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Pendragon - The World CD (album) cover





3.82 | 486 ratings

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3 stars Re visiting the earlier (mid?) catalogue of Pendragon I'd forgotten what stunning music they had been producing. 'The World', 'The Window Of Life' and 'The Masquerade Overture', are three superb albums by anyone's standard, soaring guitar work, tempered by ethereal keys and excellent melodies; though, unsurprisingly some were better than others. Moreover they have withstood the test of time as displayed by their current live set (Concerto Maximo (2008) and more recently Lorley (2009)). I shall review each in turn.

The World: 3 stars

The album that I feel that helped to define Pendragon, or perhaps more importantly where Clive began to really flex his fingers, and Nick became a real master of his craft.

'Back In The Spotlight' with a Simple Minds style rhythm section chuntering away in the background, this track eases its way happily throughout to get us off to a pleasing start, nothing special, but nothing offensive. 'The Voyager' after a bluesy introduction, a quiet keyboard chord is brought in with gentle vocals and sonorous guitar fills. Pendragon's ability to create memorable and catchy melodies begin with this track. Plenty of shifting signatures, tempos and dynamics keep the listener completely on board from start to finish. The latter part of the track builds into a glorious wall of sound, fully appreciated by volume and well placed speakers. This track is still on the live play list. 'Shane' great swing rhythm is generated within this track coupled with the off beats of the guitar, the subtle keys follow together with what is now the trademark Barrett sound. Quite a short track. 'Prayer' if the guitar hadn't arrived with its riff half way through this track, this would have been written off as purely filler, once again that guitar has saved the day. 'The Queen Of Hearts' Parts 1 to 3 perhaps the track which defines this album, the whole piece passes the 20 minute mark. Part 1 passes through a number of time signatures and styles never really settling in one, including an acoustic passage, the final section returns to the off beat that pre-empts the main beat as used in 'Shane', much more effective here though. Part 2 flows on immediately, more up tempo, it builds up to an anticlimax heralding a repeated bass line which in turn leads to some noodling interplay before settling in a rhythmic passage based over a repeating bass pattern. Though the middle part of this section includes a vocal with quite backing the whole effect of this section is never lost returning to the sound of the first section. Part 3 is linked by a keyboard section and finally the third part begins with a catchy melody and lyrics 'do you remember, do you recall?', rather repetitive but somehow appropriate. 'And We'll Go Hunting Deer' opening to an atmospheric held chord with piano passage and simulated pipes this anthematic piece builds to include drums and vocal, all the while you feel that it will eventually explode into a guitar driven solo, it never arrives unfortunately? all in all a gentle piece to close the album.

Never reaching the pinnacle of the subsequent album it does however lay the foundation for it, three stars for this Pendragon offering.

huge | 3/5 |


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