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Von Hertzen Brothers - Love Remains the Same CD (album) cover

LOVE REMAINS THE SAME

Von Hertzen Brothers

 

Crossover Prog

4.23 | 136 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Passionist
4 stars I decided to finally give this album the time it deserves, and listen to it from the beginning to the end. Listened well and closely. This album was released some time after their second one, which was a great musical success. In the end, this one ended up to be a success too, but rather on the marketing scale in my opinion. The soundscapes are still there, as original as usually, but it's obvious the Von hertzen brothers got a bit pompous while writing the music for this one.

The album has a 10 minute opening track, which to me suggested prog for a long time, and finally I got the ones who decide on the addition of them it to agree. The opening track is nothing like what you would expect from a well selling album. It's pretty relieving to notice, that the Finnish audience is finally ready to take the last step and really overcome the steep climb that is the prgressive border. There are musical changes, obviously, with all the brothers writing songs and new studio artists playing on the background. But still, it's the best rock musicians Finland has to offer at the time. I was surprised how often an organ is used on this track... Surprised, but not disappointed. Especially on Bring out the Sun (So Alive) the hammond is really great, and stays true to their obvious examples from the past.

The indian/hippie style is still there. A lot of the stories are about beautiful things around the world and about good things happening, really major-driven music. Also, the Indian influences are still to be heard for example in Spanish 411, although at first I was looking for something like Spanish Caravan, according to the name. Well this song is a pearl.

There was a writer, who wrote a good review on the second album, basically everyone was praising the album, the musicianship back then. This journalist however caught my attention by mentioning how the singer is the best Finland has to offer. I had never agreed and still don't. Mikko von Hertzen sings OK, but mostly his voice relies on the overused sustain and multitrack EQs they use. This is a thing that made me actually dislike them for a while. The singing is made way too pompous by adding multiple tracks on each other. And most of the time the second and third voices sing in falcetto, which after a while starts to annoy the listener a lot. Well, this same reviewer mentioned, that that album was their first, forgetting the debut, and lost my respect, but that's another story.

Freedom Fighter played in the radio for quite a while. It's got a tricky drum pattern and some quiet, hymn-like bridges. Not something you'd expect the mainstream radio to play, but in the end, it got really popular. The song is really dynamic and absolutely not a weak link, even though I don't really like the chorus, which again sounds like Mikko von Hertzen trying to sing higher than he could.

Like the last song, these songs don't sound at all that they would sound good live. Well I had the chance to see them play live last summer, and with that, I regained my interest in them. For one, Freedom Fighter was a great song, as were the rest. The guys never showed any particular techniques while playing in their late assemblies, which is sad, but at this time all I can say is that this family got lucky. The thing that is wrong about their stage-act is basically, that the guys look like mannequines from a fashion-booklet, and they play like they had quite a tool in their tight jeans, however, they claim to be shy and more of the contemplating kind. I assume for the purpose of getting some interest from the female sex.

Somewhere in the Middle is one of those songs that really got the crowd yelling. In the 3 minutes they use for the song to start people are used to a normal pop song to end. At this point everyone was expecting quietly and when the good chorus started there was no-one who wasn't singing. After such a performance, I could even see these guys bringing home some international success.

Of all the tracks, my favourite is In the End. It's more close to the old material, which I like better. It's good to see a band developing, but I wouldn't have said no to an album just like the one before. This is a song I would recommend to anyone who ever was interested in Finnish music. It's got some good chord changes and a melody written with a twinkle in the eye. After say, 9 years, I expect this to be on the best of album. At least if they go on that long.

The album is long. Almost an hour. Luckily they've got enough variation between the songs to keep the listener intrigued until the end. Along with the rock, they've still got several Yes-like passages, like when the songs change from In the End to Faded Photographs. This song has really nice lyrics, but to the common proghead, it's a bit straight-forward. With just 3 plus whatnot minutes, this song is one of my favourites as well. It's really good as a single listen while some of the songs are only to be listened along with the album. I'm deeply surprised why this song was not their sell-out single. Might have worked for more than just the few. Well, they released it later on as one. However, in Finland, people don't usually buy singles.

Silver Lover reminds me somewhat of folkrock bands and then of Jethro Tull for example. The song has obvious influences of Indian music. The main instrument is an acoustic guitar, but we also hear a sitar playing something like Mahavishnu Orchestra. If one would like that, this would be a good track to be recommended.

Well, here's the slow song to settle the album down. This, the second last song, I Came for You, reminds me of Pink Floyd at their best. The soundscapes are overwhelming like from the Dark Side of the Moon. Sums up the album rather well, though it's not a very special album. This one is obviously composed to end the album and/or all the live concerts. It's good for throwing candles in the air and waving them around.

If Bring out the Sun was the intro, this, Willing Victim ends the album just as well. It builds up slowly, like a good novel and reaches a grand ending about how love remains the same, which, in fact, seems to have been the carrying theme of the whole album. Love, it's mysterious. Love, it's beautiful. Love, it's joy. Love, when it lasts, is grand. Quite a concept, and well arranged.

Well... I thought a while after buying this cd. I borrowed it from my friend and listened to it some times. Later on I had to get it. It's not something that opens on the go, which in my opinion is a good thing. As cross-over, this album is in a way on the same scale as their latter album, and I couldn't bring one above the other. I'm in the middle here, but as the 3 star system states, that it's non-essential, I must give this alubm the 4 stars it deserves. Please, do buy this. Not for the money they'll get, the record sold very well anyway, but for the musical enjoyment you'll recieve with it. My recommendation

-Tuomas--

Passionist | 4/5 |

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