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Moongarden Songs from the Lighthouse album cover
3.57 | 104 ratings | 9 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. My Darkside (7:26)
2. It's You (7:04)
3. Solaris - Parts I, II, III, IV (13:00)
4. Emotionaut (3:55)
5. That Child (5:52)
6. Flesh (2:49)
7. Dreamlord (11:30)
8. Southampton Rail Road (4:11)
9. Sonya in the Search of the Moon - Part V (5:47)
10. The Lighthouse Song (9:32)

Total Time 71:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Simone Baldini Tosi / vocals
- Marco Tafelli / guitars, violins
- Cristiano Roversi / keyboards, piano, Mellotron, Chapman Stick, samples, soundscapes (7)
- Mirko Tagliasacchi / fretted & fretless basses
- Maurizio Di Tollo / drums, percussion

- Andy Tillison / vocals (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Ed Unitsky

CD Galileo Records ‎- GR015 (2008, Germany) Combined release of Galileo, Progrock Records & SPV

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MOONGARDEN Songs from the Lighthouse ratings distribution

(104 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MOONGARDEN Songs from the Lighthouse reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Bring back the midnight fog please

In 2004, Moongarden released one of the finest modern rock albums of the 2000s, a stunning and classy album called "Round Midnight" that still gives me chills every time I play it. I love the album and was so excited about the band's future. I admit I was disappointed with "Songs from the Lighthouse." So what happened? To briefly recap "Round Midnight" for those not familiar, it was a brilliant lament on the state of the human condition and loneliness with poetic lyrics and photography. Along with that came a wonderful post-Radiohead/Gabriel sound that was cold and constricting, perfectly conveying the messages of isolation within the beautiful tracks.

So much has changed on "Songs" and not for the better. First, the cool photography and artwork which added such depth to the presentation on Midnight was replaced by the overblown schlockey art of Ed Unitsky, about as subtle as a pink Hummer in a nursing home parking lot. It seems bands now think these kinds of covers are mandatory when the restrained and clever art of the previous was so much more successful. The lyrics have changed from ones I considered quite poetic to ones that now seem full of rather cheesy affirmational cliches not unlike Neal Morse. The entire image of the art, lyrics, and sing-songey choruses make me believe this is a band that decided very consciously to move aggressively to attain the fans of the more popular, mainstream prog bands who shall remain nameless. Nothing wrong with that motive of course except for those who appreciated the previous direction. I found many of the songs to be the shiny happy prog-ballads that make me cringe, culminating in some sugary choruses. Quiet section, neat verse, then the power section with the middle of the road AOR guitar sound over the repetitive vocal parts, finishing with another quiet part. It isn't so much horrible as it is simply predictable and hokey. I guess I consider the entire package to be pretty formulaic which is hard to get past.

But let's look at the good stuff here to give equal time to the positive, as this is by no means a complete disaster. The good parts are those between the chest beating inspirational choruses where there are some nice moments of piano and violin especially. In fact "Flesh" is an instrumental that while short is chills-inducing beautiful with lovely violin over piano. Also notable are the choice electric guitar solos that grace several tracks. I am not sure if Tavelli or Tosi is playing those warm, emotional leads but they are very nice. Some of the bass playing on "DreamLord" was really great too. The new vocalist does a decent job though with these lyrics it is hard. His accent is pretty heavy but that didn't bother me being used to Italian vocals. Good performances aside, the material and presentation leave me sadly missing this boat. As for "Song from the Lighthouse" I can't recommend it but I hope they find the fanbase they are looking for and I wish them success. 5/10

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With their 2008 release Songs from the Lighthouse, Italian band Moongarden have created a highly appealing album.

Symphonic rock is the name of the game on this one; most compositions dominated to a greater or lesser extent by layered keyboards and synths, creating dreamlike atmospheres easy to sink into and soothing for the mind. Some nice guitarwork adds a lot to the tunes, the acoustic guitar being chosen just as often as the electric guitar; the last which is used to good effect to create haunting and epic atmospheres in chosen parts in selected tunes. What ties many of the songs together are the vocals though, in tunes like My Darkside and Dreamlord the slightly gritty but also fragile-sounding and melodic vocals very similar to Seal adds a lot to the tune, often covering over weaknesses in composition.

