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Persephone's Dream - Pan - An Urban Pastoral CD (album) cover


Persephone's Dream


Heavy Prog

3.89 | 95 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I've given this album several chances over the past few months and have come to the conclusion that I just can't get past my distaste for the voice of Ashley Peer. Talented and skilled she is, I just don't enjoy her voice. I like Jim Waugaman's well enough (though he's often a bit over-dramatic), and the music is very nice, but I am often too distracted by my concerted efforts to try to like Ashley's voice, or by the effort to try to ignore her voice in order to give the music a chance. Despite all of this, I don't find this music quite so extraordinary or amazing as many of the other reviewers do. It is . . . okay. Kind of like PETER GABRIEL's first solo album mixed with a bit of the spirit and intellect of XAVIER PHIDEAUX. It's kind of light, fluffy, often feels tongue-in-cheek. I love the first nine songs (Ashley's voice in the higher registers is quite nice--kind of like CLAIRE HAMMILL or VIRGINIA ASTLEY, even ANNIE HASLAM ["Chaosong"]), especially "Invocation" and "Pan's Labyrinth [Instrumental]." But it is with "Maenads, Melody and Meter" that I begin to cringe: here we are introduced to the voice I can't seem to like. Despite some awesome piano playing and ANDREW LLOYD WEBER-esque singing by Jim during the next few songs, it just all becomes a bit too Broadway-like to me. Don't get me wrong: I love "Godspell" and "Chorus Line." I guess their stories are a bit more compelling to me. By the time we get to the three lengthy songs at the end I'm so on edge that I can't seem to enjoy myself. "The Tears of Selene" is a good THE REASONING song from the "Awakening" era. "Erato's Pulse" is good when Ashley's nasal-chest voice is absent (thought the synths are a bit 80s). "Sillhouette" is straight out of the techno hip 1980s la TOM TOM CLUB, BLONDIE/DEBBIE HARRY, ART OF NOISE, or even SIMPLE MINDS, NEW ORDER, DEPECHE MODE, or BANANARAMA. It does grow on you in a refreshing retro kind of way. Anyway, as for a rating: I cannot give this 3.5 star album an "excellent addition" four stars. It is good, but not essential.
BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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