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Life Line Project - 20 Years After CD (album) cover


Life Line Project


Symphonic Prog

4.02 | 108 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Erik de Beer knows like no other to make difficult music sound simple, fluent and natural. The hardest synthesizer, piano and guitar runs sound natural and smooth. The same goes for the themes and chord progressions he exposes in his songs. The often very elaborate arrangements make his compositions sound natural and warm. If you listen for example to the bass parts, you notice that most of them are fully fledged counter melodies, so well executed by bass player Iris Sagan, who combines rhythmic playing to adding melodic lines. There are not many albums on which you can so clearly distinguish the bass parts. On this new album "20 Years After" Erik drives his arranging skills beyond the limits to support the story line, exposed in the major composition on the abundant filled disc "The True Tale Of Duplo The Equivalent", a funny story, told both in music and lyrics, lasting more than one hour. The composition starts of with a sort of overture displaying the main theme, representing the main character of the story, Duplo, a funny little guy with one eye and green hair, who lives in a land where everyone looks the same. Every time when Duplo is on the loose, the theme returns. In the first parts, life in Equivalesia is described, how every day is the same and how life is regulated by a huge computer, to prevent the Equivalesians to get jealous. Erik employs all his arranging and playing skills to underline the events and the moods of the story in a brilliant way. For example in "Evening Thoughts" when Duplo thinks about the meaning of his existence, a beautiful ensemble of woodwind instruments ( flute, oboe, clarinets and a bassoon) play a sort of bucolic lullaby, subtly accompanied by acoustic guitar, lute and harpsichord. Then it's off for "Working On The Mountain", with a large instrumental intro with which LLP hit us with everything they've got, ferocious Moog solo's, an aggressive Hammond and fine melodic twin lead guitar solo's, before Marion enters, to tell the story of how the Equivalents dig holes on odd days and fill them up on even days. This time there are no guest vocalists present on the album. All vocal duties rest on the shoulders of Marion Brinkman and I think she is by far the best singer the Project had so far. Listen to her singing the lovesong "Unica", which reminded me so much of that beautiful Latte e Miele album "Papillon". Very funny is the rock ballad "Love Is In His Eye" in which Duplo's love for Unica is described. In the instrumental "Together" there is an exciting arpeggio acoustic guitar part to be enjoyed and the middle section contains a fantastic Moog solo. In "Life In The Individual State Of Ridicula" the habits of Ridicula, a country where everyone is different and where fashion dictates life, is described. "Happiness" is one of the most beautiful symphonic songs on the album, with a leading role for a fantastic wailing Gibson, playing a great solo, alternated and sustained by the Moog. This great symphonic theme, which will appeal to lovers of the old Hackett sound, returns in the equally beautiful "Move Out". A funny intermezzo is provided with "The Guy is Cool", in which the inhabitants of Ridicula stab heir left eye, in order to be more like Duplo, jazzy sung by Marion and provided with a bar piano solo by Erik. "Same Old Song" is an impressive piece of progrock with some dissonant themes on synths and bassoon and again the twin guitar solo's over a solid rhythm section. In the end you get a fine example of what I meant with making difficult things sound simple. Here Erik plays a short, but incredible fast two voiced two hand tapping solo. The story ends with sombre and dark sounding synth sounds and a voice reminding us, that computers are only manmade, the conclusion of a story that is trying to expose the harms of both communism and capitalism. The album contains four shorter compositions. Track one is an instrumental performed only by keyboards, bass and drums and it underlines once more the virtuoso capacities of Erik on all his keyboards. Probably the most beautiful song on the album is the touching and fully acoustic "Worries", sung in a pure and serene way by Marion, with again these beautiful woodwind arrangements over a grand piano and an acoustic guitar. Title track "20 Years After" appears to be another solid instrumental, with screaming Moogs and in the end a great electric guitar lead. This is truly a mature album and despite the humoristic interjections, it is one of the finest symphonic rock albums I know! Whistler.
Whistler | 5/5 |


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