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Pendragon - The Jewel CD (album) cover





3.29 | 284 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars The pleasures of hope

The Jewel was the first full-length album by Pendragon and I must say that it lacks something compared to the band's 90's and 2000's releases. Pendragon was formed already in 1978 but they didn't produce this debut album until 1985. Together with IQ, Pallas, Marillion and a few other bands, Pendragon spearheaded the Neo-Progressive movement in the early 80's. However, it took them several more years before they started to make really good music. This debut album is quite immature in several respects even if it has many signs of what was to come on later albums. Nick Barrett's voice is the primary feature to remind us of which band this is. His guitar playing is not bad here but he had yet to develop his own guitar style. Clive Nolan had yet to join the band but the keyboards are well handled here by Rik Carter.

To be expected considering the year of its release, The Jewel has an 80's Pop sound to it and it would not be wholly out of place to call this Pop Prog. However, compared to Kowtow, which was the band's second album, this album is much more progressive and far superior (but Kowtow is a very weak album, so its not much of a compliment). Sadly, the sound quality is quite weak and very far from the high sonic quality of later albums from the 90's onwards.

As with the first couple of albums by IQ, also Pendragon's early releases were relatively weak when compared to what these bands would go on to do in the 90's and 2000's. These early Neo-Prog albums are often slightly na´ve and immature but still often enjoyable to some degree.

While I get some enjoyment out of this album, I cannot really recommend it to anyone other than fans and collectors of Pendragon and those with a special interest in the early history of Neo-Prog.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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