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David Bedford - Instructions For Angels CD (album) cover


David Bedford

Crossover Prog

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4 stars The follow-up to ''The Odyssey'', this album continues in a similar vein. The instrumentation is again comprised of synthesizers, Solina Strings, piano, orchestral instruments and female voices, and again we have an appearance by Mike Oldfield and this time also by Mike Ratledge.

The whole album is a set of variations on a mediaeval tune by an ''anonymous composer of the School of Worcester''. Stylistically, the bulk of the album is comparable to ''The Odyssey'' in its dreamy mood and - in spite of the heavy use of synthesizers - vaguely pastoral atmosphere; it leans however a bit more to the ''avantgardistic'' side in compositional development, though nothing like Bedford's truely avantgarde pieces like ''Star's End'' or ''Nurses Song With Elephants''; it merely takes more unexpected turns than the music found on ''The Odyssey''. Bedford manages to create many interesting and unexpected variations out of the simple main theme here; in spite of that, it can seem a bit repetitive with its constant reference to the same tune. (Although I understand that each variation is of a different section of the original piece, they all appear to be quite similar.)

Mike Ratledge plays a nice synthesizer solo on ''First Came the Lion Rider''; the title track is a duet (or should I say duel? It almost sounds like it in its intensity) between Bedford on church organ and Mike Oldfield delivering a ferocious guitar solo.

This is definitely one of Bedford's more proggy albums, though I'd recommend you get ''The Odyssey'' and possibly ''Rigel 9'' first. Oldfield fans, however, need this disc for the title track alone (it's not featured on the ''Boxed'' compilation which, if I remember correctly, was released the same year).

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Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Review Permalink

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