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Peter Bardens - Speed Of Light CD (album) cover


Peter Bardens


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2.12 | 17 ratings

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3 stars Bardens followup to "Seen One Earth" was released the very next year and showed that he was committed to producing quality new age music. When new age music became popular among some listeners in the early to mid 1980s, it seemed a bit of a refuge for fans of melodic and refined prog. Granted at its most adventurous the genre retained only sprinklings of what could be called progressive music, and almost nothing in the way of rock, but Bardens showed a valid path to get from there to here.

Surprisingly, this is a stronger album in terms of its actual content than its predecessor. Each track is meticulously composed and arranged, with much less in the way of ambient synth doodling. That said, you have to get past the programmed drums and keyboards that are made to sound like saxes and even animals, etc, not to mention 6 tracks with those smug sensitive baby boomer vocals.

If you can allow for the excesses of the day, you will find near Camel-like beauty and intricacy in songs like "Black Elk", "This Could be Paradise", "Afterthought", and the title cut, the latter being almost a half-sister of "Unevensong" from Camel's "Raindances". Even the poppier tracks like "Gold" and its Alan Parsons Project phrasings, and "Whispers in the Wind" are bolstered by incisive lead guitars by Neale Heywood and/or drums from friends like Mick Fleetwood.

No need to use warp speed to act, but if you happen to spot this one for a decent price, and you would like to hear what Mr Bardens was up to after Camel, by all means pick this one up.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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