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Anton Roolaart - Dreamer CD (album) cover

DREAMER

Anton Roolaart

 

Symphonic Prog

3.55 | 33 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars Getting this album was a labor of sorts, been on my wish list based on a number of imponderables such as past reviews, hunches, gut feeling etc... This is nothing new really for the average prog hunter who is constantly in search of a new buzz thrill and falls victim to random choices based on god knows what spirit. As is often the case, the first few spins were lightly appreciated, having left little mark beyond the pleasant and interesting. Truth is our progressive genre has such a wide palette of sounds and styles that we often need an "adjust" button in our minds, trying to find the connectors that eventually lead to recognition and perhaps delight. Such is the case here, as Dreamer has screwed itself nicely into my psyche mostly due to its precious innocence and genuine expression. I am happy to report that there are numerous accolades to be espoused as long as readers accept that this will not be "prog at first sight, ?blinded by the light". Anton explains the premise behind his creation as a deeply personal adventure and that is precisely what you get, a symphonic prog album that has multiple similarities to acts as diverse as Phideaux , the first Ric Ocasek (ex-The Cars) solo album Beatitude (a sensational non-prog disc BTW) , some winks at the sadly deceased Shaun Guerin and even a smidgen of Bill Nelson ! His guitar playing is first rate, his vocals not that much but frankly more appealing that the 3 Steves (Hackett, Hillage and Howe), the songs are slow intoxications that will require multiple visits to get hooked. But once you are, the thrill is there. There are typical winners such as 'On the Afterglow' and 'The Spider' (the above mentioned influences will wink at you) but the title track 'Dreamer' and 'Color of Your World' are equally entrancing. The artwork, production and musicianship are all first rate, the presence of Mastermind's Rich Berends on drums, and the gifted ex-Haslam , ex- Renaissance keyboardist Rave Tesar are both further brilliance to the overall sheen (No, not Charlie!). 'Near or Far' is a seductive opener, setting the personal tone quite nicely, 'Scary Monsters' has that Nelson/Ocasek feel I mentioned earlier and both the spacey 'Manon' and the quirky 'Midsummer's Day' evoke a certain charm that is entirely pleasurable (the lead guitar on all tracks are particularly stellar) . This is a surprising addition to my collection and will get numerous future spins. 4 Flemish flame motifs
tszirmay | 4/5 |

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