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Peter Bardens - The Art Of Levitation CD (album) cover


Peter Bardens


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2.52 | 16 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Even if I have to admit that the solo works of Peter Bardens ar not at the level of the things he did with Camel, I think that sometimes he is underrated, maybe because a comparison between albums like this and things like The Snow Goose or Moonmadness is natural, and doesn't help the judgement. Please forget Camel and listen to this progressive electronic album (not new age this time) as if you were listening to a new artist.

"Welcome To The Zone" is a very good song, the only thing reminding to Camel is Pete's voice that's highly recognisable. I don't want to say that's a masterpiece, but it flows very well, some background sounds give richness to the arrangement. The only bad thing is the faded out final. I will never stop saying how I hate closing a song in that way.

"She Takes Me There" sounds very 80s and reminds to Speed Of Light, but close your eyes and think to bands like Japan. Can you imagine Sylvian or even Bowie singing this song? I'm not saying that it would have been a hit, only that's a good song.

With "Making Waves" we continue this electronic journey. Who likes the Tangerine Dream stuff of the 80s can like this as well. I hear echoes of Jarre, too.

Now the highlight. "Spirit of the Water" is probably the best lyric ever written by Bardens and the celestial voice of his daughter Tallulah makes me wishing to listen to her singing the whole Moonmadness or even Lady Fantasy. Unfortunately her debut album produced by Mick Fleetwood is just pop, good pop maybe, but only this. The arrangement can appear strange, it's totally electronic where the original version was almost acoustic. But it's like releasing it on Stationary Traveller instead of on Moonmadness.

"Hopi Prayer" is about the prophecies of this "Pueblo" speaking of the end of the forth world and the beginning of the fifth. The Hopi have recognized 8 of the 9 signs before the catastrophe (the coming of a blue star that will destroy the current world). The song has percussions that should remind to the native americans. If written by Jon Anderson it would have been a newage anthem...well, I like this song.

"No Jazz" is totally different. It's a funky track in the style of the Bardens just after leaving Camel. It partially sounds like an action/police movie of the 80s, a sort of Starsky and Hutch soundtrack.

"Take Back Your Power" is another funky, more funky than the previous, so much funky that's good. I don't like the background voices. Totally instrumental it would have been better. A pity.

"High" closes the album with a melodic song, tendentially pop. Not too bad but very few progressive. To be honest I like it. This song gives me a sense of joy, like some newage can do. And it's strange if you think that's the last song recorded by Peter Bardens before dying of lung cancer.

I see this song as a way to remember him with a smile. So long Peter, join the spirit of the water.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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