The main fault on this release in my opinion can be summed up in one word: Repetition. Some of the songs are just a too long, with segments repeated way to often. Still, there are no real weak tracks on this release either, and fans of symphonic rock and neo-prog may both find this release to be of interest.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars

A few years ago I witnessed this Italian five-piece band during a Dutch progrock festival (along Riverside and Knight Area), I am sure they made many fans during that night, I was delighted about the strong stage performance by the singer and the pleasant and original sounding compositions. The new album Songs From The Lighthouse (great fold out cover) is their fifth effort, it sounds great:

1. My Darkside (7.26): After a spacey intro Moongarden delivers a fluent rhythm with delicate guitarwork, soaring keyboards and emotional English vocals, followed by several shifting moods, from dreamy with violins and melancholical vocals to powerful accellarations with Hammond organ, propulsive drums and howling guitar and a splendid final part featuring the ubiquitous Mellotron (violin- section), I love it!

2. It's You (7.04): It starts dreamy with mellow piano and vocals and then turns into very compelling with wonderful vocals, Mellotron and intense guitar, it sounds like a 'symphonic Radiohead'.

3. Solaris (13.00): This is an alternating composition, the highlight is the final part with an excellent build-up, Floydian inspired guitar solo, supported by first a heavy Hammond and then the majestic Mellotron, this is Progheaven!

4. Emotionaut (3.55): In this short piece we can enjoy propulsive and bombastic parts with heavy Mellotron work.

5. That Child (5.52): The first part contains sensitive piano and warm vocals, then the band succeeds to translate the emotional subject (parents neglecting their child) into music in a very impressive way, from compelling with violin-Mellotron to bombastic with fat and propulsive guitar, choir- Mellotron and cynical vocals (use of over-dubs), goose bumps!

6. Flesh (2.49): This is an instrumental track with cello and Grand piano, supported by mellow Mellotron waves.

7. Dreamlord (11.30): It begins with a Fender piano sound and violin-Mellotron and then it turns from dreamy into bombastic with fiery guitar and lush choir-Mellotron, again this is Progheaven!

8. Southampton Railroad (4.11): In this short song we can enjoy acosutic rhythm guitar and the sound of tablas (Indian percussion), it sounds pleasant and a bit exotic.

9. Sonya In Search Of The Moon (5.47): A very alternating composition with first a slow rhythm featuring flashy synthesizer flights, then bombastic with sensitive guitar, bass pedals and choir- Mellotron, very tastefully arranged.

10. The Lighthouse Song (9.32): The titletrack is also very tastefully arranged: first dreamy (with acoustic rhythm guitar, piano and warm vocals) and compelling (like the Radiohead atmosphere in the second track) and finally howling guitar, strong vocals and majestic choir-Mellotron waves, this CD is ... ....


Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Moongarden has taken another step in a different direction again (but not a giant leap for mankind!), as no two consecutive albums resemble themselves, always veering off into newer or older musical territories. Some fans of course may be turned off by this constant evolution but I always believed that each album should be reviewed on its own merits and not in comparison with past benchmarks or even worse, based on what our expectations are of their music. Now how absurd is that? They are the artists, we like or we no like but "comparing" prog albums is not the appropriate method this reviewer likes to consider. "Round Midnight" was an extraordinarily original opus, fully of icy modern gloom wrapped in a depressive, message laden veneer that had enormous appeal. Then, perhaps the musicians got so despondent that some decided to jump ship outlandishly such as long time guitarist Davide Cremoni and drummer Massimilano Sorrentini , as well as latest vocalist Luca Palleschi. The new troops are Marco Tafelli on guitar, with a remarkable fluid sound, Simone Baldini Tosi on vocals who sang on the debut album and is neither better or worse than the previous mike humper and incredible new percussor Maurizio di Tollo whose pedigree includes gigs with La Maschera di Cera and Distillerie di Malto, all joining leader and keysman Cristiano Roversi and bassist Mirko Tagliasacchi. Upon closer scrutiny, this album certainly has many praiseworthy attributes, some great songs, out of this world playing and huge cascades of mellotron everywhere but also has some strange moments that just don't inspire genius, in my opinion. First the positives: hot epics like the first-rate 13 minute jewel "Solaris" serving up a simply earthshaking mood, full of intense atmospherics, much improved vocal work, quirky arrangements and finally, an extended guitar solo jam-packed with enough magic restraint and manic majesty that it would make Gilmour blush with envy. The medium sized pieces that are worth mentioning you ask? "It's You" hankers back to the prior album "Round Midnight" style, gloomily minimalistic and recurring piano and chiming bells swimming in deep melancholia, when out of the blue, an immense mellotron propelled crescendo turns this into a passion ride where Tosi bellows his heart out and Tafelli rips a brief guitar slash. "That Child" features the clearly identifiable (yet sadly and unjustly criticized) voice of The Tangent's Andy Tillison, in duet with Simone's, adorned by some elegant Roversi grand piano and some inspired ensemble work that veers midway into some furious explosive riffing, heavy bombast galore and mellotron blazing unafraid. "Flesh" is a brief piano etude that calms the mood, with some fabulous violin playing and nice background effects, introducing the other large 11 minute breathless adventure "Dreamlord", a gigantic bass fueled piece that deals with slumber subject matter and has some scintillating and soporific moods. There is some excellent playing all around, with particular mention to the nervy rhythm section that really keeps this flowing, the sinuous bass carving up the space while the drumming slyly hammers away, full of ingenuous tempo. A sonically voracious synthesizer and then an astute guitar solo that both shatter whatever defenses one has left. Perhaps even the crowning moment here. The instrumental "Sonya in Search of the Moon 5" is a showcase for some fabulous synthesizer work as well as another Tafelli guitar sortie. Very nice indeed. What about the afore mentioned weak tracks? Okay, I will oblige. The opener "My Darkside" is enjoyable even though I am not enthralled by the overwrought and raspy vocal delivery, some simplistic organ soloing doesn't help pushing this into the "wow" chamber. "Emotionaut" dives straight in recent Porcupine Tree territory but without the Wilson genius and rather pedantic vocals that verge on the painful. Not my glass of Chianti! "Southampton Railroad" has SKIP written all over it, totally removed from the previous material, sounding like some outtake from the sessions, simplistic and heavily accented vocals certainly helps little in trying to appreciate this track, the pissy percussive work only adds to the wimpiness. One word: Yuck! "The Lighthouse Song" falls back again into the overblown vocal raspy howling that irritates this reviewer to no end, ruining this song with too much fake bravado, not even salvaged by the rather expected sparkling guitar venture. 6 very good rotations and 4 completely off orbit. I understand my revered colleague finnforest being utterly disappointed, in view of his highest accolades for "Round Midnight". This version of Moongarden needs some new skilled astronaut on the microphone and stick to what they do best: stellar instrumental work. Where did I leave my darn lunar module? Oh there it is, out in space again. Really 3.5 but the good tracks are really good, so a very generous 4 Lunar buggies.
Review by Roland113
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In my not so humble opinion:

My only experience with Moongarden to date is their 2008 release "Songs from the Lighthouse" and wow, what an experience it is. With it's lush keyboards and generally downbeat tempos, this album sounds more like Neo-Prog rather than symphonic to me. This release would fit well with the layered sounds of Sylvan or Gazpacho.

Christano Roversi's keyboards and Marco Tafelli's guitar provide a beautiful wall of sound behind the soulful vocals of Simone Baldini Tosi. Tosi's voice reminds me of Terrance Trent D'Arbey (pop/soul singer, mid-80's), very different from the progressive voices that I'm used to. It really elevates the band to a higher level.

There are two clunkers on the album, 'It's You' does next nothing for me for the first three and a half minutes or so, until the wall of sound crashes in. Unfortunately, the wall of sound section continues for the next three and a half minutes which is about two minutes too long.

"That Child" is the other clunker and I truly don't understand why Andy Tillison is singing. The vocals throughout the song are highly variable, in pitch, as in sometimes you get sharp, sometimes you get flat. This is rather grating when they sing harmonies. Kind of sounded like cats (not the musical). I don't know if Tosi hadn't joined the band when this song was recorded, but I can't hear his voice through Tillison's, but they would have been better served sticking with Tosi.

