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Iluvatar - Children CD (album) cover





3.70 | 126 ratings

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2 stars Based on my limited but slowly growing knowledge of the neo progressive scene, after having sampled works from many major acts and their followers, my assessment of Iluvatar is that they are the American IQ. They rely mostly on Gabriel/Collins style vocals and a keyboard wall of sound with some guitars thrown in. As with many neo albums, I tire of being pummeled by incessant "emotion" for 60 minutes, especially when I doubt its pedigree.

The best material here is definitely in the 3 to 4 star category, chiefly "Late of Conscience" and "The Final Stroke", the latter being an epic with appealing variations and a few memorable tunes, while "Eye Next to Glass" provides a welcome break from the histrionics. But the album opens weakly with the undistinguished and aimless "Haze" and "In Our Lives", setting the bar low, to a level that even the better songs return too often. "Cracker" is also lame, with its ill-advised hackneyed attempt at hard rock. But then "Children" is rife with recycled motifs without context.

It seems that, like many neo bands, Iluvatar has perfected the Genesis-clone sound but lack the songwriting and arranging prowess to ever be confused with their heroes. Perhaps that is the definition of a clone - imitation without imagination. Because by chance, Iluvatar does hit the target often enough here, this recording has no trouble attaining the lofty two star plateau, but it is certainly not one meant for our children's children's children.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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