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John Wesley - The Lilypad Suite CD (album) cover

THE LILYPAD SUITE

John Wesley

 

Crossover Prog

3.11 | 26 ratings

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MJAben
2 stars I have to be perfectly honest here, the only reason why I got this record was because I thought it said John Wetton on the cover. I'm not sure how I made that mistake I guess I just read "john we-" and didn't bother with the rest. Upon realizing my mistake I decided to then figure out who John Wesley was because I didn't recognize the name. According to Wikipedia, John Wesley was a prominent christian theologian in the 16th Century, but I think it's more likely that this album is from the guitarist John Wesley. I came to this conclusion based on the fact that this album contains its fair share of riffing, soloing, noodling that all function to showcase guitar playing. What I see very little of is references to early Methodism (but it might be buried in their somewhere).

I am horribly derailing my review now, so to get back to the album... It's good... Well, it's perfectly listenable. I do have many issues, for one I'm not sure this can be considered prog at all, in fact I am almost positive that if John Wesley wasn't associated with acts such as Porcupine Tree and Marillion then he wouldn't even be considered for this site. The music sounds closer to 90's alternative rock than anything (with all the angst included) which works for me since this is a genre that I quite enjoy, but I'm still not sure that the album belongs on PA.

As for the songs themselves, A.M.V is a nothing song, it doesn't contribute to the album, it's a bit grating to listen to but at least it's short. Walls of America gets better with some good vocal work and some strong songwriting. It's a tad repetitive however and there isn't a great deal that happens in the five minutes. A Glittery of Nothing is more up my alley, strong vocal work, soothing and well written music throughout. Around 2:15 minutes into this song we get the first glimpse that I can find of progressive music with a porcupine tree-esque spacey bridge that lasts only around 45 seconds but is a pleasant mix-up nonetheless.

Still Waiting starts off with some heavy guitar which leads into the song, but soon it turns into a chorus that feels all too much like other choruses on the album. The song isn't bad, there's some more spacey instrumental passages but the entire song feels as though it never really picks up. At this point I also found I was getting frustrated with the sound and the style. It's not bad but it certainly isn't very diverse. Things slow down a great deal on the ballad-like Lost. A fine and pleasant song but nothing noteworthy. The album ends with the anticlimactic Firelight which sounds like... more of the same.

The album has some interesting songwriting, good vocals, good production and some fine moments but on the whole the album seems very samey and (throughout a lot of it) not very progressive. I still may recommend this album for alternative rock or fans of Porcupine Tree but for everyone else, there doesn't seem to be much to gain here.

2/5 stars

MJAben | 2/5 |

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