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Jade Warrior - Kites CD (album) cover


Jade Warrior


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.27 | 75 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a beautiful piece of music, there is no denying. It is very oriental in style, and is pretty much no longer rock at all. It calls up landscape type imagery while listening to it, and the group even said in the album notes that a forest at dawn was in mind while writing the music. It is a very orchestrated album, with two separate ideas. The first half of the album deals with the forest described in the notes, and the second half is about an ancient Zen master named Teh Ch'eng which is very interesting in the linear notes, but doesn't seem to really be called up by the music.

I suppose the only influence I could say these fellows had for this recording was King Crimson for spear- heading the orchestral/rock fusion in the English speaking part of the world. They manage to have a very original sound on the album for the time period. Most people would assume its "classical" oriental music!

For everything that's good about the album, it just isn't very interesting. It doesn't have any hooks, no ultra complex compositions, very little build up. It would be nearly impossible to just listen to the music without distraction and not get bored for good lengths of time. It also doesn't have one moment in particular which jumps out and makes you think "Wow! Now this is good music". An album that's entirely atmospheric needs some sort of catch or gimmick to make it more interesting, but this album doesn't have that it is just very plain.

It is however, easy to appreciate the thought put into each song. They do achieve everything they set out to do, and the entire thing is very pleasing to the ears. Its the kind of music to listen to while being creative, it conjures up some impressive visions. For the most part its very simple rhythmically, and the music is built up around it giving the idea that the rhythm is the landscape and the other sounds are the happenings, like a sway of the breeze or movement of a mouse. This isn't so much psychedelic music so much as it just orchestral. I guess another failing is that instead of being very different and interesting rock music its more just mediocre orchestral music.

I find the second side to be much more appealing then the first, because it is a single suite it has more space to evolve as a piece of music. Its story may not be clear but there is a definite story like progression to it. I especially like the portion entitled "Arrival Of The Emperor: "What Does The Venerable Sir Do?:" Its very chaotic in comparison to the rest of the album and gives off the impression of a struggle(even though according to the notes it isn't). The following section "Teh Ch'eng: "Do You Understand This?"" has some very nice guitar work (acoustic and electric) and complements the section before nicely. "Wind Borne" from the first side just doesn't do much of anything and fails to earn any praise whatsoever, its just all the flaws and none of the good points.

Its a shame I can only rate this album 3 stars, its obvious that it took a lot of intelligence and musical competence to put together the album. It just fails to be a memorable experience. Like the albums concept, it sort of floats by prettily catches your attention before it falls to the ground and is forgotten.

Hangedman | 3/5 |


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