overall I find this to be a fun album that doesn't take itself too seriously and delivers the influences that it advertises while adding other elements as well. I really wish the other members would have more prominence. Carola Meinert barely can be heard on the entire album. She only contributes shadow vocals behind Lutz' lead. Some of my favorite psychedelic music has female background vocals even if they only result in oooo's and aaaah's. Another aspect of the album that I really love is the acoustic guitar playing of Arne Spekat. I think the other songs could have benefited from his contributions as his melodic prowess makes a solid template for the other sounds to build upon. I have to admit that the vocal department from Lutz works fine on the first suite but his laid back approach seems a little weak on the later tracks and would benefit from a more dynamic vocal range and yes since it's been mentioned I have to agree that The Pet Shop Boys do come to mind on the poppier tracks. Although I don't find this a perfect album, it is a pleasant enough album and it's just bursting with some serious potential. I have high hopes that a second release will find itself a more cohesive one that irons out some of the wrinkles that make this one feel a little awkward at times. A fun album that will keep me coming back especially for the best tracks.

Tracks 1-5, 7 = 4 stars Track 6 = 3 stars Tracks 8, 9 = 2 stars

Total 32 / 9 = 3.4 so rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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