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Kant Freud Kafka - No Tengas Miedo CD (album) cover


Kant Freud Kafka


Crossover Prog

3.90 | 141 ratings

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4 stars No tengas miedo is a conceptual "symphony" which comes as the result of the inspiration and coordination of one man, one mind, Barcelonan Javier Herrera. On this album Javi is principally the drummer, keyboard player, as well as composer and technical wizard. The music is inspired by a "Light out of Darkness" myth--a variation on the Demeter-Persephone mother-daughter dynamic--the story of which is printed within the album's liner notes. In it, Adah and her mother, Dama, inhabit of a world of darkness. this is, in fact, the only world either have ever known. Yet Adah, emerging adolescent that she is, is unsatisfied; she is curious to see what other 'options' are 'out there.' Ultimately, Adah's defiance of her mother's rules, expectations and commands result in the irreparable destruction of their once-loving relationship--as well as in unstable psychology within both women. A powerful, if tragic, story set to powerful music.

1. "Principio" (7:44) begins quite dramatically, quite cinematically, building and mounting tension for the first two minutes before giving way to a solo piano exposing a arpeggiated theme to be repeated throughout the rest of the "symphony." At 2:45 a full scale prog electric ensemble and theme bursts forth, with the introduction of a nice melodic theme from Moog and later electric guitar. Then at the 4:30 mark the whole mood and sound shifts toward that of a kind of cinematic jazz with a rock fusion ensemble performing within the horns and orchestrals of what sounds like a full orchestra (but I think is a synthesizer)--which reaches full crescendo before collapsing for the final 15 seconds into a kind of piano-jazz dénouement recapitulating its theme from the song's third minute. Cool song. (9/10)

2. "Dama" (12:34) opens with a solo piano establishing itself with a ballet-like arpeggiated play before settling into some chord play which establishes a melodic theme to be heard throughout the remainder of the symphony. The themes and moods here are presented slowly, gently, sweetly woven together--I think, to connote the beautiful of the mother-daughter relationship that has transpired up to this point. Some of the ANT PHILLIPS 12-string guitar arpeggios in the song's eighth minute, and, a soon, the discordant electric guitar solo and decaying drum and synth play, hint at the discord and wildness welling up from within the "insatiably curious" pubescent daughter. Mother (flute) tries her best to comfort her daughter with words in the order of "the way things have always been." Which work for a little bit. The classical guitar and oboe play of the final 75 seconds indicate that a peaceful harmony has been restored. Beautiful mostly bucolic song. (9/10)

3. "Viajes" (7:52) opens with minor-keyed cello and horns and before falling into a kind of jazzy-classical, relaxing, if slightly unsettling, piano and synth theme. This reminds me of the kind of piano theme music popularized in the 1970s by many artists--performing both original works and covers of well-known pop tunes of the day. Think Claude Bolling or Michel Legrand with a little Jean-Pierre Rampal. Flute, and later, "orchestra" are added in the third minute. At 2:30 flute and mellotron give way to thumping bass, floating ARP synth, funky rhythm guitar, and solid supporting jazz rock drums. Awesome section! Great CHICK COREA-like jazz piano work. Reminds me of KOTEBEL. Some very nice Hammond organ play ensues at the 4:15 mark before some rather insistent electric guitar chord repeats itself to interrupt the flow and restore the opening pastoral theme among flute and clarinet. In the seventh minute a sequence of rather heavy guitar chords reasserts its influence, setting loose some awesome synth and organ dueling over heavy jazz rock rhythm play. Nice song with some great prog power to it. (9/10)

4. "Antítesis" (16:02) opens with odd 'horn-gong,' 'Hammond-scrape' and mellotron before piano and flute restore their now-familiar theme from the two previous songs--woven a little more intricately, thanks to "harp," strings, and mellotron. Excellent and gorgeous section! At 2:28 a very-KOTEBEL-like theme and sound ensemble establish an awesome melodic theme over a catchy odd-tempo rhythm. Ear-catching bass play throughout this section. Gorgeous jazz guitar solo in the fifth minute. Then all things quite down for a chaotic bit of cymbal and electric piano interplay before a string quartet section restores harmony and beauty, if in a sad minor key, for a little while. Piano, electric piano, and woodwinds play with the tension in quite the ANTHONY PHILLIPS way. Beautiful work--then transitioning into and combining classical, to jazz-rock is extraordinary--breathtakingly beautiful--giving one hope for a positive resolution to the story's conflict. At 10:30, a kind of Eastern Peter Gabriel Passion-like 'animal horn' signals a shift of the struggle into an ensuing overdrive. Many of the album's themes are here pitted against and woven within one another using a vast array of acoustic and electric instruments. At 13:30, everything shifts into a fast-paced rhythm as solo synth and electric guitar take turns exerting their powerful voices--mother and daughter. But listen to that bas and drum play beneath it all! Awesome! Then everything stops (is the feud over?) for the final 30 seconds as classical guitar, flute, and then piano repeat their beautiful themes of peace and harmony. But what an awesome ride! My favorite section of the "symphony." (10/10)

5. "Hombre" (10:56) opens with sea waves over which the piano chord theme from before the SATIE-like variation of the solo arpeggiated piano theme return. Acoustic guitar and mellotron orchestra join in before the electric bass and drums complete the ensemble in a laid back song of healing and rejoicing. Oboe and then, at the 3:20 mark, that insistently repetitive electric guitar chord, disrupt the mood of harmony and beauty with a dose of the reality of the tense situation as the daughter reconfirms her independence with her act of defiance. Various and familiar themes ensue and continue to "battle it out" in true TONY BANKS/GENESIS form (including some truly remarkable PHIL COLLINS-like drumming beneath an awesome jazz/ERIC GALE-like guitar solo) until the final mellotron orchestral minor chords finally fade out in their unresolved, tension-laden forms. The way the three-minute ending ploddingly winds down is not my favorite part of the "symphony," but it's still good--and does make sense to me: it is consistent with the story content. I guess I just want a slightly different story ending--like one in which the mother can accept and detach from trying to control her daughter. Or one in which the daughter can prove her "adult" independence without her mother showing such signs of ego-driven immaturity, with instead, praise and adulation. (8/10)

How anyone could not see the symphonic structure of this song to me indicates that those persons had not given their true attention to the entirety of this beautiful and powerful piece of musical theater. When coupled with a familiarity with the accompanying story, it is clear to me that this album of music is a masterful musical expression of one artist's literary inspiration. Though it may truly be a 4.5 star album, I am elevating this one into my pantheon of prog "masterpieces" due to its exceptionally well done realization of literature as music.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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