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Like Wendy - Tales From Moonlit Bay  CD (album) cover


Like Wendy



3.67 | 52 ratings

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5 stars Chapter Three in the Like Wendy saga, a thrilling realization that all his previous and subsequent albums are different in structure becomes immediately apparent. The debut "The Storm Inside" received my loftiest praise, as well as the more gut wrenchingly private "Rainchild", multi- instrumentalist and vocalist Bert Heinen starts this one off with a 20 minute whopper that firmly catapults his craft into the deepest realms of progdom. There is very minute doubt who the influence is here, as it bathes in utter Genesisian luxuriance, heavy symphony keyboard backings buoying a classic slippery guitar, with storytelling vocals that recall Gabe's finest moments. The gentler moments are breathtaking with fragile beauty pleading with the subtle choir mellotron, twinkling guitar arpeggios serenading the melancholia, clashing with abruptly blitzing synthesizer tracers, overt organ reminders and some judicially positioned power surges, with Heinen's gripping plea towering over the storm. You want an epic? You want adventure? This is a trip, my friends! The massive coda fret solo is one of sheer splendor, expelled from the inner gut, the one that hides your truest emotions. The crystalline finale of this "Falcon Suite" should leave you emotionally satisfied, unless of course you prefer those 2 minute 32 second musical gas expulsions that pass as rock today. Sweeping, majestic, serene and densely gorgeous is what we are talking about here. Dig? "The Price for Trust" is a perennial fave, I just rollick in the rolling melancholia that morphs into a vocoder-fueled rage ("What about MY feelings?"), Bert's voice spewing the deepest spleen within the cottony 6 string ornaments. A truly fascinating "and the clock tic-toc" piece. "A King's Epitath" resolutely maintains the cadence, a lilting lament, drenched in intense symphonics only to present a glistening lead guitar solo. "Paradise" is where the beat gets stiffer and the relentlessness becomes more oppressive, the drum track sounding like the cousin of Genesis' "Mama", pounding with furious abandon. Thick and bleak, this has an IQ feel to it that is not unpleasant. "Ivory Tower" is an acoustic glade in the landscape bristling with shivering frailty, showcasing a more brooding and mournful critique ("What kind of Fool?") that replies with a sweet melodic crescendo. The allegedly (because unaccredited) live instrumental "Live at the Armageddon" is a guitar festival, a delightful Hackett-like piece with various alterations of speed and tone, a few good slaps of Tangerine Dream like sequencing , manic drums-a-bongo and that volume pedal caressed lead guitar solo just ripping from that amazing place we all wished we were there. Like a good "prog-deli" sandwich, Bert ends the album on an another extended piece, the delightful 12 minute "Wreck of the Dancer", containing all of the by now familiar ingredients: lush melodies, dreamy vocals dripping with pain, smooth acoustic and electric craftsmanship, sensational ivory work and that undeniable personal stamp that makes this music certainly not perfect but highly original and true to the composer's philosophy. Ultimately, this is the unique charm that transfixed me from day one. Melodic guitar fans will have plenty to admire here as well. 5 effervescent beacons .
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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