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Pendragon - The World CD (album) cover





3.78 | 391 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The third world in the UK

The World is Pendragon's third full length album overall but it was the first on which the band found their own sound and musical identity. Indeed, the formula established by this 1991 album would then be followed quite closely on subsequent albums up till and including Not Of This World that was released exactly ten years after the present album. Like the music itself, also the fantasy inspired cover pictures of these albums (The Window Of Life, The Masquerade Overture and Not Of This World) follow very closely the form and aesthetic of The World.

The previous two albums were quite immature and contained only traces of the typical Pendragon sound that can be found from this album onwards. This sound has as its essential components the distinctive vocals of Nick Barrett and his slow, sustained guitar play as well as the ever pleasant and lush keyboard work of the great Clive Nolan. Also quite characteristic is Barrett's particular style of song writing and the very high production values. 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 there is not much progression going on to be honest.

Three songs from this album are parts of a 20 plus minute suite called Queen Of Hearts. These songs are Queen Of Hearts, A Man Could Die Out Here and The Last Waltz. These songs would have to be declared the highlights of the album together with the American sounding The Voyager. The latter features harmonica and Country-like, bluesy acoustic guitar licks.

Personally, I have always found the music of Pendragon to be a little bit too lightweight and light-hearted for my taste, somehow lacking in depth and substance. However, there is no denying the talents of these musicians. This music is not particularly groundbreaking in any sense, but they do have a distinctive sound of their own which is more important. While their next album is slightly stronger than the present one, on The World is where it all began. The World is only the first in a series of good Pendragon albums.

While I find it quite hard to fault this album, I also find it very hard to conjure up much enthusiasm over it. It is a good album, but that's all it is.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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