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Pendragon - The Window Of Life CD (album) cover





3.91 | 443 ratings

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2 stars The "Window of Life" is a gorgeous sounding yet largely soulless album with virtually no melodies or themes that sink in even after multiple listens. Each little segment of sweet electric guitar, piano or organ would be fine if connected to a greater whole, but rarely is such the case. Others have spoken of blatant rip offs of GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, and MOODY BLUES (lyrics and solo right out of "New Horizons" off "Seventh Sojourn" on "The Last Man on Earth"), and in prog we can get desensitized to such issues especially when we long for the heydays of our original heroes. The problem is that our new heroes appear to long for those days even more than we do, and stretch idolatry to levels that even the biggest fanperson would deem tasteless if it was imparted in spoken form . Rather than make any new bold statement, they seem content with retread, but, why not, because apparently so do a lot of listeners.

The uninspired classic progressive rock inspiration includes nods to arena rock like STYX, KANSAS, FOREIGNER, insipid 1980s GENESIS, and even jangly alt rock, but to fit all this into one track requires at least 8-12 minutes of pastiche. Take each 2 minute or so segment and rearrange them into a different order and it might even sound better than the original, which doesn't speak well to the group's abilities in the composing and editing department. I have wondered how neo prog groups are so prolific in their output, but I guess it is easy when absolutely nothing is held back.

The only track here that really speaks to me is "Am I Really Losing You", a lovely song with a divine sense of sadness and dramatic flair. My real disappointment here is that I believe the band to be capable of producing an album of such material if they would just take the time. In spite of my disdain for most of this production, I cannot deny the beauty of the sounds and the individual skill of the players, as well as their earnest desire to replicate that which came before using modern glimmering production. Hence I round up and duck below my window before the bricks fly.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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