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Erik Norlander - Erik Norlander and Friends Live in St. Petersburg CD (album) cover

ERIK NORLANDER AND FRIENDS LIVE IN ST. PETERSBURG

Erik Norlander

 

Neo-Prog

3.25 | 5 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars To Russia with love

This second live release from Erik Norlander is not as impressive as his first one, the excellent Stars Rain Down. Some songs that already appeared on that live album reappear here; Neurosaur (originally from Norlander's solo debut Threshold), Mariner (originally from the Rocket Scientists' Brutal Architecture album), and Sky Full Of Stars, Beware The Vampires and One Of The Machines (all originally from the conceptual double-album Music Machine). These songs are all great, and just like the Stars Rain Down-versions these versions also constitute improvements over the studio counterparts. Still, they add little of value for those who already have Stars Rain Down.

What did not appear on Stars Rain Down and that makes this live album a reasonable addition are Fanfare For Absent Friends (originally from the Progressive Electronic album Seas Of Orion), Dreamcurrents (a lovely piano piece originally from Into The Sunset), and Fallen (one more from Music Machine). The first on these is divided into two parts for some reason, but it is really only part 2 that is great.

In addition there are two Lana Lane songs. Both of these are excellent, but I would rather listen to them in their natural habitat (check out the excellent Lana Lane 10th Anniversary DVD). There is also a cover of Procol Harum's A Salty Dog and a version of the James Bond theme song To Russia With Love. These I find somewhat unnecessary and out of place. I feel that this set simply draws on too many different sources. It makes it a bit incoherent.

I therefore strongly recommend to start with Stars Rain Down, and then Norlander's studio albums, and, of course, Lana Lane's many good albums. The present live album is not bad at all in its own right, but it feels somehow redundant and a bit inchoate.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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