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Anyone's Daughter - Wrong CD (album) cover


Anyone's Daughter

Symphonic Prog

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3 stars I'd heard such terrible things about this one before throwing it onto the hi-fi, so much in fact that I expected utter trash. But it's not a total loss. It's got some crap to offer, but it's not utter trash. It's an album that's deeply flawed but does have several redeeming moments deserving a close listen. With a gorgeous production, the rich and emotional vocals of Andre Carswell and an extremely tight performance from all musicians (especially keyboardist Matthis Ulmer), it's an album that gets to you if you give it enough chances.

Things start on a high note with the Kansas-meets-Faith No More "The Wrong", brooding and introspective most of the time, exploding in fury elsewhere, even reaching metallic heights at certain points. "Miscellaneous" is also a nice expansive number, drawing another Kansas comparison, mostly due to the vocals sounding similar to Steve Walsh. I also hear a slight nod to the most accessible Porcupine Tree material. "Far Away" is the last 100% excellent song, a successful meeting of melodic melancholy and a huge, triumphant, booming choral piece, recalling the glory-vibe of epic metal without being anywhere near that heavy. Elsewhere on this album you get way too much depthless AOR, lots of lame verses and ultra-weak choruses, way too many major chords, way too carefree, way too flimsy and transparent. Main offenders are "Happy Go Lucky" (the title says it all) and the sub-Journey ballad "Without You (The Way It Was)" (uh, the title says it all). "Your Time" might have an amazing keyboard solo from Matthias Ulmer, but the rest sounds like Magnum-meets-Asia long after either had any relevance. "Fade Out" is listenable due to the amazing production, but ultimately toes the mediocrity line and is rather forgettable. The album's final proper track, "Helios Reloaded", bounces between cosmic rhythms and an upbeat, radio-friendly melody line. Interesting, at worst. I have to point out 7th track "Out Of This World". This is a superbly crafted song, aided by a patient and precise stacking of layers, each part eventful, and Carswell's vocals are pulling emotion from somewhere deep. (Could've done without the "Radio Edit" version tacked onto the end of the album.)

Original members Uwe Karpa and Matthias Ulmer are the main drivers of this machine, and it gets somewhere thanks to great production, great performance and a few good songs, but it doesn't get quite far enough. As I would also say of the newer Trettioariga Kriget material, don't start here with this band, but if you find you like a majority of their catalog, don't pass it by either.

Report this review (#32989)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Surprising. That's the first impression I got from this last work by a double face band. Always into prog-rock but with noteworthy differences between the two periods of their artistic life. It's difficult today to define their music as symphonic prog since they have taken the typical features of neo-prog coming from Germany and Northern Europe. Today they sound like Mind's Eye rather than Genesis, from whom they have definitely taken inspiration in their first period, and the sound that comes out is energetic and fills the space. Aggressive use of guitars with long lasting notes and complex riffs, definitely influenced by metal (see Your Time, The Wrong and Happy Go Lucky), heavy use of keyboards in various ways, including classical piano reminding Everon, very well supporting bass and drum odd rythms are their traits now. They have also assimilated the experiences of the rock of the 80s and the 90s moulding a convincing mix of different emotions. Eventually, the singers' voice is that something giving this band a further quid that makes their music even more attractive.
Report this review (#261915)
Posted Thursday, January 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Any offspring of ANYONE's DAUGHTER is bound to have some progressive credibility. The decision of Matthias Ulmer and Uwe Karpa to reform under the same moniker over 15 years later also bodes well for continuity of style. However, as it turns out, that choice was more marketing canniness than artistic integrity. Adopt the old name and you have access to the fans and the musical vaults, That this 2004 offering was the last studio effort suggests that neither longstanding aficionados nor newcomers are buying in.

First of all, the vocals from Andre Carswell, while far better technically than those of former singer, and now MD, Harald Bareth, tend to dumb down even the most intricate material here with an AOR or alt rock dominance. But we can't blame all of that on Carswell - the band can't seem to decide whether it wants to dumb down or not, so the result is a hodgepodge of 90s alt rock and 80s arena rock with grafts of heavy metal and funk. I don't deny there are progressive passages throughout, but they seem like strands of band DNA that escaped the cosmetologist. The title and opening cut best exemplifies all these qualities, for better and worse, while "Happy Go Lucky" and Your Time" ("Your time will come much more sooner") just reveal the worst.

Several solid cuts do emerge, but none of them do so because of any particular intricacy. Instead they are solid compositions solidly arranged AND are best suited to the band in its current incarnation. "Far Away" is a glorious anthem that presents Carswell's voice in the best light, while "Fade Out" incorporates some world music aspects into its trance like demeanour. "Helios Reloaded" is one of the tunes in which Ulmer can cut loose, but in this case his interplay with Carswell is far more seamless. Here, Ulmer's runs remind me of "Puppenspiel" from the early days. Other than these, occasional flashes of brilliance within overly long and mundane compositions reflect business as usual.

Not quite evil or nasty, "Wrong" suggests that the daughter has not aged well, but this is really more a case of identity theft by a stepsister.

Report this review (#512843)
Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
2 stars Two remaining original members, different singer, modern sound (so you will probably need to getting used to it, or discard this album instantly), different sound, worse sound both from Prog point of view and from how much I am enjoying it. After all, such reformations are rarely to anything good (even good examples exists), but this is not the way I would like the band to be. There's really not much more to be said. Prog fans don't have much reason to choose this album (over thousands better ones) and for whom else it can be, it's fairly average Rock material. Sad end.
Report this review (#604745)
Posted Saturday, January 7, 2012 | Review Permalink

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