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Needlepoint - Aimless Mary CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.69 | 10 ratings

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5 stars Not solely music-wise another unpredictable collective hailing from Norway. Over the course of time the NEEDLEPOINT musicians are offering a stimulating roundup of styles and skills, which makes them quite impossible to pigeonhole in the end. I would describe this as an eclectic blend of jazz, canterbury, folk, pop, psych/space and avant. Bjørn Klakegg (guitar, vocals) seems to be the founder and head of this formation. But let me also highlight David Wallumrød in the same breath, who is adding awesome keyboard and synthesizer contributions over and over again. Being aware of every release, I would say this is their best work (so far). Absolutely dig that, when an album spiritually unfolds with every minute you're listening.

'Aimless Mary is walking on her daily route from bar to bar' ... eh, to start with, a woundrous cover image, isn't it? Whimsical. A huge cat, no, a wild boar staring at a naked woman in the shower, bathtub, or whatever. Unpredictable, what I'm saying. With certainty this is showcasing the album's tragical protagonist, poor Mary, probably revealing a rather hopeless situation. Don't bother, as it will challenge your sense of hearing most likely. They are offering a lively lift-off, like being on the run, according to the song title. A very jazzy performance somehow, great drumming by Olaf Olsen, later showing some soaring guitar presence. Featuring Klakegg's charming lounge tinged voice followed by the somewhat canterbury pop releasing Why and Soaring. One can say more in the vein of Caravan for example. The latter though is also equipped with a mind-blowing instrumental section later, dominated by a hurried rhythm branch as well as spacy synths and guitar. A fantastic implementation!

Shattered Into Memories then turns out to be Elephant9 reminiscent a bit towards the end. The title track however comes as a bittersweet ballad, turning into a psychedelic direction later on. Regarding all instruments a superb synergy is also guaranteed on the improvisation Half Awake, just another adorable album part, definitely enchanting. And so every particular song will evolve into an unforeseen direction, still. Quirky but sophisticated canterbury infected prog music, far away from the mainstream. So much the more here we are having an extraordinary hammond showpiece available. Seven breathtaking compositions to explore, I'm always delighted when listening again. Can't imagine that they will be able to make it better some day.

Rivertree | 5/5 |


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