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Message - From Books And Dreams CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.65 | 54 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Well, this sleeve could've been from a death metal band!

A half-British, half-German affair (the same line-up that would record the eponymous masterpiece Message), From Books and Dreams is a dark, hard-rocking psychedelic album. The production makes for a very spacy, dirty and blurry atmosphere that serves the album well. I recommend listening to this album in the evening (preferably an autumn evening), light up a few candles, unplug the phone, sit back, lie down or whatever, and listen...

1 - Sleep : Not really a song, more of an introduction. A feeling of intense, wrenching vertigo, similar to the moment before falling into subconsciousness and the dream realm, is well depicted here. Blurry, psychedelic, a perfect mood setter.

2 - Dreams and Nightmares (Dreams) - One of the two very high points (personnaly I can't find any weak points) of this album. Starts where Sleep left off, with an hypnotic guitar theme, repeated for a while (the German influence, I guess) and built up until a riff change and vocals kick in. Now, some may not like Tom McGuigan's voice, I know I really love it. Not always on tone, he more than makes up for it with intensity and theatricality. Alan Murdoch shines all through the song, with amazing hard-rocking catchy riffs and a main theme that will be stuck in your head for days, months, maybe years. The rythm section, not as creative as on the eponymous album, is nonetheless very tight and enjoyable to listen to. A great support for Murdoch's riffs. Lyrically, the song dabbles in the nonsense of dreams (as does the whole album), therefore do not expect lyrics to make much sense, all the while still making sense (as dreams do). The song segues into :

3 - Turn Over! : A dark, psychedelic guitar pattern graces the song, serving as background to Tom McGuigan's saxophone wailing. This closed side one of the vinyl, as the words 'Turn Over' are repeated quite a few times at the end of the song, when the needle reaches the end of the lp (this trick was also used by Ange on Le Cimetière des Arlequins, and probably by countless others in that period).

4 - Sigh : Another psychedelic rocking number, but less dark than anything on side one. The majority of the chords are happy sounding, but that doesn't make the song less interesting. Once again, Murdoch's guitar lines are the focus of the song, and McGuigan's vocal melodies are also very interesting.

5 - Dreams and Nightmares (Nightmares) : The other high point of the album. The inclusion of keyboards makes for a haunting effect. Catchy dark riffs all the way through, interesting chord progressions... a great track.

This is my second Message album, and even though it is a bit less progressive than the eponymous, it is nonetheless an amazing album. Might not be a masterpiece, but it is damn close to being one. 4.5 stars. A shame these guys did not get the recognition they deserved at that time.

Melomaniac | 4/5 |


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