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Iamthemorning - Belighted CD (album) cover

BELIGHTED

Iamthemorning

 

Crossover Prog

3.85 | 361 ratings

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LakeGlade12
4 stars 4.5 stars. A big step up from their debut.

iamthemorning made some big waves with their debut "~". Even though the Prog content was not very high the combination of Marjana's beautiful voice, the well thought out Chamber music, the incredibly lush melodies and Prog inspired rock music created something really unique and captivating. For this reason ~ was one of the top Prog albums of 2012 and 2 years later it stills competes for the No 1 spot.

Now 2 years later they have released their second album "Belighted" which has backing from the significant Prog label KScope. Its fair to say there was a lot of pressure on the band with this album. Their debut was so new and interesting that its only natural that the second album has a harder time due to it not being original anymore. I gave ~ 5 stars for its originality and beauty and in order to get another 5 stars from me Belighted had to be significantly better than their debut.

Well its a great joy to say that this album is a clear step up from their last album. The overall sound and structure of this album is very similar to the debut, but in every area possible the band have clearly worked their socks of trying to make it more complex, melodic, professional, Proggy and varied than their last work. Its just a better version of their debut with some newer ideas to keep things interesting.

These new ideas were possible due to the bigger budget which lets them incorporate other instruments into their sound. Another big addition was Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree fame who played the drums for all of their songs and therefore added another layer of quality to the music. The band also took some risks on the album, for example they use a recorded conversation on " The Howler" in the middle of the high energy instrumental section, which is something that again PT are very well known for doing but is new ground for the band.

With their being 15 songs I am only going to cover the noteworthy ones. "5/4" is probably their most quirky song, it goes though multiple changes however does not lose its catchiness at any point. "Crowded Corridors" is the band's first attempt at writing a long song and is very successful. The first section is incredibly beautiful and gentle. It progresses into a piece of pure classical music which is centred on the piano and then into a brief ELP sounding section. The song naturally reprises to the beginning section and they add electric guitar to give the song more energy and drama. Its a very good song.

"Os Lunatum" also goes though multiple phases while remaining coherent and infectious, it also makes for a good summary song for the whole album. Then there are other simpler but still very beautiful and well written tracks such as "Gerda" and "Reprise Of Light / No Light"

In terms of weakness's I am still not fully convinced on all these "Intermission" tracks which are either pure classical or ambient music. Some work well while others don't and like with their debut its a hit and miss affair. I would personally have fewer of them and those that are included should function as proper mini songs instead of half baked ideas. You may have noticed that all of my favourite songs are found from the middle to the end of the album. Its not like the first half of the album is bad but its not at the same level as the other half.

Rating this album has been tricky, its definitely better than their debut but the question is if its worth 5 stars when its no longer original? I thought to myself what could they have done to make Belighted better and I could not think of a solid answer beside removing some of the intermissions which is a very subjective viewpoint. Especially as all of these mini songs do fit well enough into the flow of the album. That combined with the fact that the band really have worked hard to better themselves on this album and succeeded (when the bar was already high) is enough in my opinion to justify the 5 stars.

1st April 2016 Edit; After listening to their new album Lighthouse several times I've decided to drop this album down to 4 stars, due to the new album being far superior to this one. Besides this album has always been a borderline between 4 and 5 stars so making the drop is not a unfair rating. This is still a excellent album that has not lost its luster over the last 2 years, but it does not stand up to the originality of their debut nor the mastery of their third album. I would recommend those other 2 albums before this one so I must rate Belighted appropriately.

LakeGlade12 | 4/5 |

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