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Hoelderlin - New Faces CD (album) cover

NEW FACES

Hoelderlin

Prog Folk


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3 stars Hoelderlin´s album from 1979 "New faces" is just that...new faces/new music in contrast to (especially their first 2 albums)the earlier stuff...as those were more in the folk/prog/rock way...this is rather in vein of ....say...Alan Parsons project or Pilot...and thats (in my book) not bad at all....there are plenty of good (yes really) pop/prog songs to be had.....I know that hardcore Hoelderlin-freaks do not like (understatement) this album..but i really like it,its filled with great songs.. underlined by solid keyboard fills and nice vocals and guitarplaying in fine style. Sometimes they sound like Caravan at their most bold. So dont go around this if you meet it... if you (like me) are a sucker for good pop/prog music...in the above mentioned style.... try listening to it...give a spin (or 3).... you might be in for a surprise!!!

Report this review (#3514)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I can see why this album would get some bad reviews, but unjustly so. For one thing, Hoelderlin are one the more underrated bands on the progarchives.com site. It may have something to do with them being listed in the wrong genre of PROG. FOLK, where their first album, Hoelderlin's Traum, really only qualifies in that genre. Hoelderlin took a 4 year break after Traum, coming back sounding more like mid-period Camel/Caravan meets SFF, 10cc and the Alan Parsons Project. Anything after Traum should be listed in Symphonic Prog. If you enjoy Camel's _Breathless_ album, Hoelderlin's NEW FACES should be on your priority list. The track _I Want You_ sounds very 10cc meets Brian Wilson. _Cold Winds_ sounds like something you might hear on Camel's Nude and it actually sounds longer than its 3 minutes. _High In Shanghai_ sounds very SKY meets Camel's Rain Dances and is a great instrumental on par with anything by Camel. _The shouter_ is very 10cc at their headphone candy best. _Footsteps/Weekend_ is a cross between the finest parts of 10cc, Camel's Breathless, and may sound a little like SFF instrumentally near the conclusion. Of note to fans of SFF, Eduard Schicke is the new drummer on this album adding a bit of jazz rock fusion to the mix, sounding not unlike Andy Ward from Camel. I must stress, for fans of Camel's _Breathless_, Holderlin's NEW FACES comes highly recommended. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
Report this review (#253559)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The previous review from "Gooner" really says it all perfectly. So I won't go into too much other comments, except to say that (as I said in my review of Hoelderlin's next album "Fata Morgana") this is really good, refreshing new wave inspired music - although it's been awhile since I've heard this CD (listening to it right now,) I believe the lyrics are all in English, and the melodies are right out of the Camel/Caravan school.

The song "High in Shanghai" is maybe worth the price of the CD alone, as its instrumental prowess is quite energetic and extremely well executed. In fact the guitar work throughout the album is perfectly aligned with the times and professionally performed. And again, there are prog moves in some of the instrumental sections - taking a bow to Camel throughout.

As with their entire catalog, the remaster is beautifully done, giving a clear, tight reflection of the wonderful music.

I am on a German music kick right now, and man is there diverse wonderful extremes to be enjoyed! From T Dream/Klaus Schulze to Eloy/Grobshnitt to Hoelderlin's diverse catalog, it shows the beauty and power these world class musicians have to offer.

Report this review (#393643)
Posted Friday, February 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Seventies German band Hoelderlin have an interesting history. The initial line-up was responsible for one of the seminal prog/acid-folk works `Hölderlins Traum' in 1972, and a reworked version delivered three superb English language symphonic works and a live album in the three short years covering 1975-78, but it as was at that point that several founding members departed the group. Keyboardist Joachim von Grumbkow and bassist Hans Bäär recruited several new musicians and took the Hoelderlin name in a more streamlined commercial rock direction here with elements of jazz and funk, and taken on its own merits, 1979's `New Faces' is quite a nice crossover mix of accessible rock that has plenty of touches of a Camel-like sound in parts, and it still finds time for a few instrumental pieces.

The addictive `Somebody's Callin' is a chugging groovy opener full of propulsive momentum due to both Hans Bäär's relentless and unceasing thick murmuring bass and the constant powerful driving beat from new drummer Eduard Schicke of the sublime symphonic group Schicke Führs & Fröhling. Tommy L'Ohr offers a reliable vocal, but more importantly his and Rüdiger Elze's guitars smoulder and wail through the entire track, delivering protracted soloing in the final minutes. The supremely likable `I Want You' is a peppy and unashamedly cheerful AOR rocker with nice ringing twin guitar melodies, and damned if the sun-kissed chorus wasn't blessed on high by the gods of pop! `Cold Winds' is a tasteful low-key shimmering electric piano ballad with a humble vocal from Christoph Noppeney off Hoelderlin's `Rare Birds', and despite a slightly pained lead vocal from Tommy, `Gentle Push' instantly calls to mind mid-Seventies onwards Camel with its silken rising guitar soloing, plus the warm repeating group vocal refrain is very pleasing.

But fear not, prog-freaks, side two's `High In Shanghai' delivers the first of two instrumentals, with this undemanding yet interesting six-minute one having a dreamy ambient intro, twitchy electronics and electrifying twin electric guitar themes with more dramatic bursts making it really not too far removed from what Camel would do on both `I Can See Your House From Here' and `Nude'. `The Shouter' is a soft pop piece with a gentle acoustic guitar melody that faintly calls to mind moments of Peter Gabriel's `Solisbury Hill', and `Footsteps' is a cute and harmless romantic popper with sweetly accented singing, chiming guitars and Camel-like breezy synth trills that is very easy to fall for, with a quietly ambitious and exotic middle instrumental passage. Closer `Weekend' also reminds of that same band again and manages to cram a lot into not even three minutes with its upbeat and victorious nimble guitar heroics and wisping keyboards.

Yes, there's a slightly dorky quality here and there, some of the vocals are a little unlovable and for many prog-snobs this is going to be far too straight-forward, but it's a hugely charming and undemanding disc, and one definitely recommended for fans of Camel's `Breathless' through to `Nude' period. Sigh...if only all commercial/lite-prog/AOR albums where as successful and enjoyable as this one is!

Three and a half stars (but personally it's a four!)

Report this review (#1718260)
Posted Saturday, May 6, 2017 | Review Permalink

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