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IQ - The Wake CD (album) cover

THE WAKE

IQ

 

Neo-Prog

3.80 | 547 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Unlike Marillion I was introduced to IQ only recently when I purchased Dark Matter in 2007 and so far I've been met with a disappointment after disappointment on my quest to find the one great IQ release.

The Wake was my second IQ album because of its cult status in the Neo-Prog community. This release was IQ's breakthrough album that, together with Marillion's Misplaced Childhood, marked the new popular era of the genre. Although this album wasn't as successful as Marillion's work it paved the way for the sub-genre which makes the release equally important from the historical perspective. The mere fact that this band has been around since the early 80's and are still going strong they can't be ignored by any progressive rock fan.

I have very mixed thoughts regarding this release because I do enjoy the individual compositions whenever I listen to them but once I'm done listening to them my opinion completely evaporates into thin air and I struggle to remember what it is that makes The Wake great. Every song features that distinct '80s Neo-Prog style that we now consider to be the second coming of the progressive rock genre but my question is whether this music can be of interest to anyone who wasn't there when the genre reached its peak in 1985? I personally don't happen to think so. While Misplaced Childhood pleased both the prog fans and the mainstream audience this release was mainly for the underground prog community. The compositions do, in some cases, almost reach the level of Marillion's work on their debut album but I lack the strong personality that each of that band's members brought to the music. IQ can easily become very bland on the longer tracks and it's easy to forget that you're listening to them once Peter Nicholls' vocals are not around. This problem reoccurs on track after track throughout the album with an exception of Headlong which gives us a solid performance from the entire band and the only memorable instrumentally interplay between the instrumentalists.

To put it in simple terms: Misplaced Childhood is a must have for fans of progressive rock while The Wake is a mainly of interest to Neo-Prog enthusiasts. All in all, a good, but non-essential release.

***** star songs: Headlong (7:30)

**** star songs: Outer Limits (8:14) The Wake (4:11) The Magic Roundabout (8:19) Widow's Peak (9:13)

*** star songs: Corners (6:21) The Thousand Days (5:12)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |

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