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Like Wendy - Homeland CD (album) cover


Like Wendy



3.52 | 32 ratings

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3 stars As much as I can get off on the crazy antics of a DEUS EX MACHINA or the eerie prog of AFTER CRYING, I always melt like putty whenever I hear those melancholy chords, those simple melodies that wrench your heart out, and that voice which seems to come from another time. Yet "Homeland" disappointed me.

The opening track of "Homeland" is very promising: the fullness of the sound, the magnificence of the keyboards and choruses, the delicate, minor-key acoustic guitar, and that voice. Then the next track kicks in, "Back to Earth", a slow lullaby type of tune Justin Hayward would love to have on his solo albums: three chords (C-G-F), a verse, then the same 3-chords again. Hmm. Perhaps the 13-minute title track will redeem this album?

The track "Homeland" is grand and most moving. Also, I think Bert Heinen has really outdone himself vocally on this track, on this whole album as a matter of fact. But this tune sounds soooo familiar: nothing we haven't heard ten times before on previous albums. The themes keep plodding along, beautifully flowing into one another. A very "Let It Be" type of tune that stretches way too long and doesn't go anywhere.

With a persistent acoustic guitar verse that follows you around, "Last Day of the Butterfly" will stick to your brain like a bee in your bonnet yet isn't very challenging. "Flood" is frankly depressing and the mechanical drums don't help a bit; not even the trumpet saves the day here: it's out of place and out of tune (really!). "The Days Remaining" is another beautifully dressed slow number with Heinen's signature all over that doesn't go anywhere. The album ends with an acoustic/folksy ballad, the radio-friendly "Live Forever", a very CSN&Y type tune, complete with the same choruses and vocal inflexions.

Lord knows I don't shun 'accessible' music for its own sake, as long as it has substance. I feel that "Homeland" suffers from (1) overly accessible material, (2) lack of substance and (3) too many repeated formulas. I've only heard the album three times and the magic has already died. Don't get me wrong: anyone into ultra-melodic prog bumping into this album will no doubt be delighted if they've never heard the band before. As for others. 3 stars.

| 3/5 |


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