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Erik Norlander - Hommage Symphonique CD (album) cover


Erik Norlander



3.06 | 24 ratings

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3 stars Are we in a wrong direction?

It's just a logical question I pose to all of you about where the today's prog music is heading. The chief reason is this: I have just posted a review on Jordan Ruddess "The Road Home" couple of weeks ago and in a matter of days my prog colleague Rizal Prasetijo added his views on this masterpiece album. And now, I am spinning for the fourth time the "Hommage Symphonique" by ERIK NORLANDER. The similarity between these two albums is very obvious : both of them are making their trip to the past by delivering songs made by legendary bands from ELP to ELO. And - I don't know whether or not this is coincidence - the two albums referring the same call of the past says music with something about "home". So then I ask that question: Are in a wrong direction, musically, with prog music development?


The term "home" can mean something about being "cozy" or "feel comfortable with" or something like that. Do these two albums deliver similar message that Jordan and Erik feel at home with legendary music? Or it can mean something that these two musicians have gauged the recent developments of prog music which have made them not happy with it (in a wrong direction?) so that they want to send a strong message to prog audience that we should all come back to the root? Back to basic? This is something important that I need to ask you, to "think about it".

So let's talk about this Hommage by Mr Norlander ..

First off, I was extremely happy when I spun this album for the first time. First, the collection of songs reminded me that I should remind all of those great tracks from Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Yes, etc. Second, it reminded me that some tracks that initially I did not put as my favorite is in fact included by Norlander right here. A good example is "Clasp" by Jethro Tull. I had never paid attention to this track and I just considered it as "good but not essential" track. But, how come Mr. Norlander likes it? It makes me more curious about the track and I spun the original version due to listening to this tribute album.

Third, this album really cheers me up because I like another version of masterpiece "Conquistador" by Procol Harum, "Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" by Rick Wakeman. These two tracks are really wonderful. In fact, Conquistador's vocal style is really attractive especially during the second part with high register notes. Kelly Keeling is a great vocalist. I am amazed that Norlander took this track by Rick Wakeman that I thought not that many people like it. High five for you!

Most of the music presented here are not much different with the original versions except two tracks that I mentioned above. However, it does not mean that the other ones are not listenable and, in fact, I doe enjoy listening this tribute album in its entirety. One thing that I thought it was a bit misplaced was track 7 "Children of Sanchez Overture" by Chuck Mangione. Don't get me wrong, I love this track in its original version. However, the name of Chuck Mangione is not common in progressive land than he is in jazz / fusion music.

Overall, this is a good tribute by Erik Norlander to the legendary bands who pioneered the progressive music in early 70s. This might satisfy those of you who have embraced the beauty of 70s music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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