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Needlepoint - Walking Up That Valley CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.09 | 99 ratings

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4 stars January 2021, under such a terrible pandemic situation, might not be so bad as expected, let me say. A Norwegian combo NEEDLEPOINT have released their fifth album "Walking Up That Valley" finally. Their previous work "The Diary Of Robert Reverie" has completely rung the bells of art rock fans, and let them look forward to the following creation. Guess this album should drive every single art rock fan crazy. Also in this opus, they play soft and smooth music while relaxing and easing themselves, but at the same time they squeeze incredible energy and power into every song's formation, especially melody lines and rhythmic basis. Their launching complicated phrases swimmingly like pop sounds reminds us of the similarity to one of Proto-Prog giants Iron Butterfly. Melodic construction via their creation is not simple but unexpected (in a good sense). It's exactly beautiful for them to introduce a variety of instruments boldly, to consider diversity as important, and to play as if everyone could do.

The very beginning of the first track "Rules Of A Mad Man" knocks me out. Exaggerated electric guitar choppings like late 60s / early 70s blues or psychedelic rock are very comfortable. Such a well-calculated instrumental departure illustrates their musical outline illusionarily, I guess. Old-fashioned keyboard performances in the latter part too. "I Offered You The Moon" is another colourful outer space, featuring swingy jazzy fascination and uptempo heavy appearance. Also good is a kinetically melodic interlude sandwiched with psychedelic keyboard works and oriental percussion kicks, in spite of pop texture. "Web Of Worthy" consists of their charming essence from the start until the end, where lots of instruments like acoustic guitar, flute, or authentic rock weapons, are unified and matured together for completing an art rock stuff. "So Far Away" is filled with flute-based delight and acoustic guitar-attributed brilliance. Pretty cool is also dry-fruity violin exposure in the last part. "Where The Ocean Meets The Sky" is flooded with psychedelic, jazz, improvisation, or pop ... various elements are precisely synchronized and developed to the opus. Bjørn's soft voices are cute and pleasant in "Carry Me Away", which has complex but splendid melody lines and vibes produced by wonderful keyboard plays in the latter scene. The chorus is especially excellent. Another catchy one "Another Day" reminds us of the similar vein to Paul McCartney or so. The last titled song has beautiful romanticism and poetic trip of pleasure. In the middle stage psychic keyboard agents and flavourful flute compote could evoke kinda dreamy fantasy from our memory and give us mystic aftertaste via the sudden finish. We should get tempted to such a dramatic epilogue.

In conclusion, we have again been immersed in their soundscape. Their complication should not be complicated for the audience, and their eccentricity should not be eccentric too. What a fantastic mystery.

DamoXt7942 | 4/5 |


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