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Gandalf - Gallery Of Dreams (featuring Steve Hackett) CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.47 | 31 ratings

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4 stars A peaceful music .

The music offered by this album is to me more on classical music with progressive touch, rather than progressive rock per se. All tracks contained herein are mellow in style, using long sustain keyboard work, piano as main rhythm section while guitar (acoustic and electric) serves as lead melodies. If your mood is into this kind of music, I am very sure that you would enjoy this album in its entirety. The music flows nicely right from the beginning of the track to the end, presents you a stream of notes and chords in slow tempo that gives you ( I can imagine!) a peace of mind. This is best listened to after 10:00 PM to get full comprehension of the music subtleties, play it loud with a dim of light (better to turn the light off!). You would then find a joy of peaceful music that accompanies you explore your mind, capitalize your brain power. In a nutshell, what I am telling you is that this music is suitable for meditating your life either in retrospective of digging the lessons of the past days and crafting better future for your life. Oh.. what am I saying here? Why am I connecting the music with "crafting" your life? Is it my business to give a word or two about your life? Of course not! - you might say so! But . you might miss my point that actually I am sharing what I experienced with listening to this beautiful stream of music this album offers. And this is not about something about life philosophy. Rather, it's confirming my belief, my proposition, my opinion that ."music is emotion". That is to say, the music this album offers has helped me uplift my emotion, increase my motivation towards life. And I am not offering joke here, this is true, my friends.! I have never treated music as a "commodity". Rather it's a contemplating vehicle to help me move forward with ever increasing life challenges and obstacles. With music, especially prog rock, I can move forward bravely, confidently. That's why I treat music so special. What about you, my friends? How do you treat music?

Let's back to business! This album opens the music beautifully with "Face In The Mirror" in ambient nuance through the sound of keyboard / guitar with classical style, stunning howling guitar work by Steve Hackett. You might associate this kind of music with Kitaro even though it's not totally similar, especially the excellent guitar work by Hackett. It's so compelling and peaceful. When I rode my bicycle for going to work last week while playing this album at my MP3 player, I truly found joy with the music amidst crowded traffic. It helped me wipe out all the uncomfortable feeling with traffic jam and strengthened my motivation. The continuing track "Willoman-Watcher Of The Waters" (4:46) opens peacefully with nice piano work with great string section at background using long sustain keyboard sound. Piano is the main thing with this track while acoustic guitar provides a rhythm section and fills. The music moves gradually into uplifting parts especially when the piano solo is combined with stunning electric guitar work by Hackett. It's really cool ..

The short track "Alone Again" (1:53) which contains catchy piano notes serves as bridge to next track. I am impressed with the power of melody this short track has through the sounds of piano coupled with excellent acoustic guitar work. This is a short track that kills! Do you remember "Hairless Heart" by Genesis? How do you feel when you listen to this short track comprising mostly keyboard work by Tony Banks? If you feel good and consider the melody is catchy, I bet you like this "Alone Again". "Between Different Worlds" (5:54) showcases how Hackett's guitar exploration and string section opens this track wonderfully. While in "Another Dream" (3:16) you would find nice oboe work by Andrea Krauk which brings the music in peaceful way. It somewhat reminds me to the nuance of King Crimson "Three of a Perfect Pair" album. Yeah, I do remember how Robert Fripp played his guitar that sounds like a keyboard; it's like Alan Holdsworth's synthaxe.

"Song Of The Unicorn" (4:23) starts with catchy piano work in ambient nuance followed by stunning acoustic guitar work by Steve Hackett. Oh man .. you must listen this album because until track 6 I have not found something which does not sound nice to me and I assure you that the rest of the tracks are all excellent because I have listened to this album (in its entirety) more than 5 times. And I do not want to review at track b track level, I just want you to trust my words that all tracks are good especially if you have passion in classical music. But I just want to add another track that worth mentioning, i.e. the album title track "Gallery of Dreams". It's because of due to the fact that this track has vocal line by Tracy Hitchings whereby the music provides similar nuance with Steve Hackett "Voyage To The Acolyte" album especially the parts with female voice.

Overall, this is for sure an excellent addition to any prog music collection. This album serves very well to those of you who love (or who can appreciate) classical music. But it might work fine with those of you who can appreciate the light side of progressive music. This album is highly recommended.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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