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The Psychedelic Ensemble


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The Psychedelic Ensemble Mother's Rhymes album cover
3.77 | 84 ratings | 5 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Book I - Foreward :
1. Mother's Rhymes (8:36)
2. Farewell (5:27)
- Book II - The Consequence Of Rhyme :
3. Little Boy Blue (5:36)
4. Little Bo Peep (7:17)
5. Blind Mice (4:11)
6. Simple Simon (5:33)
7. Humpty Dumpty (6:41)
- Book III - Denouement :
8. Rewrite the Rhymes (7:54)

Total Time 51:15

Line-up / Musicians

- anonymous / guitars (electric, acoustic, nylon, cigar box), keyboards, organ, piano, bass, percussion, lead & backing vocals, composer, production & mixing

- Amy Little / lead & backing (2) vocals
- Mina Keohane / lead & backing (8) vocals
- Lisa Brooks / vocals (8)
- C. Francis / backing vocals (falsetto)
- Davis Brooks / violin, viola
- Raphael Søren / cello

Releases information

Artwork: Armand Cabrera

CD Glowing Sky Records ‎- MR-007 (2019, US)

Thanks to wiz_d_kidd for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE Mother's Rhymes ratings distribution

(84 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

THE PSYCHEDELIC ENSEMBLE Mother's Rhymes reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Psychedelic Ensemble is back! At times, his voice sounds a little worn and weak, but the sonic renderings of his compositions continue to be of the highest quality--so much so, in fact, that one might even recommend to other prog artists a sincere listen so that they might better observe the highest standards of sound production. I must say that the one big distinction of this new release from its recent category is TPE's restraint from layering his soundscapes as thickly as before; there is a much more liberal use of space and understatement to make his statements. The blistering multi-instrumental soli are present, but in more reserved usages; TPE gives his audience much more time and space within which to hear his story, to feel the general salve of his erudite musical expressions.

1. "Mother's Rhymes" (8:36) an unusually spacious and sedate song construct. I like it! (19/20)

2. "Farewell" (5:27) opens with an unusual plaintive musical and vocal section--more like Neo Crossover balladeer. I like the simplicity but I have to admit it was difficult for me to wait so long for some substantive excitement: 90 seconds till second gear, 2:20 till symphonic bliss.Wonderful orchestration, but, unfortunately, it falls into patterns of old familiar sounds and riffs during the instrumental exposition. (8.5/10)

3. "Little Boy Blue" (5:36) opens with seering electric lead guitar before the full instrumental palette joins in. In full swing, the song is heavy, thick, dramatic, definitely proggy. The presence of the wicked Hammond organ is powerful! As are the bass and impassioned vocal. Wow! This is different! At 3:25 things slow down and a kind of bluey PINK FLOYD guitar solo takes center stage before everything falls away save synths to support TPE's raspy voice (so far forward!) The song finishes with a nice synth strings and real strings motif before bleeding with the organ into the next song. (9/10)

4. "Little Bo Peep" (7:17) TPE's tribute to JEAN-LUC PONTY?! It opens like something from Jean-Luc's mid-to-late-70s production with an absolutely stellar bass line. Ann Caren's multiple-track vocals are a fresh and effective ploy. The bass, swirling keys, and rhythm guitar riff remain constant in their embedment with JLP while the vocals and lead guitar soli develop in more TPE stylings. A fresh and clever stylistic approach. Even the drums sound more human than ever! Ann's vocal in that last minute with its orchestral accompaniment is so crystalline! Beautiful! (13.35/15)

5. "Blind Mice" (4:11) opens as if a continuation from the last song with a spry trio of classical guitar, violin, and piano. Wonderful! One of those displays of virtuosity that is both performance and compositional. Wow! We are so lucky to have this man serving this fare to us in 2019! (10/10)

6. "Simple Simon" (5:33) opening with a heavy fullness as if coming from a late 1960s blues-rock band--the swirl of the dirty Hammond organ especially. Though the music quickly transitions into a more modern sound palette, the lead guitar sound and grungy Hammond remain throughout. The vocal and successive instrumental soli remain consistent and true to the opening compositional choice of sober portentousness. (9.25/10)

