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Like Wendy - Summer in Eden  CD (album) cover

SUMMER IN EDEN

Like Wendy

Neo-Prog


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Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In itself, this is a fine album but it does smell a bit of déjà vu. It reminds me of PENDRAGON's "Not of This World": an album that will blow you away if it's the first you've ever heard from the band. If not, it sounds all too familiar. Also, there is a sameness, a heavy melancholia on "Summer in Eden" that is almost too much to bear.

LIKE WENDY is not your most 'progressive' band and "Summer in Eden" is even less so - perhaps because it is so highly song oriented. However, it does feature many goodies we've come to love from Dutchman BERT HEINEN. If you exclude the silly "Aerosol" with its folksy banjo as well as the closing track (about as out of place as "More Fool Me" on GENESIS' "Selling England by the Pound"), you'll find that "Summer in Eden" does hold its share of treasures. The first three tracks are in fact quite memorable, featuring HEINEN's incredible sense of the melodious once again, an impeccable production, lush arrangements and a truly unique sound. "Sorry for the Codaine" is almost a psychedelic piece with a weird, dream-inducing groove which HEINEN manages to pull off quite successfully. But the best of the lot is the exellent "Holy Ground", an 11-minute epic with an incredible theme that sill lingers long after the album is over.

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Send comments to Hibou (BETA) | Report this review (#4420)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars No, no. This is not "Foxtrot" even if the start of "Flame Of Life" sounds very much as "Watcher" for a moment.

Our Dutch duo goes on with their symphonic neo-prog music. This album is not as well achieved as its predecessor "Tales From Moonlit Bay" which I consider as their best work so far.

The characteristics of their music won't change of course : "Genesis" oriented synths, sweet and tranquil vocals, easy listening prog actually. Bert Heinen, the leader is really a skilled multi instrumentalist.

Compositions are weaker here. Most songs being a copy of each other with little variety. My fave out here is "One Last Breath". Spacey keyboards, more complex, and a solid guitar solo are the mix.

"Inferno" seems to come from the "BJH" repertoire. This was their main source of inspiration on their first album "The Storm Inside". Another good song though. "Sorry for the Codaine" has exactly the same origin and features a pleasant chorus, but it is (too) mellowish and tearful.

This album is not bad but the uniformity of the whole is glaring. Difficult to be concentrated while listening to this music. I would rather listen to it while doing another activity because it won't hurt.

The exception being "Holy Ground". The longest and the most elaborate track. Not that it is a masterpiece, but the melody is catchy and its spacey mood is very relaxing. This album gets better towards the end. The closing "Cathedral" being another peaceful song, well in the mood of the whole but just more attractive.

This album is on the edge of the three satr rating, but I can't fully consider it as being a good album. Five out of ten or two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#154707)
Posted Saturday, December 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Like Wendy is quite consistent in their music direction as their albums are similar in style, i.e. Mellow-melodic with song orientated music, relying heavily on vocal as main melody supported by keyboard and guitar as fillers and rhythm section, including music interlude. As the band focus on melody and song, musical arrangement has become a second priority. I can sense this on lack of musical challenges this album offers. This has become my major concern about this band because their previous albums have no difference at all in music style and varietie which make it dry. This is then worsen by the fact that this album is less attractive than their previous efforts. It sounds flat to my ears and my mind and it does not generate sufficient momentum that stirs my emotion. It's just a flow of musical passages that are not bad, actuaally, but it does not impress me. In fact, it bores me. Enough is enough for the melodic-mellow thing. I need some more dynamic movements of chords and notes that uplift me, emotionally. Unfortunately, the band fails to do so. It serves good for those collectors or die hard fans. Not for me. I am loyal to progressive music that satisfy my ears, my mind, and my emotion.

From the opening track Flame of Life (6:12) the album has demonstrated its tendency towards mellow stuff and it continues to next track Eden (7:36). Well, don't get me wrong, there are many good keyboard and guitar passages that accompany nice melody brought in through vocal. But, that's not enough to uplift emotion - at least for myself. The next track Black Hole (6:26) still can't help much of it. It requires patience to enjoy this album.

Overall, I can only recommend this album to those die hard fans of Like Wendy or for those who want to complete the album collection of Like Wendy. For newbie of the band, this is not a good place to start. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#166335)
Posted Thursday, April 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Once in a while i'll come across an album that I feel is special only to discover that it's disliked by almost everyone else. This is one of those albums. I can appreciate the complaints that it's too moody, melancholic and samey, but it's those things that draw me in. Man the atmosphere is incredible. It sort of reminds me of MARILLION's "Seasons End" and early THE CHURCH for some reason. The title, album cover and lyrics all appeal to me as I live in a beach resort town. Man I can put the headphones on and in the cold and darkness of the Winter just drift away in thought to the Summer and the beach with the waves washing in and seagulls making their noise. Bottom line is that this record moves me and i'm glad it keeps the same sad mood throughout.