On the bright side, there are quite a few highlights to the album.

"Solaris" and "Dreamlord" are both beautiful, drawn out songs in the vein of Gazpacho. It is on these two songs in particular that Tosi's amazing voice is so wonderfully highlighted. In each of the two songs, Tafelli rips a solo out that would make David Gilmour cry. Beautiful songs further solidified by strong keyboard work.

"Flesh" is a simple piano and violin piece so full of emotion it makes me want to give my daughter a violin just so we could play it together some day. I've honestly thought about it.

"South Hampton Railroad" is a poppy little tune with wonderful harmonies and vocals while "Sonya in Search of the Moon" is a quirky instrumental piece featuring Roversi's keyboards. The closer, "The Lighthouse Song" brings the album to a wonderful conclusion revisiting the general tone of "Solaris" and "Dreamlord" with a more upbeat atmosphere.

All in all, this is a great album, it would have been worthy of five stars if not for "That Child". Nonetheless, fans of lush keyboard laden Neo-Prog shouldn't miss this one. Four Stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Again I must begin with my defense of this very fine but much-maligned band. To many they are too derivative or not proggy enough or whatever. To me their music is exactly what progressive rock is supposed to be: great classically or jazzically influenced songs that use modern sound and recording technologies while having the good fortune of having an eminently gifted and distinguished lead male vocalist in Simone Baldini Tosi (replacing Tonko) and know how to create very catchy melodic 'hooks'--both instrumentally and vocally.

Favorite songs are the classically tinged cello-featured "Flesh" (2:50) (9/10), the neo-prog KNIGHT AREA-like instrumental, "Sonja in Search of the Moon, Pt. 5", and the awesome epic, "The Lighthouse Song" (9:33) (9/10). The latter, with Simone's sensitive, raspy COLDPLAY vocal is probably my favorite Moongarden song (though I love "Round Midnight").

Review by b_olariu
3 stars With their fifth album from 2008 named Songs from the lighthouse, Moongarden take a diffrent direction, musicaly. Gone is Tonko and his great deep voice and aswell his poetical lyrics and here we have what I might very easy call modern prog, both musicaly and lyricaly, not very far from Porcupine Tree. Here are only 2 pieces that reminds me they are a symphonic/neo prog band - Opening track My darkside, an very ok piece with great keyboards and part 5 from what was in the past on Brainstorm - Sonya in search of the Moon, the rest is almost average at best, sounding very dull unmemorable tunes with almost the same arrangements. I was disappointed for sure after I heared this album, I was expecting better then this, maybe because I've like si much Brainstorm I would might like this one too, not realy beside the excellent cover art and inside booklet, the music is modern almost mainstream in aproach with very little instrumental passages, and not any passages prog rock is missing here most of the time. Is like I'm listning to PT or any othe band related to prog, realy , just listent to It's you , a realy boring and a total disater track or Emotiounaut another skip piece for me. The voice of the new singer Simone Baldini Tosi is ok, not fantastic not bad, quite sual, the problem is not him and his voice is the compositions, that sounds dul with cheesy lyrics, check out the booklet for that. The title track or Dream lord are 2 lenghty piece that saves this album to be a 2 star, 2.5 rounded to 3 this time, mainly for the pieces mentioned above as good and a honoray mentioning for the cover art and booklet. Not recommend one of the unpleasent Moongarden albums, if noot totaly unenjoyble, but far realy far from the greatness of Brainstorm in any aspect.

Latest members reviews

1 stars A Lighthouse? I see only shadows. Unfortunately, I was tempted by the artwork on the cover. I've seen it , I was intrigued and I bought this album. I thoroughly regret having done so. It is a symphonic prog with lots of keyboards and lyrics sung in an aberrant way. I just can not digest t ... (read more)

Report this review (#416127) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The only album of Moongarden's that I have heard so I can't compare it to anything else, but I was intruiged by it and quite glad I listened in, in the end. Interesting that someone else has mentioned they don't like the artwork, I love it, and yes it's overblown, but it's Prog Rock, it's sup ... (read more)

Report this review (#204470) | Posted by Gog/Magog | Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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