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Like Wendy - Homeland CD (album) cover


Like Wendy


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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I have been a fan since the Storm Inside, mainly because my Prog preferences lie mainly in mood, atmosphere and perhaps even a little melancholia, which this crafty multi- instrumentalist (Bert Heinen) seems to have in spades. The previous "Summer In Eden" was a great recording but not the masterpiece I expected. From the first chords of "Homeland" , I knew I was in for a great ride. Certainly not flashy techno Prog (which I adore also) , Like Wendy explores a more angst ridden, emotionally charged environment , with sweeping melodies, fragile arrangements and simple effects. That's why it has so much charm and so little prettention, beautiful songs with georgeous melodies , moody solos and passionate singing. Totally original and perhaps even at times brilliant. Check out the agonizingly beautiful chorus of "Back to Earth" , the poignant 13 minute epic "Homeland" & the majestic undertone of "Flood". Might not be everyone's cup of tea but I can't help adoring this unique stuff. I asked myself how would the Like Wendy discography sound like in a band format and quickly realized that it would immediatly lose its personality by being surely over produced and too sanitized. This is an honest, emotional , "down tone" progressive recording that I often play in the fall when I want something completely reflective of the autumnal Canadian environment. 4 patrias
Report this review (#27774)
Posted Monday, November 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars As much as I can get off on the crazy antics of a DEUS EX MACHINA or the eerie prog of AFTER CRYING, I always melt like putty whenever I hear those melancholy chords, those simple melodies that wrench your heart out, and that voice which seems to come from another time. Yet "Homeland" disappointed me.

The opening track of "Homeland" is very promising: the fullness of the sound, the magnificence of the keyboards and choruses, the delicate, minor-key acoustic guitar, and that voice. Then the next track kicks in, "Back to Earth", a slow lullaby type of tune Justin Hayward would love to have on his solo albums: three chords (C-G-F), a verse, then the same 3-chords again. Hmm. Perhaps the 13-minute title track will redeem this album?

The track "Homeland" is grand and most moving. Also, I think Bert Heinen has really outdone himself vocally on this track, on this whole album as a matter of fact. But this tune sounds soooo familiar: nothing we haven't heard ten times before on previous albums. The themes keep plodding along, beautifully flowing into one another. A very "Let It Be" type of tune that stretches way too long and doesn't go anywhere.

With a persistent acoustic guitar verse that follows you around, "Last Day of the Butterfly" will stick to your brain like a bee in your bonnet yet isn't very challenging. "Flood" is frankly depressing and the mechanical drums don't help a bit; not even the trumpet saves the day here: it's out of place and out of tune (really!). "The Days Remaining" is another beautifully dressed slow number with Heinen's signature all over that doesn't go anywhere. The album ends with an acoustic/folksy ballad, the radio-friendly "Live Forever", a very CSN&Y type tune, complete with the same choruses and vocal inflexions.

Lord knows I don't shun 'accessible' music for its own sake, as long as it has substance. I feel that "Homeland" suffers from (1) overly accessible material, (2) lack of substance and (3) too many repeated formulas. I've only heard the album three times and the magic has already died. Don't get me wrong: anyone into ultra-melodic prog bumping into this album will no doubt be delighted if they've never heard the band before. As for others. 3 stars.

Report this review (#27775)
Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is my first listen to this artist. And not a bad one. Hard to imagen that he does it all by himself. It's a pretty mellow album, and I have to say...not bad, not bad at all. ALAN PARSONS pops to mind. Nice use off the synth's. Only the trumpet on Flood, not as offkey as mentioned in a review, but nevertheless disturbing. Overall not a fivestar but definitly one to have. And for me a starter to get more of the same artist.
Report this review (#60577)
Posted Saturday, December 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars For the very time, their previous album "Summer In Eden" could not really satisfy me. I rated it with two stars because of a lack of diversity, mainly.

But "Homeland" will be better. Part of the inspiration is still the same and you'll be in a fully "BJH" song with "Back to Earth". Back to the roots I would say. Bert Heinen having the good idea to use the sound of their best period (the early mid-seventies). A very pleasant moment indeed. The opening number "The Crossing Cloud" paved the way already.

Spacey and Floydian mood for the intro of the title track. It shifts to a Banks keyboard soloing session. You can even distinguish some similarity with "The Apocalypse" in the background. This song is varied, and very enjoyable. My favourite of this album. Even if it will use a lot of characteristics of the two bands I have mentioned ("Cinema Show", Gilmour-esque guitar parts etc.). "BJH" even coming back just before the finale.

"Like Wendy" doesn't play a complex music but it is so tranquil and melancholic that one can be attracted by these melodic songs. If you are a "BJH" fan, do listen to this album. It is almost as if you were listening to some good songs from this band. Listen to "Last Day of the Butterfly". The similarity is so obvious. Maybe too much.

The first weak song is the repetitive and dull "Flood". Eight looooooong minutes. Press next.

The last two songs of this album are not so great either. Ambient style for "The Days Remaining" and a poor acoustic and short song "Live Forever". Mixed feeling about this work. Not personal enough IMO.

Three stars.

Report this review (#154908)
Posted Sunday, December 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars I rarely agree with previous reviewer/reviewers completely, but this time, I agree almost completely with tszirmay. However, I even I agree with facts, I don't like it this way. Moods, yeah, they're here, atmosphere too, unfortunately not working for me. Even I've tried to enjoy it more, but still, it seems like average record to me. Which makes me somehow sad, as Neo-Prog is of these genres that are almost always direct hit in my liking. And as few times before, also now this 13 minutes epic passed by, almost unnoticed, not giving much, while not being burden, not doing any harm. Aw, I hate this. This band seems nice, interesting, but this album has no appeal for me, nothing extremely interesting, it's just average. And so

3(-) for something that is, nothing more..

Report this review (#264862)
Posted Sunday, February 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars LIKE WENDY might not get the highest ratings around here but man I love their sound.Very atmospheric and the vocals of Bert Heinen are some of the best i've heard. A good comparison to their sound would be MARILLION's "Somewhere Else" or "Happiness Is The Road". Not exactly fan favourites I know. This would be the first LIKE WENDY album to not have Marien on drums as the band goes from a duo to a solo project.There is some guest trumpet on one track though. Marc Brasse mastered this recording.

"The Crossing Cloud" opens with mellotron as a full sound joins in. Strummed guitar and vocals before 2 1/2 minutes. More mellotron late to end it. A great start. "Back To Earth" is moved along by this mid paced rhythm and we get vocals too. Spoken words and mellotron end it. "Homeland" the title track is also the longest at almost 13 minutes. A full sound a minute in with vocals. It settles back after 2 minutes with mellotron and reserved vocals before picking back up a minute later with synths.Vocals continue to come and go as the song winds it's way along.

"Last Day Of The Butterfly" is my favourite track. I just get lost in this one. It's so moving. Beautiful stuff. "Flood" has a beat with synths standing out then the vocals join in. Guest trumpet 3 minutes in. I like the way the sound echoes at times. Strummed guitar and waves end it. Great tune. "The Days Remaining" has this beat with atmosphere as the vocals join in. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue.Tasteful guitar solo before 3 1/2 minutes. "Live Forever" features strummed guitar as vocals and synths help out in this uplifting final track.

Not the best LIKE WENDY album but one I highly recommend for fans of melancholic and atmospheric music.

Report this review (#419707)
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | Review Permalink

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