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Porcelain Moon - ...As It Were. Here and There CD (album) cover

...AS IT WERE. HERE AND THERE

Porcelain Moon

 

Crossover Prog

3.63 | 20 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A couple of weeks ago I chose to write about the second release of this Finnish group, without even listening to the debut. Good solution for the freshness of my reception for Swan Song EP (2012), but a disappointment to find this debut album less pleasing in comparison. On my EP review I said (as it's instrumentally oriented) that I would have liked to hear a bit more of Charlotta Kerbs's vocals, and now I almost think exactly the opposite with this album. I feel some songs are not completely suitable for her voice; when she increases volume and approaches ballsy Hard Rock style, it doesn't sound good to me.

Such case is the opener 'Lost in Haze', an intensive rocker, which happily has also an instrumental section, albeit a very jam-like, one that would feel more natural in a gig. (Now that the new band BLUES PILLS is the Next Big Thing internationally, I get some association to them musically. But Elin Larsson is in a league of her own.) Compared to the EP the whole album is less progressive in song structures and closer to classic Heavy Rock, favouring organ in the keys department. One could imagine Charlotta being changed to a male voice such as David Byron or David Coverdale to make songs more credible.

'Parts' begins very slowly and hazily. To this dreamy and "psychedelicate" context the female voice fits much better. This emotionally strong 6-minute song is a highlight, even if at times it loses the plot. 'Caught in a Dream' resembles a classic Hard Rock ballad with an edgy chorus, but again it's not totally credible with Charlotta's voice. Remember the French classic prog album by SANDROSE (1972)? I dislike the shouty female vocals in it, and the same unpleasant reaction comes with this music every time the vocals put a higher gear on. But of course this may be my personal problem, she's not a weak vocalist.

On 'Someone and Love' I at first kinda like the spoken parts and vocalese parts coming in turns, until she yells again unpleasantly. 'Markens grode' is the shortest and calmest track, instead of singing Charlotta just whispers. On this album the change is truly welcome, but on a great album this would obviously be a filler. The final track 'Vinden' is the proggiest and longest composition, starting with a repetition of a hard rocking riff and continuing with a melodic vocal section, with many more twists and turns along the way. The language is the group's mother tongue Swedish which somehow sounds better than English in Charlotta's mouth.

Maybe the band (called simply PORCELAIN) hadn't fully found their style, in addition to the band name, at this point. I was quite negative about the vocals, and also musically this wasn't quite up to my preferences, but to another listener this album may very well be a positive surprise.

Matti | 3/5 |

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