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Like Wendy


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erik neuteboom
4 stars To my surprise this is the first review from Dutch musical project Like Wendy their latest (6th) album entitled "Endgame". The seven compositions sound a bit more accesible than the previous CD's, due to the melodic structure and vocal hints from The Beatles and Barclay James Harvest.

1. Mock Me! (10:54) : An alternating and very pleasant progrock sound, from melow with twanging acoustic guitar and piano to bombastic with fiery, often howling electric guitar and wonderful Mellotron. Their sound reminds me of mid- Genesis.

2. Radioactive Girl (6:40) : First tender piano and melancholical vocals, soon accompanied by sensitive electric guitar and majestic choir-mellotron. Then a synthesizer solo and a mellow featuring twanging acoustic guitar and Mellotron. The final part contains a sumptuous grand finale, splendid!

3. Subs (5:29) : Another altenating piece, from dreamy to bombastic with beautiful work on the guitar and Mellotron and emotional vocals.

4. Seventeen (8:15) : This track alternates from mellow and a slow rhythm to bombastic delivering fiery electric guitar and again a wonderful Mellotron sound (violin and choir).

5. Money For Monkey's (6:17) : A very compelling song featuring beautiful keyboards (synthesizers, church organ sound and Mellotron) and sensitive electric guitar with use of the volume-pedal (like Steve Hackett).

6. Moria (8:33) : Another Mellotron drenched piece!

7. Endgame (9:38) : The final composition is very alternating, the second part contains lots of bombastic eruptions featuring majestic choir-Mellotron and great interplay between guitar and keyboards. The final minutes delivers a surprise: mouth organ!


Report this review (#52199)
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first time I heard Endgame was in a little shop in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The salesman couldn't find the album and was asking his colleagues if they knew Like Wendy. Finally one person said:" Hey isn't that something symphonic? Try the "W"". And there it was, the album Endgame and an experience that this is a little band in the musical world. Listening to the album I realised the contradiction of this. Like Wendy has developed and Endgame is not the album of a little band.

The Band (?) The album is the first co-operation between Bert Heinen (THE man behind Like Wendy) and Mark-Jeroen Heek. Apparently this combination works well. Endgame has mature songs where the different pieces within the songs are combined very well. This is clearly an improvement with (some of) the songs from previous albums, where the pieces are more or less independent from each other. Falcon Suite from Tales from Moonlit Bay (check out by audio streaming) for example is in my opinion more a bunch of beautiful pieces based on the same music than one structured song.

The Influence Endgame will probably stop people from comparing them with Pendragon or Marillion, Surely the influence of Genesis remains, but the inspiration from The Beatles, Radiohead and especially Porcupine Tree are clear on this album.

The Songs Mock me! suprised me nice. The influence of the Beatles is clear and we can hear the voice of Mark Jeroen. This song is very good mixed and you hardly realise it is 10 minutes. The part in the middle where the melancholic vocals of Bert Heinen fill your speakers is simply great. Radioactive girl is a slow and a bit dark song. It reminds me a lot of the music from Porcupine Tree, but that might be due to the title (Radioactive Toy form PT). Good Song. Subs is the weakest on the album. Seventeen is great. The intro and the end are so different from the middle part yet they complete the song. Money for Monkey is a great song. Genesis like solo's, much mellotron. Moria starts and ends up real nice and dark, but the music doesn't take me in the middle. Endgame is more rocky. A very professional song, with very good parts.

The Conclusion Like Wendy clearly has developed with Endgame. Yet I miss sometimes the beatifull and emotional (vocal) parts from earlier Like Wendy. If Like Wendy would combine the both they will surely make a masterpiece and the guy from the recordshop would never have to ask his colleagues who is Like Wendy. I am sure that this is going to happen and Endgame is a very good step into that direction.

Report this review (#60427)
Posted Thursday, December 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don`t know why all the albums are equals in the discography of Like wendy.Homeland for sure doesn`t deserve 4 stars.I think that with Endgames we are backto serious stuff! This is good from start to the end with lots of works.The guitar parts are just splendide and the keys are well balanced.This is clean and perfect like Steven Wilson would do but with P.T.I am a big fan of Like Wendy but I still think that Homeland and Summer in Eden are not the strongest albums!
Report this review (#70330)
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Poignant album with mournful overtones.

