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Pale Acute Moon - Newtopia CD (album) cover


Pale Acute Moon


Symphonic Prog

2.88 | 19 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars While I am on a roll reviewing 1980s symphonic bands from Japan, I thought the tour could rightly include Pale Acute Moon (PAM) and their only contribution. You can certainly hear, in the keyboards, close relations with Teru's Symphonia which became Motoi Semba's next group. While PAM features more pianos, a welcome break from the electronica even if they themselves are probably somewhat processed, we do get those passages that sound like they should be themes to some yet-unreleased sci fi movie. PAM also does not contain the harder rock element that occasionally seeps into Teru's efforts, but focuses more on the spacey aspects.

The problem is that, at least in the original album sans bonus tracks, we never seem to get far past the mood setting and cosmic approach. The melodies aren't particularly notable, nor does much development occur even in the longer songs. Signs of life are provoked by the aforementioned piano work as well as some occasional lead guitars, especially in "End of the Party" but, while these result in many pleasant moments, overall the appeal is limited. In contrast, the poorly recorded and produced bonus tracks are so good that they transcend their amateurish settings and implementations. Of course they are right out of the mid 1980s David Sylvian playbook, but why not? Sylvian was one of the most creative and introspective artists of the time, and Shinji Akahori sounds a lot like him. But even the instrumental "Silver Films" captures that luscious mood with Spanish sounding guitars.

2.5 stars for the original albums, 3.5 for the bonus material, not an utopia but still worth hearing.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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