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Sean Filkins - War And Peace & Other Short Stories CD (album) cover


Sean Filkins


Crossover Prog

4.08 | 409 ratings

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Marty McFly
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I wonder what this tune in the background of Are You Sitting Comfortably? can it be anthem of some kind (or rather something less prominent, but England related, perhaps wartime brass song?), but don't tell me. I could have looked it up anyway, but wanted to find out by myself.

But nope, don't expect me to understand the story yet. It's my 6th listen or so and it will take some more listens, but that's the point - the album is as good as the first one (actually even better, I am starting to appreciate subtle elements in the music, that's always a good sign).

So the funny thing (damn ironic too if you ask me) is that I never actually liked Sean's performance in Big Big Train that much. You can say that I liked the vocals, but I didn't like the music. However I consider "Underfall" as a pinnacle in their discography and "War and Peace" reminds me it a lot (at least some moments, very strong on The English Eccentric, whose often repeated lyrics line "'round his eyes" was a bit annoying to me at first, but then I began to like it more). Then comes tricky part - first, let's say one quarter of Prisoner of Conscience, Part 1: The Soldier, with its second quarter serving as a playground for Sean Filkins voice, clearly focusing on it, which is not a bad thing - as I said, he is proficient singer.

The music and melody ensues, but not just this, also half complex (my favourite kind - graduating type), half melodic music, which can be called third quarter. A lot of rocky parts here, which is fine. The last quarter is therefore ending (I suspect typical Prog epic pattern here), but ends surprisingly (at first I expected repeating of the song's motif).

Prisoner of Conscience, Part 2: The Ordinary Man starts differently, after the cataclysmic event, it emerges as quietly as possible, but then blooms into The Song. It's a fine one as well.

Epitaph For a Mariner is a bit weaker, again there is first quarter of something that I'll, for a lack of better word (OK I admit I have a better word and this is intentional) call ambience. Then it starts to moves slowly (the best metaphor would be probably an avalanche one) and ends even more epically than Part 1.

It probably won't be much of a surprise that Learn How to Learn again - starts quite quietly and ends on a high note, before ultimately ending quietly again (trait common to last two songs here, other three ends drastically).

On a related note, title of this song is also something you can call "story of my life", all my life I've been trying to learn how to learn, but always failed. The song probably have something else in mind, but this familiarity is also important for me.

All in all, one of the best albums of this year. There are flaws, but flawless album doesn't exist after all. I hope it's not subconsciousness hypnosis and I haven't put "rose coloured glasses" from the first song's lyrics on (not counting intro as a "song").

Marty McFly | 5/5 |


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