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Peter Bardens - Seen One Earth CD (album) cover


Peter Bardens


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2.75 | 26 ratings

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3 stars Seen One Earth was the first solo album Peter Bardens released since 1979's Heart to Heart. In the late '80s Capitol Records launched the Cinema subsidiary, hoping it will be the new progressive rock label, like it was to be the next Harvest label (which was distributed by Capitol in the States). What you really got was basically New Age from prog rock musicians, basically New Age with a prog rock bent, so if you're not put off by the 1980s productions by these albums, they're not the worst thing, but nothing like the best prog of the 1970s. Cinema advertised that Seen One Earth was something like "Dark Side of the Moon Revisited by former Camel keyboardist". With "Seascape" they got that right, it has that Dark Side of the Moon vibe going on, '80s style. It's full of digital synths and drum machines, so we're not exactly talking "Lunar Sea" from Moonmadness here. "Man Alive" features lots of drum percussion, but what's really surprising, is amongst the digital synths, Bardens actually brings out his analog synths, the ARP Odyssey is used here (likely the same one heard on The Snow Goose). It's still pretty '80s sounding, but it's nice to hear some analog synths. Title track featuring a sample of an astronaut saying, "If you've seen one earth, you've seen them all", obvious inspiration for the album title. Again, pretty '80s and digital sounding, but here are some Mini Moog solos, which really amazes me given no one gave a care about using such synths in the late '80s. "Home Thoughts" is just a short piece on piano, nothing much else. "In Dreams" was the hit on the album, the only song with vocals. Neil Lockwood tries his hardest to sound just like David Gilmour, you could imagine this guy in a Pink Floyd tribute band. It's basically a pop/New Age hybrid, the video apparently received airplay on VH-1. On the video nowhere do you see Peter Bardens' face. "Many Happy Returns" is basically a variant of "Seascape", this time a fake sax solo (that fake sax solo coming from a Yamaha DX-7, it's so obvious a digital synth trying to sound like a sax). He released one more album on Cinema, Speed of Light, unfortunately I found that album rather weak, trying too hard to be pop/New Age version of Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Seen One Earth isn't bad, if you don't mind the 1980s sound and production, but don't expect Camel at their finest.
Progfan97402 | 3/5 |


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