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VOICES

Jane

Heavy Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars

FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM!!

In the second half of the Seventies I discovered a record shop that sold German progressive rock/Krautrock in my hometown The Hague, the owner was Bob De Jong, drummer of Dutch prog band Pythagoras featuring Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon fame on their second album. Soon I bought all albums from Eloy, Grobschnitt, Novalis, Ramses and ... Jane. Their music is not really in the vein of more symphonic rock sounding German prog like Grobschnitt or Novalis but I had no problems with the vocals that contains a strong German accent and I have always loved their 'progressive bluesrock', loaded with Hammond organ and fiery guitar like on their live double album Live At Home! A few years ago Jane was re-united featuring three members (ncluding drummer/singer Peter Panka) of the original lin-up as on their debut album entitled Together. They released the CD Genuine and played on the festival The German Krautrock Meeting featuring bands like Birth Control and Amon Duul II (released on a 2-DVD). So I was very curious to their current sound.

Well, Jane still sounds very distinctive but obviously more polished and modern with hints from Dire Straits their poprock. The 12 compositions are tastefulfly aaranged with strong guitar soli (from sensitive to raw and fiery), a pleasant colouring by the keyboards and climates that shift from dreamy or compelling to mid-tempo and bombastic. My favorites on this CD are the fluent Much Too Much (propulsive guitar riffs like ZZ Top), the dreamy Dawn (wonderful keyboards intro, then a compelling climate and finally a sensitive guitar solo), rock and roll in Words (fiery guitar solo), the beautiful Welcome To The Club (sof organ waves, warm voals and delicate work on guitar and synthesizers) and teh instrumental final track Romance (soaring keyboards, then compelling and bombastic with a sensitive electric guitar solo).

Don't expect a Jane sound similar to the Seventies, this current line-up delivers modern and tasteful rock with a fine progressive touch.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#127579)
Posted Thursday, July 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars IMO Jane never sounded as Jane any longer while they split in two parts like BJH.

From the offerings, "Peter's Panka Jane" is the only one to have recorded studio albums. And I miss very much Klaus Hess and his fantastic guitar work but "Voices" won't be as bad as some of their previous albums ("Beautiful Lady" and "Resurrection" being by far their worst ones).

"Jane" is playing a solid, heavy rock but with little inspiration. Song writing is definitely not at its best for this work. One of the worst is "Carry On"; and even a very good but short guitar solo couldn't save it from misery. The absolutely nadir is "Gentlewoman". Some sort of soul inspired (???) song. Difficult to bear, really. Same is valid for the very poor vocals during "Always On The Run". That's the best thing to do while listening to this song is to press next to avoid listening to "Jane" intending to play some world music song...

One of the very few songs that stands out is "The Last Time" (premonitory?). Pleasant keyboards and great guitar break are a very good trip back in time. On the mellow and emotional side, "Voice In The Wind" might work OK. It holds some of their typical vocals but sustained with repetitive drumming and a nice melody.

When you listen to "Dawn", it seems that you transported to the very early "Jane". The Floyd oriented one. It is by far my favourite track from this album. It is as well the longest one. I am sure that this song would please ANY old fans from "Jane". If only more songs from this calibre could have highlighted this album! It's probably nostalgia, but this song is on par with several of their best numbers written a looooooong ago. A sublime and very short closing number just leaves you just unsatisfied.

It is a pity that both Peter Panka and Klaus Hess couldn't leave their ego aside. Together (with the help of a few others of course) they have produced some very good albums (up to "Jane" in 1980). There won't be any of these any more since Peter sadly passed away earlier on this year. RIP Peter and thanks for these great musical moments. Could Klaus take up the torch ? I just hope so because this album is just short to be rated as a good album. Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#156565)
Posted Tuesday, December 25, 2007 | Review Permalink

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