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Life Line Project - Time Out CD (album) cover


Life Line Project

Symphonic Prog

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4 stars After the instrumental album BEYOND TIME, originally recorded in 1994, TIME OUT is another album taken from the LIFE LINE PROJECT vaults. The album contains all titles from the 1995 recording and it has four extra tracks added, from which three are taken from an album I don't know, but was originally recorded in 1994. On TIME OUT again all instruments are played by Erik de Beer, varying from all sorts of guitars, keyboards, basses, electronic & acoustic drums to flutes, lutes and mandolins. The vocals on the album are taken care of by Marion Stroetinga, who has a more sensitive way of singing, which suits the extremely melodic and harmonious compositions of Erik de Beer very well.

Unlike on BEYOND TIME, not all the songs on TIME OUT are on the same level. Songs like "Don't Turn Your Back" or "Suzy" are not among my favourites, although there are some beautiful themes to be enjoyed in them. Properly put, the album is divided in two parts. The first half contains all vocal songs, while the second half contains only majestic instrumental symphonic progressive rock. The instrumental half is very similar to BEYOND TIME. Those who enjoyed that album will even find more pleasure in listening to these instrumental tracks. The recording quality is better and the structure and the impact of the compositions are better. Absolute masterpiece is the over 23 minutes lasting composition "Behind The Curtain Of Your Mind", a piece which has it all: well- played tempo changes, beautiful symphonic electric guitar themes, fine keyboard-parts and subtle acoustic parts. The title piece "Time Out" acts like a sort of prelude to "Behind The Curtain?". "Across The Lines" is another powerful instrumental from over ten minutes and it seems to have been taken from the homonymous album from 1994. I especially liked the virtuoso and latin sounding Spanish guitar piece in the middle.

From the vocal half I particularly liked "All You Need Is Bluff", well-sung and containing some very strong instrumental sections, displaying a beautiful acoustic piano in the middle and a spectacular synth-solo at the end. One of the most beautiful songs is probably the only three minutes lasting "Just A Thought", sung very beautifully and almost with a jazzy feel by Marion and containing a beautiful but short acoustic guitar solo. Another well-sung piece is "How I Miss You Now". It's a bit more on the AOR side, but still nice to listen to.

With over seventy minutes of music the album is well-filled and even if not all songs are on the same level, TIME OUT is certainly worth listening to and contains some overwhelming instrumental symphonic rock. The sound quality of the album is quite good, although I prefer the passages using acoustic drums to the ones with electronic drums. Like on all LIFE LINE PROJECT albums I have listened to, the playing is of excellent quality. Erik seems to be playing all instruments equally well. My rating should be closer to a four star one than to a three star one and therefore TIME OUT will go with 4 stars.

Theo Schop

Report this review (#862815)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars So often with these symphonic rock bands the vocals are the weak spot. You have to listen to more metal orientated progrock to get solid vocals, but then the music lacks the warmth and intimacy, that is the hallmark of true symphonic rock. On "Time Out" however, the vocals are of excellent quality. Leadsinger Marion Stroetinga has a warm voice, you would expect with folk or jazz bands. Her voice blends beautifully with the warm harmonies and fluent melodies composed by Erik de Beer. Those who liked the Mike Oldfield songs featuring Maggie Reilly or female fronted bands like Magenta, will be pleased with Marion's pleasant and sensitive voice.

All music on "Time Out" is played by one man, Erik de Beer. He plays all sorts of keyboards, guitars, flute, drums (electronic & acoustic), the bass guitar and even more exotic instruments like the mandolin & the lute.

As said, the music of LIFE LINE PROJECT sounds warm and melodious. This is true symphonic rock. A song like "All You Need Is Bluff" opens with excellent a capella harmony vocals, before the music enters. It's a great composition, full of tempo and character changes, dealing with the egocentricity of politicians. The sound of the lead guitar is great and reminds us of the great Hackett. The song ends with a completely unchained synth-solo.

Songs like "How I Miss You Now" and "Just A Thought" are more introverted and show us the vocal qualities of Marion at their best. I liked the Spanish guitar solo in "Just A Thought" a lot.

The single version of "Don't Turn Your Back" rocks and has an incredible two hand-tapping guitar- solo in the middle. Again the many-voiced vocals are of excellent quality. "Suzy" is, despite that it is beautifully sung by Marion, one of the weaker songs on the album, like the short instrumental "Free!", which is a bit of a filler. Nice but not spectacular.

