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Pendragon - The Window Of Life CD (album) cover





3.91 | 441 ratings

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3 stars This album has lots of good, moderately progressive music on it. If I base my rating only on the music, I think this probably warrants four stars. If I directly compare it to Yes and Genesis, then it gets three. Great keyboard arrangements, nice guitar (as always from Pendragon), and for the most part well-written songs describe The Window of Life. This is still a ways away from their best, The Masquerade Overture, but here they show definite progress from earlier work: more concise songwriting and more restrained vocals.

The Walls of Babylon. Yes, there are Genesis, Floyd, and Yes influences here, but I really don't mind that. What lowers my appreciation for the song is that it's just not as good as its influences. Great guitar and synths, but the lyrics and vocals knock this one down a peg. Still, an effective opener.

The Last Man on Earth. Pendragon's magnum opus, this is an excellent epic--just know that it takes multiple listens to appreciate this gem and not get hung up on minutae (the average vocals, for example). This is also a slow-builder--it's about halfway through the 14 minute run-time that it properly gets going, but when it does, you're in for a great ride. Special note goes to Fudge on drums for really moving this along nicely.

Everything else... There are no bad songs (or even parts of songs) on this album; however, these songs really fail to distinguish themselves as the two extended pieces do. Ghosts alternates nicely between mellow and rocking bits, Breaking the Spell contains a super-extended guitar solo (quite derivative of other guitarists), Nostradamus has a catchy chorus (though you really have to wait for it), and Am I Really Losing You? ends the album with a nice guitar run (though again very derivative).

If you haven't been exposed to Pendragon before, you should probably avoid them if you are sensitive about borrowing from other works and/or you have no tolerance for music that is often slow (and even boring). I like what Pendragon has done here, though there should be no illusion about their obvious flaws.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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