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Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso - Męstoso CD (album) cover

MĘSTOSO

Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso

 

Eclectic Prog

3.29 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I was quite a BJH fan in the mid seventies (from "Everyone" through "Octoberon") and Woolly was known to be the more progressive member of the band. At least, once he left the band after their album "XII" their orientation changed dramatically and they never produced such brilliant music as before.

Expectations were high for me to discover Woolly's solo work : I thought that I would enter the wonderful mellotron world and fine prog music again.

The soft-rock and melodious side of the early BJH si there but sometimes it leads to childish music ("Quiet Islands"). On the contrary "A Prospect Of Whitby" is fully in-line of what I expected : beautiful melody; but Woolly will make the same mistakes as BJH. Trying to produce more rocking number was never a great achievement and it is not "Lives On The Line" that will change my mind.

The best song of this album is undoubtfully "Patriots". Peaceful, melodic it reminds me the mood of "Rā" (from "Octoberon"). Lush, even bombastic keyboards. The melody is poignant. This song is very quiet and beautiful. Like a great BJH song. A nice return in the past.

Woolly will explore the pop register as well with "Gates Of Heaven". It's the proof in the pudding. Les and John were not the only ones to move towards pop songs. This one is gentle and sweet. It won't hurt anyone, but it is far from being a great song.

The second highlight IMO is "American Excess". Again, very quiet and inspired instrumental introduction. Pretty similar structure as "Patriots". The album goes on with nice compositions. "Maestoso, A Hymn In The Roof Of The World" is also brilliant. When Woolly plays BJH. Delicate keyboards and the smooth Woolly's voice are the ingredients. Pompous at times, truely symphonic, varied. I like it very much.

We'll remain in these territories with the closing number "Waveform". A bit too much I would say because the last three numbers are a bit too similar.

This album holds three great songs (half of the album) and several good ones. While BJH was releasing the poor "Eyes Of The Universe ", Woolly definitely produced a far much more interesting album. But commercial success did not follow and Woolly called it quit for a very, very long period of time.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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