The first track gives a false sense of what is to follow (arguably the weakest), it is with the second (RADIOACTIVE GIRL) that the interest levels kick in with interesting understated keyboards. The remaining tracks continue to captivate the listener ensuring that all is listened to, whether this will retain its place in the CD system is down to personal choice, from my perspective this will provide an initial buzz that will be forgotten then unearthed at some future date (as has happened here...)

Not what I'd call essential, but certainly contains interest and excellent levels of musicality.

Report this review (#92002)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a great great group!Wonderfull songs in this excellent work of like wendy! In Italy, Rome, is very difficult to try to buy the cd of this wonderfull progrock group. I listen this cd from one my friend that buy this cd from internet and i am very shocked! One of the most important cd of neoprog of the last years for me. Who loves Pendragon, IQ, Porcupine Tree,RPWL, and Genesis of A trick of the tail and Wind and wutheringh, must absolutly listen this great cd!
Report this review (#92304)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Like Wendy is one of my cherished prog bands and I treasure all there past albums , even Summer in Eden , which didn't bowl me over immediatly mainly due to the obvious fact that Bert Heinen was moving away from overt prog to poppier prog. This more accessible approach was well put together with Homeland, the previous album which I proudly reviewed here, with a number of songs having real admirable traits. It's with dread that I have resigned myself to dislike this recording. The criticism is levelled not at his new musical partner Mark-Jeroen Heek , not at the structure of the tunes themselves or the instrumentation (mellotron drenches everything) but rather at the somewhat dissonant over-aching histrionics of Bert 's vocals. He always had a passionate, moody delivery but it was somehow more impressive without the overt melancholy. Worst examples are "Subs" where the word "suberbia" is repetively annoying. Same with "Seventeen", which balances strained vocals with a lovely instrumental part that ends way too soon. My favorite and most redeeming track is "Moria" which just makes the following title track so much more appealing. Bert, I love your discography and admire your dedication but Bono or Simon Lebon you are not. So please stop trying. I guess even the great prog artists had their "Tormato" or "And then They Were Three...", so 5 great albums out of six is a worthy achievement. I await your next opus with faith. For now, only 2 ruptured dams
Report this review (#94850)
Posted Tuesday, October 17, 2006 | Review Permalink

This album is no revolution in "Like Wendy" 's discography. The very good multi-instrumentalist who is leading this "band" (Bert Heinen) is very skilled. He has always proposed a mellow prog music full of great keyboards and guitar work.

And he tried to achieve the same with this album . But failed.

Since their very album, I could closely link "Like Wendy" with "Barclay James Harvest". Same sorts of vocals and easy listening prog. Bert Heinen never forgot to add nice melodies to his instrumentation work.

This album is less performing IMO. Very few songs are as appealing as on previous efforts (of which "Tales From Moonlit Bay" was by far the best one). My fave ones here are "Mock Me!" (featuring Banks oriented synths) and "Radioactive Girl" (shining thanks to some good instrumental parts).

If ever you would like to listen to the two hundredth and twenty second song which is "borrowing" the "Watcher Of The Skies" riff, do listen to "Money For Monkeys" to get the confirmation. It is included in the middle part and actually, this is the best passage from this song which has not a lot more to offer.

If you want more "BJH", here you go with "Moria". A trip back in the mid seventies and their smooth prog rock offerings. For nostalgic of that band during this period (by far their best one).

This is not a great album, I'm afraid. On par with "Summer In Eden", which was the band's weakest album so far. The closing track enclaves both sources of inspiration : "Genesis" during instrumental parts and "BJH" of course during the vocals.

It's up to you to decide whether or not you feel like listening to a 21st century "BJH" version. It is not unpleasant, but the melodies aren't as catchy as their great ones. To listen to moderately.(the first three "Like Wendy" albums were better).

