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Pendragon - The Window Of Life CD (album) cover





3.92 | 467 ratings

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1 stars While "Not of This World" proved to be a pleasant enough album, if not exactly an innovative one, "The Window of Life" is utter dross, almost a complete failure on every front except for the charming album artwork. Bad singing, boring, derivative instrumental passages and absolutely horrendous songwriting...this is the full Monty, folks.

"Babylon" starts out as either a ripoff of "Watcher of the Skies" or "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", depending on who you talk to-I say it's both, since the guitar work blatantly copies Gilmour and the bass blatantly copies Rutherford. It turns out that once the song gets into original material, things don't improve even slightly as the song proceeds to be a forgettable, trite tale of seizing the day, or something along those lines(like I said, forgettable-I heard this song not a half hour ago and I don't remember anything about it except the intro).

"Ghosts" is an absolute calamity of a song, so bad that it actually warrants its own paragraph-Nick Barret tries doing that pop-star vibrato thing that you hear a lot of bad R&B singers do and it goes without saying that, considering his vocal style, he absolutely does not pull it off. I don't know why he thought he could, but he sounds like less of an impassioned lover and more of a sad housecat. The lyrics are equally laughable-I understand that heartbreak is a good source of songwriting material, but the degree to which Barret wallows in self pity is pathetic, throwing hammy cliche after hammy cliche in an attempt to sound angry, when you can't help but get the impression that this dude was probably blubbering and hanging onto his ex-girlfriend's pant legs until she walked out the door. It's so desperate and pitiful that I almost feel bad making fun of him for it. Almost.

"Breaking the Spell" is maybe the least notable song on the album-it's so boring that I probably wouldn't be able to tell you what those ten minutes sounded like if you paid me. "The Last Man on Earth" is one of only two songs on the album approaching tolerable, in that it's legitimately sort of sweet and is the only song that manages to grasp at that epic "Foxtrot" feel that the band so clearly, desperately wants to achieve. "Stargazing" is an eye- roller, so full of pre-fab cheer and uplifting messages that it would feel more at home in an anime than anything else. "Am I Really Losing You?" is the only other song that's sort of okay, and that's only because the guitar riff that closes the album out is actually pretty good. The rest of the song is completely unmemorable.

That, I think, is the word of the day regarding "The Window of Life". When the only parts of your album that are at all memorable are the ones that were the most blatantly awful, that's a sign you've got a real stinker on your hands. I'm going to venture and say that if you've heard any other progressive rock album before in your life, you've heard a better version of what Pendragon were trying to do here. If you own even one neo-prog album or album from the '70s, steer far clear of this one.

40footwolf | 1/5 |


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