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Peter Bardens - Big Sky CD (album) cover


Peter Bardens


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2.62 | 17 ratings

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2 stars This album by Pete Bardens doesn't differ too much from the electro-pop of its predecessors. The presence as guests of two old friends like Mick Fleetwood and Andy Latimer is remarkable, but this may be not enough to make a good album.

It doesn't open too badly. "China Blue" is maybe trivial in the chords, but has a mood very similar to "More Than This" of Roxy Music, so I quite like it..

"Puerto Rico" features some guitar, but it's not Latimer as he just sings some background vocals on one track only. It's really a guest appearance. This song is on the chords and the atmosphere of Speed Of Light.

The title track starts with a sax that's probably synthetic as no saxophonist is credited on the album. Here Pete sings and his voice gives the song a touch of Camel. With a little help from Latimer this could have been a great song. With this arrangement it's just quite good.

"Gunblasters" is a track on which Pete has put too many things in too few time. It appears to be not exploited enough. Another missing opportunity which finishes to be just a sort of reminder of the 80s. I can still hear echoes of Camel, specially when there are no orchestral accents.

"On The Air Tonight" is a poppy melodic song but listening to it carefully it's still possible hearing echoes of the Rain Dances/Breathless era.

"You Got It" is a track that I don't understand. The guitar is not bad but is a song "full of nothing".

"A Brave New World" has a more promising intro. Keyboards in a Tangerine Dream style even with a clue of Alan Parsons Project. The guitar sounds very nice and the drumming is not invasive, like the opener of "Seen One Earth", but more intriguing from a musical point of view. After a couple of minutes it turns into a sort of pop-rock instrumental. The sounds are of the "Zee - Identity" kind. It's a pity that there are not many tracks of this kind. Not that this is a masterpiece, but it's one of the best things.

"On A Roll" is brit-pop 30 years too late, with an attempt to add Caribbean rhythms. Skip it. And this is the track with Latimer singing backing vocals !!!

"The Last Waltz" it's a2 minutes filler, but is surely better than the previous track.

Then we have other two tracks below the 2 minutes. It's like he has put the incomplete compositions at the end, and I think that the classic flavor of "Scarletti" would have been better served if the title was the correct composer surname that's "Scarlatti" (In Italian "Bright Red")

Those fillers may be the reason why somebody has decided to add a couple of bonus tracks.

"The Yuki Dance" is very nice with a funky flavor. It sounds incredibly 80s, again like "Zee", but it's good.

"Bump And Grind" doesn't have anything to do with Bardens, so that I suspect that he may not be the author. It's a sort of 80's pop-metal, listenable but outplaced even though the keyboard work is technically good.

Not totally bad, but I can't suggest a non-fan to buy it.

octopus-4 | 2/5 |


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