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Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso - Caterwauling CD (album) cover

CATERWAULING

Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso

 

Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 12 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars It is always with pleasure that I review a Whoolly (or Maestoso) album. Not that the band released several masterpieces but as he was (IMHHO) the proggiest element in BJH, I have considered his work with interest.

So, what do we have here?

Well, the worse and the best actually. The listener shouldn't be distracted by the awful (but very short ? less than a minute) opener and title track, because what is coming next is probably one of the most complex and at times the most beautiful song released by the man.

''Soldier Of Fortune'' almost opens as a Crimson track: heavy, weird, chaotic. It then turns into a pure symphonic jewel full of mellotron (yes, I love this instrument). The long instrumental passages are absolutely outstanding. They can compete with ''Firth Of Fifth'' probably (no, I'm not kidding). But the problem are the vocal parts: fully folkish and somewhat na´ve. They are in total opposition with these fantastic keys and guitar parts which are pure melody and passion.

After this very special song, a more common and straight-forward pop-oriented track ('' The Road To Nowhere'') contrasts severely with the complexity of ''Soldier?''. Not bad, but nothing from the other world (like the heavy-rock ''The Collector'').

If by any chance, you are found of the ''Trespass'' era, there is no doubt that you will succumb to the charm of ''Matilda Yarrow''. Again, the instrumental passages are way better than the sung ones. The overall tranquil mood conveys a nice pastoral feeling to this symphonic/folk affair. And what to say about the simple and naked beauty of the ultra romantic (in the mood) of the light and sweet ''Closure''. Whole a lot of shivers down my spine...

Whoolly excels of course in the writing of these sorts of ballads, even if again the vocals during ''Always'' aren't particularly great. But boy! These musical parts are so melodic! Most of the album is made of pastoral and folkish moments but some (like I have already mentioned) are better than others (like the well named bluesy-folky ''I Don't Like You'').

I also have to say that the attempts to rock aren't always successful (but I had the same feeling about these under the BJH umbrella). ''Tonight?'' highlights this fact. But the man is of course the master of symphony (mixing classic with prog) and another brilliant example is the superb ''Shoes''. What a melody my prog friends!

In all, there are excellent songs here, but they are compensated with weaker ones and above all (sorry for this Whoolly), some vocal parts that are not on par at all. I consider this album as a good one and therefore rate it with three stars. It is good to see that Whoolly is again regularly back with new works since 2004.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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