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Hoelderlin - Hölderlins Traum CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.09 | 164 ratings

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4 stars Hoelderlin's first is squarely in the folk prog camp with plenty of psychedelia thrown in, not surprisingly given the era. Very little of the symphonic washes that were to rule the roost a mere few years later are prevalent here. Pleasant if not very emotive male and female vocals in German, lots of acoustic guitars, some reeds, violins, and even cello predominate, with occasional mellotron adding a spacey vibe. It's an album that requires a fair bit of patience to get into, because it tends to induce a near trance-like state that allows the barely 34 minutes to pass by virtually unnoticed.

Even on first listen, the first and final cut distinguish themselves and leave one wondering what was missed in between. Both up the prog ante, with lots of mellotron and fine percussion. The way the album ends, I wonder if the second, self titled effort follows on from the more revved up style that fades out in mid promise, or if that was just an anomaly. Of the remainder "Reqiem für einen Wicht" is the best, with a middle section built on strong repetitive melody beautifully expressed by Nanny DeRuig. But ""Peter" and "Strohhalm" are fairly thin by any yardstick, and "Wetterbericht", in spite of some interesting ideas, takes too long to not fully express them.

Like a lot of dreams, Hoelderlin's Traum is hard to remember once I wake up, but like a lot of good dreams, I am left feeling happier. Even though the style was rife in 1971, this album manages to distinguish itself over and above the use of German, and that warrants a rounding up as I awaken from my catatonia.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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