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David Bedford - The Odyssey CD (album) cover


David Bedford


Crossover Prog

3.26 | 28 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars Fourth album, but this is the first overtly commercial one for Bedford, thus leaving the experimental and avant-garde realm for a more electronic and ambient sound, surfing and gliding on the wave of Oldfield, Tangerine, Schulze and Eno. Again, on the present, Bedford plays most of the instruments (which is mostly synths anf kbs), except for guitars (Olfield and Andy Summers of the future Police) and some wind instruments (recorder and oboe), but the vocals are entirely feminine and for the most part choral. Graced with Bedford's golden portrait, this concept abum (not too difficult to figure out about what, uh?) was released on Branson's Virgin label in late 76,as were previous works of him and his protégé; but the Sex Pistols were just around the corner for the label.

When hearing the present album, it is difficult not to think of Oldfield's Herdgest Bells tainted with Eno's Summer's Star or Tangerine's then-current works, and other Virgin label oddities. Often hovering over semi-symphonic ambient music, the album would've been called "new age", had it been released a decade later, but then again, I never fund the present particularly relaxing because it often makes me cringe in horror at the derivative nature of the contents, especially given his previous ventures. This is the kind of album that some would call timeless, but to this writer, it sounds rather dated and cliché, partly because of the technology used on it, but also the supposedly grandiose and pompous matter of the music. No wonder the punk wave would sweep some of that complacent stuff. Don't get me wrong, there are some rather interesting moments, sometimes almost (key word, here) innovative passages, but it's quickly lost in the shuffle.

Don't know if this album sold in significant quantities, but it would turn out to be his second last for a few years, as he will concentrate on producing some electro-pop acts in the 80's. Anyway, The Odyssey is really too derivative for me to appreciate it, but if you're into symphonic- new-agey stuff, this could be up your alley.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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