Magnum opus on this more than 70 minutes lasting album however is the over 23 minutes taking instrumental 'Behind The Curtain Of Your Mind", preceded by title piece "Time Out", that acts as a sort of prelude. This huge instrumental is like a wet dream for true symphonic rock lovers. It has it all: numerous tempo and character changes, fantastic melodic guitarsolo's, virtuoso twin guitarleads, great synthsolo's, introverted acoustic parts and the greatest massive symphonic themes, all supplied with velvet layered keyboard-parts.

This album, which was originally released in 1995, is recorded on eight tracks only, but the sound quality isn't bad at all. In fact, this is an album to look out for and I think both the singing of Marion and the instrumental capacities of Erik well deserve the four stars.

Report this review (#866578)
Posted Monday, November 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is the successor of "Beyond Time" by the Dutch LIFE LINE PROJECT, a project in which all instruments are played by one man. This time he is accompanied by singer Marion Stroetinga, a talented singer who fits in with the music perfectly. As on "Beyond Time", it's hard to believe that all instruments are played by one man only, because the music sounds so very much alive. The album was recorded in 1995 on 8 analogue tracks, but that is hard to tell, because the sound is great and dynamic. Erik plays all guitars, keyboards, basses, flutes, lute, mandolin and the drums (electronic & acoustic). The album is a 2010 reissue of a 1995 album with added bonus tracks from a previous unedited album. TIME OUT is clearly divided into two parts, a vocal first half and a completely instrumental second half. After a short instrumental overture we get the over 8 minutes lasting "Don't Turn Your Back" maybe not the best choice to start an album, but it has some very beautiful symphonic themes in store. "How I Miss You More" is an AOR-song with impressive vocals by Marion and a great symphonic solo on the lead guitar. "All You Need Is Bluff" is one of the best tracks on the album. The vocals are excellent and the music is brilliant and dynamic, full of tempo changes and with an unforgettable synthesizer solo at the end. I liked the harmony vocals a lot. "Just A Thought" sounds very jazzy with a great acoustic guitar solo in the m iddle and once more Marion proves her talents as a great singer. "Suzy" is in my opinion the weakest and least interesting song, while the single version of "Don't Turn Your Back" sounds solid and has a great metal guitar solo. After the short title track "Time Out" whith a subtle flute part, it's time for the magnum opus on the album "Behind The Curtain Of Your Mind", the wet dream of every true symphonic rock lover. A cascade of beautiful themes, performed both on lead guitar and synths, is interwoven with more dynamic sections with Iron Maiden like twin guitar-solos and more quiet an dreamy acoustic parts. I have seldom heard such an intense composition, over 23 minutes full of brilliant musical ideas! The album concludes with another long instrumental (over 10 minutes) "Across The Lines", which has a virtuoso Spanish guitar solo in the middle. This song ends the album with a reprise of the stunning synth solo of "All You Need is Bluff". A great album and the four stars are well deserved! Whistler.
Report this review (#875562)
Posted Friday, December 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Recorded on 8 analogue tracks only, "Time Out" by the Dutch Life Line Project, offers a surprisingly well succeeded sound quality. Naturally i would have preferred if the Tama acoustic drums had been used on all tracks, in stead of the Roland electronic drum kit used in the larger part of the songs, but the overall sound quality has a pleasant transparency. The over 20 minutes lasting instrumental "Behind The Curtain Of Your Mind" has everything a lover of melodic symphonic rock wants, filled to the brim with excellent themes, perfectly executed on keyboards and lead guitars. Bonus track "Across The Lines" is in the same vein and also armed with a superb Spanish guitar solo in the middle section. It's hard to believe that all instruments are played by one man, Erik de Beer. The voclas by Maron Brinkman-Stroetinga are pure and well-sung. Songs I particularly liked: "I Miss You Now", "All You Need Is Bluff" and the jazzy "Just A Thought". Originally recorded and produced in 1995, this is certainly one of the better Life Line Project albums! Guy.
Report this review (#938287)
Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars I recently listened to a song called "Behind The Curtain On Your Mind" on YouTube. Over 23 minutes of true Progvalhalla! An instrumental composition by LIFE LINE PROJECT that includes everything someone who really loves melodic symphonic rock could wish for! All instruments are played by one man only, incredible. Enjoyed a lot! I ordered the complete "Time Out" album and I wasn't disappointed. The album included some other great instrumentals, all played by Erik de Beer (who plays guitars, basses, keyboards, flutes & drums). The vocals on the album are by Marion Stroetinga who has a warm and gentle voice. I liked "Just A Thought"& "All You Need Is Bluff" a lot. The album concludes with "Across The Lines", a great instrumental with some virtuoso Spanish guitar added! An album I liked a lot! Sawtooth.
Report this review (#974707)
Posted Sunday, June 9, 2013 | Review Permalink

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