Two stars.

Report this review (#155296)
Posted Thursday, December 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars I’m not a huge fan of neo-progressive music anyway, although bands like Marillion and IQ have given the genre a respectable name at least. And as a disclaimer I will note that this is the only album I’ve heard from Like Wendy, but my overall impression is that this is pretty pedestrian stuff. There seems to be intent here to fashion arrangements that flow in leisurely tempos like Pink Floyd and later clones such as RPWL, while at the same time employing neo traits such as highly synthesized accompaniment and sound effects as well as rather mundane lyrical topics. I would hope the band has more impressive work in their repertoire than this.

Based on the title and the fact they haven’t released anything since it seems this is the swan song for the group, and the pervasive lethargy in most of these tracks would suggest they didn’t put a whole lot of heart into making this album.

The opening “Mock Me”” and closing title track consume about a third of the album’s length and both wander along far longer than they really need to. “Radioactive Girl” is the most energetic track (relatively speaking), although this one hearkens back to the nineties and already sounds dated even though the album was only released a few years ago. “Seventeen” has a keyboard thread that almost comes off as piano jazz at times, and “Subs” combines synthesized noodling with some pretty decent keyboard riffs to mixed effect.

“Moria” is the other noteworthy tune, mostly thanks to a decent guitar passage and ‘tron that show sparks of interest but which are extinguished too quickly.

I can’t seem to get into this album or this band, and unless one of my kids picks up some of their other CDs I probably won’t spend much more time trying to. The band undoubtedly has its fans, but my ears hear a two star effort here and one that I wouldn’t particularly recommend to anyone except serious neo fans.


Report this review (#168742)
Posted Saturday, April 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
2 stars I already said it in previous review (2003 album), I in general like Neo-Prog music. But except first track, there is almost nothing interesting, even below quality of "Homeland". This is the end, my only friend the end. Bunch of sounds added together in something. Just reading/watching Lord of the Rings films, so I was pleased by presence of song "Moria", but it also didn't do what it should - any kind of entertainment / cultural / intelligence / interesting impact. However, this song is probably the best what's here (except first one and even it has interesting just few seconds - this riff that's there, even it's soon boring again).

2(+), no no and simply no.

Report this review (#264869)
Posted Sunday, February 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars LIKE WENDY had been putting out albums every year or every other year from 1998 until this their most recent release from 2005 (six albums), so i'm not sure if this project is completely done or just in a long hiatus. "Endgame" is different from the previous albums, especially vocally (as tszirmay has mentioned in his review) and it's not for the better. This doesn't connect with me really on any level which is strange because i've felt a connection even on their records that most fans dismiss.

"Mock Me !" opens with over 1 1/2 minutes of instrumental music then we get reserved vocals, piano and drums. Not a fan of this. A change for the better after 4 minutes and I like the rest of this track. "Radioactive Girl" features piano and reserved vocals before a minute as synths also join in. I like this one. It settles before 4 minutes as the guitar solos tastefully with piano and drums. "Subs" opens with that sound that subs make along with gentle guitar as vocals join in. A beat with guitar takes over then the vocals return. Not a fan of this one.

"Seventeen" has this relaxed soundscape with vocals. It's fuller 2 1/2 minutes in then a calm arrives 3 minutes in. Piano only 5 minutes in as reserved vocals arrive. It then picks back up. "Money For Monkey's" has these vocal melodies with guitar and drums before a minute. Synths follow then this melancholic passage takes over with stoic vocals and a beat. It picks up with mellotron then guitar as drums pound. Synths replace the guitar. "Moria" has this beat with laid back guitar.The tempo picks up 2 minutes in and then it gets heavier. A calm with piano a minute later. Vocals then mellotron return. "Endgame" sounds good 3 minutes in as the guitar solos over top as the sound gets heavier. Synths follow. It settles back with vocals 4 1/2 minutes in. It starts to build then settles back before 7 minutes as the tempo continues to shift.

Barely 3 stars and my least favourite LIKE WENDY album.

Report this review (#303825)
Posted Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | Review Permalink

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