7. "Humpty Dumpty" (6:41) A TPE gift in the form of a folk rock song. Comparisons elude me though the sounds, styles, and riffs are so familiar to me! TPE's multi-instrumental machine-gun bursts confuse and distract one from divining the essence beneath. Fuzz guitar, bouncing and swirling Hammond, Claire Torey-like background voices, and deeply driving bass and rhythm lines. The song's only flaw is a sad return to the drumming style and sounds of TPE albums of old. (13.5/15)

8. "Rewrite the Rhymes" (7:54) some old sounds (chunky bass, Hammond) help drive this emotional and almost frenetic song. The song construct is masterful, the instrumental performances flawless, the sound palette at times awkward, the sound engineering inconsistent. (12.5/15)

Total Time 51:15

Five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music. Once again TPE comes through to show us how it's done- -to educate today's artists as to the standards of sophistication and force that the original prog artists of the 1970s aspired to.

Review by friso
3 stars This project perfectly fits into the popular progressive rock tradition. It has song-writing and instrumental properties of seventies Genesis, notable portions of Jethro Tull (acoustics, use of organ, vocals, mixing) and quite a lot of Canterbury noodling ('Shaving is Boring' by Heatfield comes to mind). The musicality and virtuosity is all over the place and the compositions are full of ideas and variations on them. The sound pallets of the instruments are all clearly based on well-knows musicians like Hackett, Gilmour, Ian Anderson, Peter Gabriel and notably Phil Collins (his work as a drummer). Furthermore I would like to add that this album would have fitted nicely in the symphonic progressive genre, whereas clear cut neo-prog elements are hard to find.

As with most one-man projects, The Psychedelic Ensemble has some rather unbalanced traits, which is the main reason this album did not be become what clearly must be possible. The main problem is the mixing here with its 'everything all the time' mentality, reminding me of the most chaotic moments of Jethro Tull. Every instrument is front every-time. This especially true for the Phil Collins influenced drumming - which rather sounds like solo percussion than part of a rhythm section. During the second halve of the album, which is full of up-tempo Canterbury riffs this makes the music bordering unlistenable. Had this project been properly mixed and recorded in a way that a max of two musical elements would take center stage at a time, this same recording could have been significantly better. As it is, 'Mother's Rhymes' buries its notable musicianship and composition prowess in sludgy, chaotic musical landscapes that are indifferent as to what the listener is supposed to listen to. This is especially true for the important moments with vocals. Key moments of songwriting - in which vocals and lyrics should communicate where the listener is (emotionally and story-wise) - are just thrown under the bus of ever raging instrumental passages and poor mixing. A less chaotic instrumental piece with just guitar, piano and violin like 'Blind Mice' shows how much this group could even own up to Banco's most beautiful passages by just keeping things in check.

Please re-mix this album (and the ones preceding it!) and let some-one less 'into' this music take a fresh look at how it impacts on listeners. How to make key moments stand out. How a song itself sometimes needs to do its work. Make some hard choices, kill your darlings. This gathering of talent deserves much better.

Latest members reviews

5 stars If Little Bo Peep wed Little Boy Blue would she be Little Bo Peep Blew? The mysterious TPE weaves a rich tapestry of classical chamber, symphonic prog, and jazz into a varied, cohesive Mother Goose concept album. The cryptic melancholy of "Farewell" left Humpty Dumpty all broken up, so Simpl ... (read more)

Report this review (#2241066) | Posted by omphaloskepsis | Wednesday, July 31, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Who is behind this wonderful album? Is a shame We can no longer talk, as We did with others groups in the past of the wonderful xxx in the drums who is much better than yyy. The classical and lyrical notes of aaa in the keyboards much, much better than bbb, here everything is a mystery. This wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#2240614) | Posted by steelyhead | Monday, July 29, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Mother's Rhymes is the much-awaited sixth full-length studio album from the quasi-anonymous composer, The Psychedelic Ensemble (TPE). Like TPE's other albums, it a concept album whose theme, this time, recalls the often creepy nursery rhymes that plague one's thoughts since childhood, and how all ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#2240149) | Posted by wiz_d_kidd | Friday, July 26, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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