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Farmhouse Odyssey - Fertile Ground CD (album) cover

FERTILE GROUND

Farmhouse Odyssey

 

Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 14 ratings

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Steve Conrad
4 stars An Impressionistic, Brooding Eargasm

To Dream, Therefore to Transcend:

In this, the third full-length studio release from eclectic visionaries Farmhouse Odyssey, our philosophical musical guides cite Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky to spark us on a hero's journey.

Through means of sometimes brooding, sometimes delicate musical landscapes, and densely-themed lyrics, we are challenged to range widely beyond space and time to discover truth within the Self.

Blending many sources, divergent streams

Yet always we are grounded in the here and now. Sounds of water, thunder rumbling, birds calling- so we know we are indeed present. Yet the ways we confidently (arrogantly?) think we know, begin to slip and slide.

I realize it can all sound solemn, maybe intimidating

Painted young men in farmer overalls who work as one entity, collectively push, mold, invite, whisper, cajole, and summon the listener to move into different realms.

Dreams.

The lyrics themselves take on a nearly surreal, sometimes almost e.e.cummings-like texture- the phrasings odd and suggesting, rather than spelling out in cold, clinical terms.

All of it backed by formidable, exquisite, musical complexity

That right there is the spiritual bedrock: while the voice whispers, cries, intones- the musicians form ever-changing, ever-growing, never-stagnating counterpoints leading to newness.

All of it hypnotic.

How does one portray dreamscapes?

'Fertile Ground' does this. With sophistication, unpredictability, immense musical skill and scope, we are drawn into other dimensions: the Self is found less in hard data, and more in softer, yet more dangerous vistas.

Musical highlights:

For me, the intricate interplay among these musicians, coupled with the searching lyrics, formed a musical whole. At times, the acoustic guitar work was masterful. At other times acoustic piano, or the harmony guitar and keyboard lines. Tasteful drumming and bass guitar provided solid, fluid underpinnings.

In the end, there is light

There is pain. Resentment. Loss. Yet, in this hero's journey, there is hope, love, transcendence.

This is not an easy, facile album. Stick with it, and be rewarded.

I say four visionary dreamscapes on this release.

Steve Conrad | 4/5 |

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