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Trace - The White Ladies CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.58 | 86 ratings

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4 stars Hi hello ...! I have been so long not writing any review and this time I have a strong reason to write regardless my tight schedule. Well's about the music that colored my world when I was a teenager and I was so eager with prog and rock music at that time. It was triggered by a an event we called it as ProgRing (progressive gathering) which already the fifth recently conducted in Jakarta. A friend of mine (a proghead, of course) by the name of Yuddi brought me a CD of this legendary album by TRACE. Why do I call it legendary? It was part of the prog music that I listened to in the seventies where all of my collection was in the form of cassette. Unfortunately my cassette was not in quite good quality so that I could only grab 70% (approximately) of the whole album content. But one thing for sure, there was one song that was very popular at that time in my country: "Confrontation" .... oh man what a fabulous and wonderfully crafted song this one is! I have been searching so long to find the CD and only recently I found my friend Yuddi brought it to me. Once I reached home I played the CD repeatedly and until now I am still playing it as I really want to fulfill what has been missing so far with one of my favorite vintage prog rock album. Thanks a lot Bro Yuddi for giving me a chance to return back to the glory days of prog rock in the seventies, the time when I rode my bicycle wherever I go. And now I still ride a bicycle ? that means I have no progress in equipping myself with better, state-of-the-art vehicle as a transportation means.

Excellent Concept

By that time I was quite familiar with the Dutch's EKSEPTION fame where Rick van der Linden was one of the key forces in the band. Mid seventies was the time when Rick career was at his peak. The fact that his name was put separate from the name of TRACE gave us a signal that this album was personally driven by Rick van Der Linden who is a maestro in keyboard playing. The story was actually adopted from the Dutch' medieval age story about ghosts called "The White Ladies" which were described as driving whomever being kept by the ladies someone will dance forever throughout walks of life, forgetting about the world. It's quite a fascinating story.

I always consider this album comprises two long songs, actually, that were put on two sides of the LP; in every song there are many movements like in the classical music. Rick is basically a classical music influenced musician whereby in this album he refers on Beethoven's. I always listen to this album in its entirety because I do not want to lose the context of the concept album; it's like watching a movie, how can you stop in the middle?

Musically, this is an excellent album as the composition is strong in five major components that I usually look for in any prog album. Melody-wise, I can bet that most of you would like this album as most movements have their beauties in the melody side. On harmony, even though the music is predominantly comprising inventive keyboard-work, the combined instrument work is excellent too. I can notice the bass playing is really excellent, played by Cor Dekker. The music flows beautifully from soft piano work at the opening track followed by a very good narration that sets the overall tone of the story. As "Confrontation" is my long-time ever favourite, I find "Doubts" (which later came into the Ekseption's 78 album) is very interesting as well. The Hammond organ work reminds me to Procol Harum .... it's really nice. Even though the music is not that complex, overall, but there are many tempo changes throughout the movements and sometimes there are elements of jazz inserted also, like those after "Doubts". On the last mark, i.e. the structural integrity I find this album is excellent as well. The whole movements in the album form a cohesive whole. While listening to the album I am imagining if the plot has ever been made in the form of the drama where there are many parts with dance style.

It's classic, it's legendary, and ?it's excellent!

Overall, you should not miss this album because of the music and also the history whereby this album was one of the legendary concept albums like you find with Genesis "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" or Yes "Tales from Topographic Ocean" or Jethro Tull "Thick As A Brick" and other prog concept albums. You must have a copy of this album if you really want to know the complete history of progressive music. Keep on proggin' .. JRENG!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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