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RPWL - The RPWL Experience CD (album) cover





3.48 | 137 ratings

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2 stars When a band chooses to call an album The [insert band name here] Experience, you would expect that they are offering up their best work to date. Unfortunately, RPWL fails to deliver on this, their auspiciously- titled fourth full-length album. To be fair, the band faced a daunting task in attempting to follow up their impressive psychedelic epic World Through My Eyes. As far as I'm concerned, that album was the high water mark in RPWL's career to date. The mixture of Pink Floyd and Beatles melodies with Eastern music influences was a refreshing combination that made WTME one of the best albums of 2005. Now I am all for bands experimenting and trying new things with each album, but some things just don't work. The new spice that the RPWL appears to be cooking with is metal riffs and social commentary, two flavors that tend to leave a somewhat heavy-handed after taste. Songs like "Silenced" and "Masters of War" deal with the band's objection to governments (presumably the U.S.) who wage wars, while "Where Do I Go?" seems to be a commentary on the media and organized religion. Now, I agree that war is horrible and the media and religions do a number on peoples' psyches, but do we really need MORE songs to repeat these themes over and over? Ironically, "Masters of War"-a carbon copy of Pink Floyd's song "Sorrow"-is placed just before the self-deprecating "This Is Not A Prog Song," which effectively invalidates whatever impact was supposed to be derived from the latter song. "This Is Not A Prog Song" is quite amusing in that it sounds like a snobby review (perhaps from someone like me) put to a catchy, distinctly not-prog melody. Unfortunately, the song feels horribly out of place on an album that attempts to tackle such heavy subject matter. "Stranger" dives right back into the evils of war with what feels like a cut-rate Dream Theater sound. "Choose What You Want To Look At" is one of the only songs with a sound that I can really hook onto, but the overtly anti-commercialism subject matter feels forced. RPWL has dabbled in social commentary before, and I've never found it this oppressive. Frankly, I long for the days when these guys didn't take themselves so darn seriously! I have never looked to RPWL for the reinvention of the wheel, but the band sounds like they have taken a major step back rather than creating a new Experience.
rangerm13 | 2/5 |


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