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Pendragon - The Window Of Life CD (album) cover

THE WINDOW OF LIFE

Pendragon

 

Neo-Prog

3.88 | 339 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Window of the world

After two weak albums, Pendragon had finally found their musical direction with the previous The World. And why change a winning formula? The Window Of Life follows closely in the sonic footsteps of The World (and the basic formula, with minor changes, would be used again on The Masquerade Overture and Not Of This World. Even the sleeve pictures of these four consecutive albums are very similar in style). You could probably take a song from Window Of Life and put it on The World or wise versa and it would be hard to detect. That's how similar these two albums are.

The sound of Pendragon has as its essential components the distinctive vocals of Nick Barrett and his slow, sustained David Gilmour-like guitar sound as well as the ever pleasant and lush keyboard washes of the great Clive Nolan. Also quite characteristic is Barrett's particular song writing and the very high production values. As I said in my review of The World, in order to see what makes this music progressive you have to look both at the "micro" and the "macro" level. That is, both in the small details and in the larger structures. In between the finer details and the bigger picture there is really not much "progression" going on.

As I also remarked in my review of the previous album, I have always found the music of Pendragon to be too lightweight and light-hearted for my taste, somehow lacking in depth and substance and especially it lacks a much needed edge. It somehow is too tame, almost as if it is "children's Prog"! The cover art picture could just have well been the cover for a children's fantasy novel which doesn't help either (BTW, isn't it Harry Potter in the lower right corner?). However, there is no denying the talents of the musicians involved and the appeal of the sound they produce.

We find on this album several Pendragon classics that would become fan favourites and take permanent place in the band's live set. These songs include Nostradamus (Stargazing), The Last Man on Earth, Breaking the Spell and The Walls of Babylon which are also the best songs here. The other two leave very little impression on me to be honest.

Overall, this is another good Pendragon album in their typical style. But they certainly did a bit better latter on.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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