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RIVERS GONE DRY

Strawberry Fields

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Strawberry Fields Rivers Gone Dry album cover
4.02 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews | 23% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Your Story (5:51)
2. Close (5:33)
3. River's Gone Dry (6:53)
4. Fool (5:54)
5. Moon (3:50)
6. Beautiful (3:55)
7. Open Your Eyes (5:48)
8. Maybe (4:25)
9. Flow (7:31)

Total Time 49:44

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Wojtek Szadkowski / drums, keyboards, acoustic guitar
- Robin (Marta Kniewska) / vocals
- Sarhan Kubeisi / guitars
- Jarek Michalski / bass

With guest
- Krzyś Palczewski / occasional keyboards

Releases information

Label: Metal Mind Records
Cat. No.: MMP CD 0652
Barcode: 5907785033962
Release date: 26.01.2009 Europe / 10.03.2009 USA

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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RIVERS GONE DRYRIVERS GONE DRY
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Audio CD$12.60
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STRAWBERRY FIELDS Rivers Gone Dry ratings distribution


4.02
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(23%)
23%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(64%)
64%
Good, but non-essential (9%)
9%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

STRAWBERRY FIELDS Rivers Gone Dry reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars You know I know when it's a dream

Strawberry Fields is a project initiated by Wojtek Szadkowski, drummer with Polish neo-prog band Satellite, and also with their predecessors Collage. While the other members of Satellite also donate their skills to the album, it is the vocals of Szadkowski's prodigy Robin (Marta Kniewska) which are very much the focus of this venture. Fans of Satellite and Collage should therefore be aware when sampling the delights of Strawberry Fields that Rivers gone dry is very different to the output of those bands.

Szadkowski and Kniewska clearly bonded immediately, writing all the material here. Szadkowski is responsible for the music throughout, while Kniewska writes all the lyrics (in English), bar the occasional contribution on a couple of songs by Wojtek. Astonishingly given the confidence and quality of her work, the album marks Robin's debut both as a singer and a lyricist. Rivers gone dry consists of 9 tracks, running to around 50 minutes in total, and while we should not expect any Satellite style epics, a couple of the tracks run to around 7 minutes.

The publicity for the album compares Strawberry Fields to bands such as Goldfrapp, Portishead, Massive Attack and The Gathering. Other legitimate comparison might be with their stablemates, (Clive's Nolan's) Caamora and with the Cranberries.

The album opens with Your story a song which blends sparse verses, which allow space for Robin to display her vocal prowess, with powerful full on choruses. The track features some fine lead guitar from Sarhan Kubeisi. The haunting Close which follows combines delightful keyboard sounds with a majestic vocal melody. The choruses here up the power even further, the slightly distorted vocals being driven by some great guitar riffs. This track in particular is very reminiscent of some of the best work of The Cranberries (think of songs such as Promises).

The title track is a moodier number with a driving undercurrent and fine keyboard swathes. The 7 minute running time sees the song being allowed to fully develop against a hypnotic vocal refrain. Fool opens with a brief acoustic passage leading to a slower power ballad. Once again, the extend guitar interlude is a highlight of the song.

Moon takes things down a notch with a gentler shuffle through a slightly jazzy piece of heavy smooth, allowing Robin to show yet another string to her bow. Beautiful maintains the softer mood, but in a lighter, more harmonious piece of pop rock, the similarity here being more towards the Corrs perhaps. Open your eyes is distinguished by an appealing multi-part vocal arrangement, the track moving between gentle verses and loud guitar driven choruses, once again of the Cranberries type. Maybe continues in the power pop style, the fine instrumentation differentiating the song from other similar styles of pop.

The album closes with its longest track, the 7½ minute Flow. The ambitions for this piece are made clear from the outset with a synth chorale burst backed by atmospheric keyboards. The sang draws in the various sounds and influences which come through throughout the album; the song's arrangement is particularly impressive here.

Rivers gone dry is a fine example of what happens when a selection of fine prog musicians decide to make something more accessible while ensuring they do not make compromises when it comes to quality (bands such as Asia spring to mind in this respect). This is an album of highly melodic, very enjoyable songs which benefit from fine arrangements and top quality musicianship. Special mention needs to be made of the contribution made by vocalist Robin, who belies her lack of experience both with her singing and her lyric writing. A quality album.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#200837) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars This is a cool modern recording, a total reversal of the usual Wojtek Szadkowski catalogue of adventurous "neo-Prog" as expressed by the classic Collage, its luxuriantly bold offspring Satellite and the harder-edged distant cousin Peter Pan. Here the supremely talented drummer/songwriter/producer/keyboardist decides to branch into groove-oriented music that is closer to Massive Attack/Portishead, all due to the supremely expressive voice of Robin (née Marta Kniewska), another pretender to the rich female prog vocalist throne that seems quite gilded in Poland (Quidam, Caamora, Nemezis, Albion). The Satellite crew is on hand, guitarist Sarhan chopping adroitly, bassist Jarek Michalski thumping with authority and our fave drummer pounding most convincingly. The melodies and their delivery are immense, each piece very memorable in its own right yet strangely noncommercial. Both "Your Story" and "Close" are punchy little prog-pop ditties that immediately latch onto the pleasure nodes, while the majestic title track is a more experimental adventure , a deep-felt dirge with massive doses of symphonic keyboard washes, colossal voice choirs and elegant piano interventions, all swarmed by synthetic string synth swaths. This is certainly closer to mind-numbing electro-prog, warm robotics not withstanding. An intricate piece that has tinges of Depeche Mode, Ultravox, Jane Siberry, the Beatles and the previously named Massive Attack. "Fool" is minimalist at first, a clear platform for Robin's voice emulations, woven into an exploding swarm of repetitive drums, sustained guitar flicks and a rotund bass anchoring another solid first-rate melody. Hard not to like this, inherently charming, original, attractive, passionate and honest, an insistent Sarhan Kubeisi guitar fest adds to the glee. "Moon" has an almost blues lounge/marimba feel, what with the totally torch song like vocal delivery (Shirley Bassey doing Yello), with a little Caribbean vacation guitar lick in the background, utterly irresistible and completely intoxicating. "Beautiful" is even more brittle, remotely distant from proggy shores armed with a delicate vocal that has a crystalline fragility, a simple drum beat and even simpler guitar fills, nothing extravagant. "Open Your Eyes" returns to spookier realms, hypnotic swirls amid a plaintive vocal and a feel that is almost close to the label Projekt (Lycia, Love Spirals Downwards?) and "Maybe" continues in a decidedly alternative ?prog vein. The 7 minute + "Flow" is the highlight track here, an extended dreamy excursion that has an intricate clash of deeply felt sadness and an almost flippant apathy ("Where are we going? Who do we follow"), a long bluesy guitar solo fleshes out the proceedings.

Hey, this is not really prog, more like alternative-dreamy pop with celebrated progressive musicians, so buyers/hunters beware! Strawberry Fields remains firmly entrenched in the space between two musical chairs. Not prog, not pop. That being stated, this is certainly worthy of any prog collection, slightly off the beaten path. 4 fruitcakes.

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#236198) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 31, 2009

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