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Collage - Moonshine CD (album) cover





4.04 | 338 ratings

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5 stars Call it neo if you will - but that would be Mr Polish Neo to you, since this so far exceeds the quality and emotion exhibited on British so-called classics of the genre. I am just happy that this effort tends to get the respect it does. For what a wonderful uplifting album is Moonshine.

From the opening notes of the intensely beautiful "Heroes Cry", this CD grabs hold and only lets go during some of the lesser moments within "In Your Eyes". The production is dense and seems to have a lot of reverb, with the vocals sometimes a bit buried, at least on my non remastered edition, but it also gives Moonshine a lot of character. Robert Amirian's voice is highly emotive and unaccented, while Mirek Gil's guitar leads are strongly reminiscent of Steve Hackett, especially in the best song, "Wings in the Night", which really has everything a melodic prog fan would want. The keyboards are perhaps slightly overdone but also create the dreamy nighttime atmosphere so well that I am assuming this was the intention. Lastly we have the adept drumming of project mastermind Wojtek Szadkowski.

For a lovely ballad, listen to "Living in the Moonlight" a few times. True, it could just as easily be referred to as melancholy pop as prog, but it doesn't matter when the tune, guitars and voice are so well crafted and touching. "The Blues" is another favourite - it's only mildly bluesy, and I think of it more as Collage saying "here is our take on the blues, and all you bluesmen out there, I hope you can handle it!". Excellent fiery opening followed by slow verses and a magnificently intense chorus that just keeps coming. "War is Over" is a pastoral closer which ends with some accordion of all things. Again, produced lovingly and replete with a cosmic pining that permeates most of this great work.

Even allowing for the fact that tracks 2 and 3 are not great, the rest is of such high quality that you don't have to be high on moonshine to gush with appreciation for this 90s classic, or to give this moon five stars.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |


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