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Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso - Black Box Recovered CD (album) cover


Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso


Eclectic Prog

3.03 | 4 ratings

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3 stars Wolstenholme was prepared for a great new step in his career as documented in the numerous live shows of his personal band around early-80's as well as the material he started to record for a second album, reputedly entitled ''Black box''.However it appears that Polydor lost interest in Wolstenholme's music and the man himself resided dissapointed initially in Lancashire and later in West Wales.In 1994 the debut album along with Woolly's material for the second release was offered by Voiceprint in ''Songs from the black box''.An even better issue of these archival recordings appeared in 2004, when Wolstenholme was back alive and kickin', under the title ''Black box recovered'', released on Eclectic Discs.

Eighteen tracks in here, all first nine of those cover both the finished and incomplete pieces of the ''Black box'' album.Anyone having heard the bonus tracks of the ''Maestoso'' album will know exactly what to expect.Wolstenholme had made a slight turn towards a more radio-friendly sound, containing even some AOR hints ala TOTO, JOURNEY or BOSTON, but the material is perefectly composed with instant melodies, deep keyboard passages and beautiful, sensitive vocals, colored by romantic acoustic interludes and a certain old BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST flavor in the nice, background synthesizers.But there are also plenty of symphonic moves among the ideas, in fact Woolly's ideas have much in common with STEVE HACKETT's work around the time, presenting a more refined and accesible Symphonic Rock with dreamy textures and atmospheric soundscapes.Great mix of old Orchestral Rock with Melodic Rock was actually what was intended to be the original ''Black box''.

The rest of the album includes unreleased material (''Why remain'', an acoustic piece filled with a nostalgic GENESIS romanticism), demo versions of Woolly's pieces, live recordings and a new composition.The demo versions have a less decent quality than Woolly's original albums. as expected, while the live-captured material shows that this group of experienced musicians had a lot to offer to the Art Rock scene and the public, playing grandiose Art Rock with symphonic underlines and excellent melodies.The closing ''Bootham park elegy'' was recorded by Wolstenholme in 2003 and comes as a mellow composition of ethereal Orchestral/New Age Music with cinematic synths, melancholic vocals and acoustic guitars.

Great compilation linked to Wolstenholme's second but never released album.Melodic and perfectly composed music with strong proggy overtones, rockin' textures and emotional landscapes.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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