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Pell Mell - From the New World CD (album) cover


Pell Mell


Symphonic Prog

3.08 | 45 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The second studio album from Pell Mell saw the band flying their Symphonic Rock flag a little higher, and with more confidence than on their 1972 debut. With less guitar and more violin in the mix the group was clearly in their comfort zone, embellishing even their original material with more classical ornamentation (they played suites instead of songs, so forth).

The band's debt to THE NICE was acknowledged right at the top of the album, in their adaptation of the Antonín Dvořák title track, which had figured so heavily in Keith Emerson's notorious update of Leonard Bernstein's "America". Unlike other Classical Rock copycats Pell Mell at least put some effort into their arrangements, beyond simply augmenting the usual symphonic chestnuts with a modern rhythm section. Here they added lyrics and played around with the tempo, jumpstarting the stately original with a little quintessential Prog Rock melodrama, 1970s style.

The vocals were still a liability (imagine a Teutonic Derek Shulman), and the production values remained somewhat primitive, to say the least. But the band must have been doing something right to have their LPs sold as far away as suburban Northern California, back in those halcyon days when imported vinyl was not uncommon in mainstream record emporiums like The Wherehouse and Tower Records (R.I.P.)

This one was more refined and melodic than its predecessor. But it's still a somewhat rusty museum piece, with little to recommend it today besides the charm of its nostalgia value. Pell Mell would be a hard sell in the 21st century, but honestly how can I not award at least three stars to an album that makes me feel like a teenager again?

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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