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Janison Edge - The Services Of Mary Goode CD (album) cover

THE SERVICES OF MARY GOODE

Janison Edge

 

Neo-Prog

3.67 | 47 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progrules
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Here we have another one I have been chasing after for years. As said in some of the other reviews of this album: this one is pretty hard to get but finally I managed. And fortunately it was worth it I can conclude after several listens. It's not quite the (near) masterpiece I hoped for but it comes pretty close I can tell you. Because not all songs are equally good I will do them one by one once more.

A Twist in the Tale of Earth History gives the impression of an interesting overture to something special I can tell. It's an nearly 10 minute treat that brings you in the right mood. The up till now (to me) unknown Sue Element does a very fine vocal job accompanied by the usual neo progressive instruments though the keyboards are dominant here. 4,25*.

Second is the short Oldman. All songs have been written by Sue and Mike Varty who is known for his appearances in Shadowland. Together they composed an impressive concept album. This short song is quiet with captivating vocals by Sue and nice piano by Varty. 4*.

With Beneath the Boy the cylinders are fired up again with another wonderful display of neo at its best. These people know their way in this subgenre and you could call this album one of the neo pinnacles in history which is interesting for a one time project like Janison Edge. Great keys by Varty halfway the song followed by the first significant guitar display by Ian Salmon who is also from Shadowland by the way. Great track. 4,5*.

Next three tracks form the heart of this album literally and are combined called conform the title track (The Services of Mary Goode) and is divided in three parts called respectively the Services, the Birth and Mary Goode and the Dwarf of Dreams in total clocking almost 20 minutes. First part is not the strongest segment really (3,75*), the second is along with the 3rd track the highlight of the album (4,5*) and since this part lasts almost 10 minutes it's once again proven that the longer songs are usually the better. Third part lasts about 4 minutes and is one of the more ballad-like tracks (3,75*).

Joker is an almost funny sounding track with a special rhythm. Still it's not quite a highlight to me but that will have to do with my continuing hunger for impressive instrumental solos and they are not on this track. It's good for the variation though. Nice but no more (3,25*).

Julie Lies is another ballad accompanied by piano and it sounds a lot like second track. Another very nice one without the extra quality (3,75*).

The Day that I fall is actually part 4 of the title track and if it would be added in time the whole thing would be an impressive epic of over half an hour. But somehow the composers and producer decided to place it at the very end of the album. Doesn't matter really, it's another stunning track and is the third highlight ending the concept album very worthy. (4,5*)

Conclusion can only be that this is a typical example of the 4 star description on PA: excellent addition to any prog rock collection but you'd better be a neo fan for this one. Like I said in the beginning it's not quite what I hoped for due to dominant attention for the lyrics and the concept instead of great instrumental contributions. Thus it could have been better but it's still a must have for true neo devotees.

progrules | 4/5 |

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