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Patrick Moraz - Patrick Moraz III CD (album) cover


Patrick Moraz


Crossover Prog

3.27 | 41 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars My version of this album has a slightly different track order compared to what is listed above. The version I have has six tracks instead of seven, but that is only because Temples Of Joy and The Conflict have been put together as one long track. This 15 minute plus piece opens my version and is possibly Patrick Moraz' best solo composition ever. Despite some flaws, it easily betters the best parts from Moraz' debut solo album The Story Of I. However, that first album holds together much better as a whole than this third album.

The first part of this first track - Temples Of Joy - is especially good. As indicated by the title it is a rather joyous number. The Conflict, on the other hand, as similarly indicated by its title, is supposed to be a bit darker and more dramatic. This attempt is somewhat lost, however, because of its lack of instrumental depth and power. Comparing it to a very dramatic and powerful piece like Yes' Gates Of Delirium, for example, (a song which is also about conflict and war) on which Moraz played, it becomes painfully clear what is needed here - a full band. After all, how interesting would Gates Of Delirium be without guitars, bass, vocals and with lots of discrete Latin percussion instead of rock drums? However, the keyboard sound reminds me a bit more of Moraz' previous band Refugee than his sound on Yes' Relayer album. But here the keyboards are less varied and has a somewhat thinner sound. I would love to hear this epic song with a bit fuller sound.

Despite these obvious flaws, I must say that I have been listening to this song quite a lot lately. And I do find it highly enjoyable. If only the remainder of the album could be as good as this first 15 minutes.

The second track (on my version) is called Intentions, it is a decent piano solo number, possibly a studio improvisation. It demonstrates Moraz' impressive piano skills and his unique playing style very well, but it is moderately interesting as a composition. Realization follows and it is another up tempo, very joyous number with Latin percussion and keyboards and not much more. Again, this is good but only moderately interesting from a compositional perspective.

The Latin/Brazilian influences continue on Jungles Of The World which is a jazzier piece with good keyboard playing. On my version this is track four, but above it is listed as the opening number. I feel that it is a bit too low key to be a good opening number.

The two remaining tracks are, surprisingly, vocal numbers and here is where the album kind of loses its direction. These songs are not very interesting and hardly progressive. Primitivisation has a very repetitive rhythmic pattern and 'computorized' vocals. Keep The Children Alive is an quite conventional song with female vocals that I feel is even more out of place on this album. You get a strong feeling that you incidentally shifted from CD to radio on your stereo when this song starts. Too bad that the album would end like this after such a promising start!

This album could have been much better. The addition of a full rock band would have helped a lot. As it stands, the sound of this album is a bit thin. The quality of the compositions is all there is to keep you from getting tired of the same synthesiser sounds. Adding more instruments had helped things a lot, I think. Avoiding out-of-place- vocal material would have helped things along even more.

Still, this is worth having if you are a fan of Patrick Moraz' interesting style. Especially for the very good Temples Of Joy/The Conflict. Three stars because of that one.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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