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Grandbell - The Sun And The Embryo CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.70 | 16 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Perhaps the best way to describe GRANDBELL in a nutshell is a more acoustically oriented Latin version of YES with a flute, meaning that they have forged their own identity based on but not directly copying that of one of the masters. Renato Jardim has Jon Anderson's mannerisms to a T, from the sunniness of his disposition to the interspersed LA LA interjections. However, the Grandbell ethos is more consistently sprightly and gentle than that of YES, and no passages on their sole disk are remotely heavy. It's almost a progressive folk record if you base it on the prominent acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars and Roberto Reolon's delicate woodwind work, but then they are acquitted in a more symphonic vein.

I confess to have attended to "Sun and the Embryo" non stop for a week now, which speaks to its stamina, or mine at least, but yet I still can't hum a single bar of the ephemerally appealing melodies. By now, something should have stuck. The closest are "Liberty" thanks to clever development, a rousing emotional chorus and one of the rare lead guitar breakouts, and the title cut, which has similarities to GENESIS' "Ripples" at moments, with a marvelous transition between that reflective style and a more expressive and upbeat vocal part. "Spiral" is also noteworthy for its spaciness, haunting vocals, and dignified air; it also seems intimately connected with Yes' spiritual explorations but easier to decipher.

The point in this expose is that this is a classy album in which a certain je ne sais quoi is missing, that intangible to hoist it head and shoulders above the fray, to sound the bell and leave us standing at attention. Still I could see it appealing hugely to some - it's far more than an embryo of a good album, but not enough to sound the bell and hold us at attention. The very definition of a 3 star album.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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