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Pendragon - The Jewel CD (album) cover





3.29 | 295 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
2 stars This Pendragon's debut has some interesting things... But it's a weak efforth anyway, in my humble opinion!

The influences the Nick Barret's music has are really clear here... The Marillion's taste of the keyboards, with some AOR sound in the chorus wich reminds me to Asia or Saga (Higher Circles is a good example...) and of course, some feeling of the 70's symphonic prog (Yes, Camel...) And the influenced and not too original Pendragon's music is here! Ok, not too well developed yet... The Jewel is a bit rough, and the Barret's ideas were not too clear.

The main problem I find with this album, is that it's a bit boring sometimes... Some parts of Alaska, the mediocre Circus and the too long The Black Knight make me wanting to push the button to the next song. I miss the Clive Nolan keyboards too. Rick Carter isn't a bad keyboardist, but it's too similar to Mark Kelly in style... And he lacks the Nolan's own personality.

Another fact I wish to comment about this album, is that the Nick Barret's voice is the same as today... This man has not evolved with the time! His voice was always the same... Weak, he lacks some strenght and variety in his vocals. At least, he sings his lyrics with a lot of feeling... But feeling is not enough sometimes.

Best songs: Higher Circles (a funny song... With an AOR introduction), Leviathan (a good track, variated and interesting) Alaska (this is not a brilliant track... But the Snowfall part has a very beautiful keyboards work) and Oh Divineo (despite the boring introduction, this is another good track wich gives a glimpse of the later Pendragon's true style).

Conclusion: I recommend this album only to Pendragon's fans, and Neo-Progressive die hard lovers as a curiosity... The rest will not find anything really interesting in this irregular album, full with good ideas, but not too well developed, and with a mediocre production. Some songs are OK, and the keys on Snowfall are memorable... But this brilliant moments don't delete the vulgarity of too many parts of the album.

My rating: **1/2

The Crow | 2/5 |


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