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Pendragon - The Window Of Life CD (album) cover





3.95 | 568 ratings

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Mr. Gone
2 stars Something I like to call "The Bookend Theory". Nothing overly complicated - it's just a phenomenon that leaves me a bit puzzled. Simply put - this occurs when an album falls chronologically in between two great-to-excellent albums, repeating many of the formulas of those great-to-excellent bookends but somehow failing to capture the magic they achieve. Gentle Giant's The Power and the Glory is one example for me - I love In a Glass House and Free Hand, but TPatG simply doesn't do it for me, even though all the motifs of those surrounding two classic albums are present. Can't explain it - it's simply the way it is.

And, unfortunately, Pendragon's The Window of Life also fits this bill. The World is a great album. Masquerade Overture is a fantastic album. TWoL tries to use many of the same elements that made those two albums so enjoyable, but it just doesn't work. I can point something of a finger at what I believe is the album's shortcoming - a lack of memorable material. I will even be so heretical as to say that about the only memorable thing on here for me is "Nostradamus (Stargazing)", which many would probably call a poppish U2 knockoff. Yeah, but it's catchy, at least. "Am I Really Losing You?" tries too hard at the end with the slightly whiny guitar outro, but that at least sticks somewhat too. And there's a nice rippling keyboard solo in the middle of "The Last Man on Earth". Other than that? I've listened to the album maybe two dozen times, and nothing at all stands out.

They tried a similar formula to what was on the surrounding albums, but the substance simply wasn't there on this one. I don't want to dislike any album or rate it lowly - I'm a music fan, not a critic, so I want enjoyment. And I don't like criticizing what was obviously an honest effort by Nick Barrett and company. But this album simply doesn't work for me. And that makes me sad, honestly, because the material around it was so uniformly great. Two stars.

Mr. Gone | 2/5 |


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