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Easter Island - Mother Sun CD (album) cover


Easter Island

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1 stars I recall reading reviews of Easter Island's 1979 release Now and Then often giving it praise and later hearing they reformed (with only one original member) and released a new title in 1999 called Mother Sun. Unfortunately, I read only one review (can't remember where, but it certainly wasn't here) which also praised Mother Sun. After listening to Mother Sun, I realized that I had been duped. Either I read a review that had a promotional bias (i.e. "gotta get rid of this crap") or the reviewer had spent one too many hours in the back of a cement mixer. In either case, the lesson is to read more than one review and I'd advise you to do the same with this review, especially if you live in a cement mixer.

Musically Mother Sun is a mix of the worst of early Enchant, the worst of Billy Sherwood, and the worst of neo-proggers Galahad, with a touch of 1980's King Crimson. I can't think of a worst combination of sounds. Vocalists Mark Miceli and Richard Streander combine for a nasal-approach, like Roine Stolt wearing a muzzle and having a handful of marbles in his mouth. The drums are often too high in the mix, very electronic, and very annoying. The mix seems to have way too much treble, the bass is almost absent in the mix, and the melodies are simply terrible. About the only song of any hope of surviving a listen the whole way through is the title song. This song contains some Yes-like harmonies, but musically it sounds like something off of Jon Anderson's In the City of Angels.

Ten songs of this! More than 48 minutes of this mind-numbing experience! My eyes were rolling so much that they popped out of their sockets and hid under the sofa in terror. A very poor performance that I could not possibly recommend even to fans of this group. If you are brave enough to listen to this, I would recommend having some aspirin or your favorite pain reliever in close proximity. You'll need it. One star.

Report this review (#64086)
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, the previous reviewer certainly has an interesting perspective on this little gem but it would be impossible to put his comments into perspective without knowing what he enjoys or what he thinks is worthwhile. Suffice to say that I differ with him on several key points. First the songwriting on this release, while not the best songcraft you'll ever hear, is well thought-out and frequently even catchy. While the music does owe some to 80s King Crimson and possibly even Yes, the suggestion that this is poor songwriting is just way off the mark. As far as being "prog" well maybe that's the problem. No this doesn't sound like the sort of thing that prog fans typically are drawn to at least from a sonic viewpoint. No mellotrons, Hammonds, etc. No standard guitar sounds even. And yes the drums are electronic (gasp!). But the conceptual ideas are progressive. And they were striving for a kind of a 'new' sound that wasn't built on the old sonics but derives from the laptop culture that was emerging at the time. Some of the treated vocals foreshadowed things that were still years from emerging in mainstream pop music. And as for the songwriting, I think any songwriter worth his efforts would have been proud to have written "DrawDown", "Burning Bridges" or "Life Goes On". There are hints at Fripp & Co. but also of Anthony Phillips, Sting, David Byrne and Jon Anderson. Is this a "prog" album in the classic sense of the word? No. But it is an interesting and frequently uplifting album of well-crafted songs that don't push the flap of the envelope open by any means but they do tug at the corners! Now there is one point that I find myself in agreement with the previous reviewer about and that is that the sound of this disc is somewhat thin and lacking in bass frequencies. Having seen them perform these songs live twice I can tell you that this was probably intentional as the live sound also concentrated on the upper frequencies almost to the exclusion of the bottom end. And I think this was a mistake that gives the music a thin and brittle quality rather than the fragility that I suppose they were going for. Having said all of that I do recommend the disc for anyone interested in the intersection of prog rock, electronica, world music rhythms and modern songwriting. For fans of more traditional 'prog' music I would refer you to their 70s album "Nowandthen".
Report this review (#217502)
Posted Friday, May 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars If you (as me) liked so much of EASTER ISLAND first album "Now and Them", I must say, this one is a complete deception ! Why ? Because none or few moments in "Mother Sun" are capable to remind the elements that make me give 5 stars to the first album (review #238863 ,| Saturday, September 12, 2009 ). One simple audition from the 2 albums and you understand that I say... How can you compare tracks as for example: Track 2 "Face To Face", Track 5 " Winds Of Time" or track 9 "The Alchemist's Suite: Resurrection" ( from Now and Then )with their marvelous instrumental arrangements, alternating rhythm and a mix of several progressive rock styles, in counterpoint with tracks such , Track 3 " Mother Sun" with 7:54 min of the same rhythm, track 1 " Waiting For The Moment " with some guitar distortions of doubtful taste and the most crucial sin in "Mother Sun"... all the tracks are very similar one each other a fact that generates a melancholic audition? For this reasons my rate is only 2 stars !!!
Report this review (#1094654)
Posted Sunday, December 22, 2013 | Review Permalink

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