"Flames Of Life" opens with mellotron-like sounds before this beat comes in followed by vocals and gentle guitar. Organ 1 1/2 minutes in. Just a gorgeous track. Keyboards before 2 1/2 minutes. "Eden" opens with the birds singing as synths wash in. Vocals after a minute. A beautiful sound before 4 minutes with vocals and mellotron-like sounds. Emotional stuff. Organ after 6 minutes. "Black Hole" features gentle guitar and mellotron as reserved vocals come in. It's dreamy as sounds echo. Synths before 3 minutes. It picks up some 5 minutes in. "Aerosols" opens with strummed guitar,picked banjo and cymbals standing out. Vocals join in and mellotron follows. Such a feel good song. Gulp. Piano and bass after 3 minutes. "One Last Breath" opens with guitar,a light beat and synths reminding me of THE CHURCH. Vocals are reserved bringing Hogarth to mind. Great tune that has such a MARILLION vibe to it.

"Inferno" has this beat with synths and vocals. It gets fuller as contrasts continue. Nice guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in. I have to admit at this point i'm shocked that this album isn't held in higher esteem. All about taste I guess. "Sorry For The Codaine" opens with what sounds like strings as strummed guitar then vocals join in. It's fuller after 2 minutes then it settles with intricate guitar. Not for long though as mellotron and a guitar solo end it. "Holy Ground" opens with moog-like sounds as strummed guitar and bass join in. Vocals before a minute. Simply gorgeous 2 minutes in. Emotional is the word. It turns more powerful with heavy drums and guitar. Lots of atmosphere to end it. "Cathedral" opens with gentle guitar, synths and vocals. Lots of atmosphere. It's fuller a minute in as contrasts continue.

This is what Summer in Eden sounds like. This is what it sounds like walking on the beach where I live.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#279415)
Posted Sunday, April 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a find! I was searching for a melodic new prog band and I found exactly what I was looking for -and more. Almost all the tracks of the album are mellow (in a nice way -not overtly melodramatic) and it is also more straightforward and fresh than most new prog albums, which often tend to be irritating, in my humble view. It reminds me of melodic bands from Denmark like Saybiaand I Got you on Tape. It might not be a masterpiece but it is a most pleasant album, surprisingly enough from a band that is (unfairly) almost unknown -although it has released a number of good albums.

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Send comments to psychprog1 (BETA) | Report this review (#1307033)
Posted Friday, November 14, 2014 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Like Wendy started to become the hottest name in the catalogue of LaBraD'or Records.Although Marien appears to have been removed from any duties, Heinen wrote, played all instruments and recorded the fourth album of the project ''Summer in Eden'' with the help of Mark-Jeroen Heek on additional vocals (same man, who took over the artwork of the album), while LaBraD'or Records' boss Marc Brasse helped on mastering.The album came out in 2002.

Heinen was no stranger to situations like being alone in the studio and recording an album on his own, so ''Summer in Eden'' was yet another nice little treasure of romantic still intense Neo Prog with well-crafted arrangements and excellent instrumental mix.Compared to the previous albums, this is definitely the most retro-sounding release of Like Wendy, the album contains lots of soft organ themes and Mellotron snapshots in the process along with some flute strings, while the PINK FLOYD influence dominates the album, the display of some psychedelic flavors next to the more symphonic material is the best proof.The tracks are quite long, although no extreme epics are included, with some beautiful guitar solos in a DAVID GLMOUR style and efficient melodies and vocals, creating a slightly melancholic and atmospheric background.The next moment mid-70's GENESIS start to become the prominent source of inspiration, more symphonic orchestrations and strong use of synthesizers are always welcome and off to a hot start for grandiose and pompous instrumental textures.The album flows mainly in a low tempo with focus on soft instrumental lines, deep lyrical deliveries and twists between FLOYD-ian atmospheres and MARILLION-esque palettes.Very good partition of instrumental colors, piano, guitar and organ are mostly the leading forces with lovely Mellotron injections and some symphonic synthesizers thrown in.

Not topping the quality of the previous albums, but this is a very nice work of FLOYD-ian Neo Prog, Heinen is definitely a skillful composer, singer and musician, another item in his catalogue sounds like a full-band effort, containing atmospheric music with evident references to the 70's.Warmly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1312025)
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2014 | Review Permalink

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