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Lana Lane - Project Shangri-La CD (album) cover

PROJECT SHANGRI-LA

Lana Lane

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SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Encore

After the fantastic Secrets Of Astrology came the notably lesser album Project Shargri-La. While there is absolutely no sense in talking about a disappointment here, as this is indeed another good Lana Lane album in its own right, Project Shargi-La simply isn't nearly as spectacular as the two albums that surround it, the masterpieces Secrets Of Astrology and Lady MacBeth. Indeed, following after such an impressive series of albums from Love Is An Illusion to Secrets Of Astrology, Project Shargi-La, good though it is, is in my opinion one of the band's least good albums. However, with the sole exception of the rather awful Italian-language, Opera-style, Time To say Goodbye, all of the songs here are indeed good ones, but not one of them stand out as truly excellent the way the Astrology Suite did on the previous album. Also, as the album follows a similar formula as the previous five albums, there are few surprises here. It is certainly enjoyable, but it doesn't offer much new.

Project Shargri-La is indeed a recommended addition to any comprehensive Lana Lane collection, but it isn't one of the better places to start.

Report this review (#877278)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 2.5 stars, really. On the liner notes of the CD, Lane explains how much the events of September 11th (world Trade Center attacks, remember?) shocked her and her husband. And I wonder how much that fateful day affected the music as well. For everything here seems rushed: rushed compositions, rushed arrangements, rushed performances. Coming at the heels of a string of excellent and varied albums, Project Shangri-La sounds half finished and poorly conceived. Even if Lane and Norlander had assembled most of the same winning line up of their early albums (plus newcomer drummer Vinny Appice), the general feeling I get is that they didn´t dedicate that much attention to the album as they used to.

To be fair the CD starts very well: the short instrumental Redemption Part I is one exquisite piece of neo prog that you only wish it would be longer, leading to the title track, one of their best and most powerful songs ever, with Lane´s soaring vocals, Norlander´s thundering array of keyboards and general brilliant performances of all involved. And suddenly, somehow things get stalled from then on: not bad stuff, but the tracks are not par with what we were familiar with, specially concerning the usual high standards of Lane´s albums. They are ok songs, with ok arrangements and few surprises or memorable solos. Nice, but nothing more than that.

The real letdown is the final track, the italian song Con Te Partiró (Time To Say Goodbye):sung in both english and italian and featuring a duet with ex Yngwie Malmsteen´s singer Mark Boals, this is the cheesiest thing Lane ever recorded and it´s really lame. My CD finishes not with Romeo And Juliet as it is credit here but, a least with the south american release, it has that track deleted and replaced by a version of John Wetton´s I Believe In You, which is credited as a bonus track for japan only!). It is also the only tune that has a different line up (Lane, Norlander plus drummer Gregg Bissonette).

Compared to all Lana Lane´s records that came before, Project Shangri-La is her least satisfying work. And my rating reflects that comparison. Fortunately her next CD, the brilliant Lady McBeth would put her back on track. So if you´re new to her output, this is not the best one to start with. But it´s still good and worth listening. Judge for yourself.

Report this review (#1404345)
Posted Sunday, April 26, 2015 | Review Permalink

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