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Pendragon - The World CD (album) cover





3.78 | 392 ratings

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3 stars This is an example of a band that was still finding its sound. Bearing that in mind, I will grudgingly give this three stars, though if they released this material today (as opposed to 1991), it would be an easy two star rating for me. There are plenty of good musical ideas, but they just can't quite pull them off. The strange thing is that I can't easily identify why exactly, and that seems to be the case for a fair amount of other reviewers: this album is just a bit boring, and it just doesn't have enough parts that hold the attention of those whose ears are well attuned to prog. Here are my possible reasons: extended lead-ins containing ambient and atmospheric keyboard/guitar combos, too much repetition (keyboard/synth lines, choruses, etc), and select places where Barrett overextends his vocal range/abilities. Individually, none of these are dealbreakers, but from a Gestalt perspective, the whole is just not quite right.

Back in the Spotlight. A very solid intro, with catchy guitar effects/harmonies, keyboard flourishes, and riff to close the track. Maybe not the best musical moments of the album, but certainly the most cohesive song for me.

The Voyager. 2 minutes before the vocals, and another 1.5 minute before drums. Let's pick up the pace Pendragon. We then hear a nice groove and chorus, but the music dies down again for three minutes to build to the nice guitar bit. There IS good music here, but they really make you work for it (eventually the law of diminishing returns on my listening effort kicks in).

Shane, Prayer. Two singles that take few chances and are quite forgettable. I have to admit that I enjoy Barrett's work on guitar.

Queen of Hearts. I really want to like this epic. There is good guitar, nice keyboard arrangements, and some memorable emotional and upbeat parts (especially the middle sequence), though the ending is a bit cheesy and cliche. Good thing Pendragon worked out the kinks here to produce some very focused and entertaining extended pieces later in their career.

And We'll Go Hunting Deer. This is the prog equivalent of maple syrup: overly sweet, and you certainly don't want to consume too much. At least this ends the album on a happy (if contrived) note.

Given a certain mindset and amount of patience, this could be a worthwhile album for you. That hasn't been my experience, but I do enjoy Pendragon's later work. Decent music, but not recommended.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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