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Narrow Pass - In This World And Beyond CD (album) cover

IN THIS WORLD AND BEYOND

Narrow Pass

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.44 | 22 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars "Narrow Pass" attempts to pass a Camel through the eye of a needle for the second time, and this effort suffers from some of the same issues as its predecessor. While lovely melodies abound, the interconnections between song fragments remain tenuous at times, although some improve with repeated exposure. As before, the lead guitar outbursts appear abruptly after quiet passages, with insufficient transitions, and its slight raunchiness does not suit the personality of the group anyway. The vocals of Valeria Caucino remain lovely as ever but sometimes those raucous tones of the male lead are simply not compatible. The tendency to run off into Genesis land a la "Los Endos" or "Unquiet Slumbers" is sometimes unconvincing, especially since Narrow Pass has the raw ingredients to do so much more.

Yet after listening actively for a week or more, I am enjoying some of the newer styles of the group, such as the pagan folk of "Silver Lady", and the related earth centered message of "Heaven's Crying". Edmondo Romano's flutes and whistles can't help but recall Eris Pluvia, but his tenor saxophone work on "Flying from Ireland", perhaps the best overall Narrow Pass track yet, ventures into new realms. "Beyond" is an instrumental that sets the spotlight on "Mauro Montobbio's bountiful keyboard work, in particular the synthesizers. I wonder aloud if some lead keys could have replaced a few of the guitar solos, both for variety and for a better fit, but I may be off base.

I should add that the production here suggests big budget, unlikely though that is, without tiresome excess, and the group thus avoids some modern (read neo) pratfalls in the process. I have perhaps set my expectations too high for Narrow Pass from day 1, and to acknowledge the improvements and downplay a few of the persistent personal preference issues, I am rounding up beyond this world to 4 stars.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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