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Galleon - From Land To Ocean CD (album) cover





3.68 | 119 ratings

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4 stars How would you go about describing the colour 'red' to someone who is blind from birth? About explaining the taste of bananas to someone who's never even smelled one? To convey the magic of "The Cinema Show" to someone who's never heard a Genesis song in his life?

There are lots of things in this world which words cannot express; describing music is one of them. Yet, it doesn't stop thousands of us from trying to translate our elation into a bunch of words, in the hope of giving readers at least some glimpse of what we're so excited about.

I wish I could convey to you the magical atmosphere created by GALLEON's "Land to Ocean". I could talk about style and say that it shares the awsome musicality of bands such as IQ, PENDRAGON and ARENA. That it has strong Tony Banks' inflexions yet displays the tightness of RUSH and SAGA combined. That "Echoes" of PINK FLOYD are never too far off.

Or I could get technical and mention its variety of moods and tempos, the excellent musicianship (especially the keyboards) and inspired compositions. I could say that the opening track "Three Colours" is a quintessential neo-prog tune. I could praise the hard-edged "Fall of Fame" for its incredible SAGA-like energy and guitar riffs. I could commend the solid ballad "The Porch" for its goosebump-inducing guitar solo - a tune that could very well have been penned by ARENA's own Clive Nolan. I could laud the driving instrumental "Liopleurodon" for its refreshingly cool, jazzy, Camel-like keyboard play (remember "Skylines"?). Or I could rave about the powerful epic "The Price" for its amazing musical phrasing, kalideoscopic themes and whose swirling guitar solos would have GENESIS fans reeling with pleasure (if you think "Three Colours" is good, wait till you hear this one - one heck of a powerful piece of neo).

I could also tell you that I've experienced those familiar goosebumps more than once on the second CD too: from that killer whirling banksian keyboard solo that keeps cropping up from the 9th minute on (neo fans will drool over this), those splendid haunting underwater passages with the eerie siren cries - also reminiscent of certain memorable passages from "One for the Vine" and "Firth of Fifth" - or the tight, ARENA-like pulse accelerators that drive at a furious pace. A 52-minute long track that manages to retain its focus on the wonderful melody and theme of "The Ocean": quite a feat.

But what about the soul of the album? What's its colour? Is it IQ red? GENESIS blue? PENDRAGON yellow? The only thing I can say is: it's totally GALLEON. What this band was merely hinting at on their previous material has finally come to life; like a stunninly beautiful butterfly spreading its wings at last.

The only thing that prevents me from giving the album its full 5 stars is the lyrics, which I find too explicit (IMO). The harsh words (a socio-political rant about man's genuine talent for destroying its own planet) almost mar the poetry of the music, especially on the second CD. Heck, I still would have given the album 4 1/2 stars.

I make no fuss about it: I love neo-prog and "From Land to Ocean" is right up my alley. But you don't have to take my word for it. Lend an ear to "Three Colours" from the MP3 clip above.

Hibou | 4/5 |


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