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Nolan & Wakeman - Jabberwocky CD (album) cover


Nolan & Wakeman



3.61 | 57 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a symphonic and highly vivid concept album with a line-up of talented musicians including Peter Banks. Adam Wakeman is heavily influenced by Wakeman's narrated concept albums, and way of playing the synths. Clive Nolan plays like always : symphonic sountrack-style keyboard playing. With several vocalist, this album is like a prog rock opera. Instrumentally, it is very strong, and a surprise that it is barely mentioned in progarchives. It sounds like neo-prog.

The words of the album interpret a poem of Carroll which involves a story of a fantasy of a boy getting strength to defeat the jabberwocky which is either a monster or an imaginary fear that separates the boy with his girlfriend. Many characters including the girl gives courage to the boy to confront and defeat the beast. The album concludes with the boy and girl together.

1. Overture (5:57) is a majestic start of the album, full of symphonic arrangements, keyboard solos, and a solid vocalist introducing his fears, and desires to be with his girl. 7/10

2. Coming To Town (2:55) is a good rocker with a nice jazzy guitar solo that reminds me of Yes, and good keyboard work. 6/10

3. Dangerous World (6:54) makes the appareance of the beast, and with his sinister voice and harpsichord musical backing, he instills fear to the boy, while the girl gives him strength in a ballad-like musical passage. The Jabberwocky terrifying the boy afterwards. 6.5/10

4. The Forest (4:22) Begins with a march-like rhythm ripped off from "The Wall" and is augmented by choirs sung in latin. A strong instrumental break with impressive symphonic passages and a synth solo makes this song very memorable. 8/10

5. A Glimmer Of Light (2:42) An emotional ballad dominated by the voice of Tracy Hitchings and piano. 6/10

6. Shadows (4:19) This song instrumentally feels like paranoia and fear. Some of the keyboard riffs gives me imagery that the Jabberwocky is chasing the boy on the forest. It can also be just another overture. 7/10

7. Enlightenment (5:23) The tree gives advice to the boy, the song is concluded by a powerful guitar solo. 6/10

8. Dancing Water (4:12) This song is the boy contemplating and hearing voices from all characters. 6.5/10

9. The Burgundy Rose (3:55) Containing beautiful piano passages, this song is when the Boy and the Girl are confident. The lyrics "I don't feel small and insignificant" show that they are planning to defeat the beast. The second half has a strong instrumental work. 8/10

10. The Mission (4:32) An exciting song in which the boy sets his mission to kill the jabberwocky. Solos are everywhere here. 7/10

11. Call To Arms (6:37) A symphonic heavy piece with lots of background noises of war. Unfortunately, the repetitive latin choirs annoy me. The keyboard playing is at its best here though, especially the hammond organ solo. 6.5/10

12. Finale (1:50) is well ... the finale of the album, and sounds very similar to the overture. 7/10

A modern rock opera! I recommend this to any Arena/Pendragon fan, and any fan of keyboard-driven music!

My Grade : C+

Zitro | 3/5 |


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