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Wally - Wally CD (album) cover

WALLY

Wally

 

Symphonic Prog

3.03 | 49 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

GruvanDahlman
3 stars If there ever existed a genre known as "soft prog" I think Wally would be qualified as such. By "soft" I mean simply that there more emphasis on melody and accessibility rather than being overly complex. Nothing wrong with that. There are several bands qualifying as such. Supertramp, for instance. It is by no means an act of dislike from my part labeling Wally (et al) as soft proggers.

Wallys first and selftitled album is a mixed bag of songs and it is not always good. Diversity is one of prog's great strengths but in this case it works against them, just as with Baby Whale sometimes brilliant album. The good parts of Wally is made up of folk tinged progressive rock with keyboards and violin playing a large role. The not so good parts are west coast, American styled country-ish stuff which really does not appeal to me. (I love country and American bands but to me it gets confusing when an otherwise british sounding folk-symphonic prog album goes west.)

The first track, "The Martyr", is by far the best track. Dramatic, mellow yet biting it tells the story of Joan of Arc and starts off ever so nice with ye olde harpsichord ( I think) and heads straight into electric violin taking the lead. The vocals (not the harmonies!) are a bit weak but overall very nice.

"I just wanna be a cowboy" is one of those country-tinged songs which does nothing for me. "What to do" is a very nice ballad-y song, very mellow and gentle. Alongside "The Martyr" this is the best track. It holds a very spacious and flowing ambience. Really nice stuff.

"Sunday walking lady" is another of those confusing tracks. On one hand I recall british folk at it's best but then it turns into americana. I cannot feel love for this track. It is, however, the next track that may be the most impressive one, "To the urban man". Over 13 minutes long it holds several sections. Similar in places to "The martyr" it still differs. It is not the most wonderful epic you will hear but it is nice enough. A bit country-ish in places aswell. The ending "Your own way" is a beautiful piece, perfectly suited as the finish of this album. A bit too CSNY for me, though.

Overall, as a conclusion, I find only two songs to be really good: "The martyr" and "What to do". The other tracks are more in the vein of american folk-rock like CSN(Y), Gram Parsons or The Byrds. There is really no fault in that. I like that kind of music alot but not when mixed like this, with british folk and symphonic prog. And to be frank, the material on this disc is not really much to gossip about. In "The martyr" Wally makes a bold-ish statement and in that lies their legacy as far as this album goes. The album is well played and well produced but that is it. Sorry Wally. I cannot give you more than three (hesitant) stars. "The martyr" and "What to do" picks up the rating somewhat, as it otherwise would have left me no option but to rate it slightly lower.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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