Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Collage Safe album cover
3.51 | 152 ratings | 13 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Winter Song (2:28)
2. This Time (6:15)
3. Cages Of The Mind I (0:44)
4. Cages Of The Mind II (6:09)
5. Stranded (6:29)
6. Eight Kisses (10:07)
7. One Of Their Kind (5:52)
8. Safe (7:28)
9. The Chanting (8:07)
10. Made Again (6:30)
11. Cages Of The Mind III (6:14)
12. I Will Be There (2:33)

Total Time: 71:01

Bonus Tracks on 2003 Metal Mind Enhanced-CD:
13. Safe (Single Edit)
14. The Winner Takes It All *
15. Video - One Of Their Kind

* Previously unreleased

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Amirian / lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar
- Mirek Gil / electric & acoustic guitars
- Krzysztof Palczewski / keyboards
- Piotr Mintay Witkowski / bass
- Wojtek Szadkowski / drums, acoustic guitar (10)

- Kamila Kamińska / backing vocals (6,8,13)
- Krzysztof Garbaliński / 12-string acoustic guitar (12)

Releases information

Artwork: Zdzislaw Beksinski with Wojtek Szadkowski (logo & concept)

MC Ars Mundi ‎- AMS 003R (1995, Poland)

CD Ars Mundi - AMS 003R (1996, Poland)
CD Metal Mind - CD 0230 (2003, Poland) Remaster by Krzys Palczewski w/ 2 bonus tracks + video

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy COLLAGE Safe Music

COLLAGE Safe ratings distribution

(152 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

COLLAGE Safe reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Although neo prog fans will refer to this as a masterpiece , I never got to end of this album as most neo prog albums bore me to sleep or just plain annoy me . This band does the first case and I believe people made such a big deal of it for there was not much else coming out at the time. Nowadays this would just get drowned in the mass of new prog releases.

Do not get me wrong, this album is a fine example of good neo-prog from the mid-90's, and Poland was making a specialty of this genre during that period >> this should give you an idea of how good it really is. So, not my cup of tea at all, hence the poor rating.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Neo-Prog at its safest.

"Safe" is a fine if indeed rather safe neo-prog album from this highly competent Polish band. The band tend to wear their influences on their sleeves, with lots of Marillion sounds (the guitar of Steve Rothery, the vocals of Fish), and a good smattering of Genesis.

Right from the "Watcher of the skies" like opening bars, there is little doubt that this album will be like a James Bond film; largely predictable, but thoroughly enjoyable. Keyboards and lead guitar dominate the album, along with the ubiquitous vocals.

There are several epic tracks, the longest being the 10 minute "Eight kisses" which would have sounded very much at home on Pendragon's "Masquerade overture". The keyboards and the guitar solo on this track are particularly appealing, the track being notably more inventive than the rest.

There are some weaker moments, such as the ill advised vocal style on the brief "Ages Of The Mind 1", the over repetitious "This time" and the average pop rock of "Stranded". If I have any misgivings about the band, they are more to do with the quality of the song writing rather than the performance. Some of the songs here are well developed but are based on the shifting ground of a mediocre composition, and thus do not stand up well. This however is to a large extent compensated for by the pleasing atmosphere of the music, and the competent performances.

Ironically, the best song on the release I have is a "bonusc" (sic) track called "The winner takes it all" (not the Abba song!). This nine minute epic take the running time of the album up to 80 minutes. Here we have a slice of symphonic prog with a wonderfully atmospheric instrumental section, the guitar work moving between the sounds of Hackett and Rothery. Had the whole album had the drama and excitement of this piece, we could have been looking at a five star masterpiece. The biggest puzzle is, why was this track not included on the original release? This is one of those albums which gets better as it goes on, the tracks towards the end of the album being notable superior to those at the start. Compositionally, some (but by no means all) of the songs are weak, There is however plenty of the symphonic keyboards and distinctive guitar which characterises so many neo-prog albums. Those who appreciate the music of bands such as Pallas and Arena will find much to enjoy here.

Review by chessman
4 stars I got this about three weeks ago, having pondered on whether to buy it or not for quite some time. I love Moonshine, and wondered if this was as good. Reading the reviews didn't really help me, but in the end I thought I would take the chance. This album is, to my ears, just as progressive as Moonshine. It is a long cd, nearly 80 mins, But it is top quality. I suppose, in parts, it is a little poppier, but it holds together well. I can't say there is a track that I don't like, though I suppose 'Stranded' would be my least favourite; it has a good melody, but it drags on a little too long really, with the chorus cropping up more than is necessary. Not a bad song though. Hard to say what my favourite song is here, but I do like all three 'Cages Of The Mind' tracks. The first one is done in a very funny way, with Robert Amirian singing in English, but with a different accent than normal, I think the band were messing about here. It only lasts a few seconds, then a couple of things are said in Polish, and the track stops. Then part 2 kicks in, with the first verse the same as part 1, but sung normally this time. The third part, later on, reprises all this, but in a more orchestral way. Very good. 'Eight Kisses' as has been mentioned in other reviews here, is also very good, with Mirek Gil's guitar work more to the fore. Title track 'Safe' is a fave of mine, with a very catchy chorus. And the bonus track would have sat happily on Moonshine. Once it gets going, it is not too dissimilar to 'The Blues' from that album. The strength of this band is their consistency. Ok, their songs have a certain style that you can detect a mile off, but they are always well crafted. The keyboard work is, for me, the single most important factor to their sound; never overdone, very lush and atmospheric, and providing a full backdrop for the rest of the instruments. Kris Palczewski is very talented, and does a fine job with the arrangements. Witness the opening track, a lovely instrumental 'The Winter Song', composed by him, to see what I mean. He is also Satellite's keyboard wizz on the Evening Games album. And his style is exactly the same. 'One Of Their Kind' and 'Made Again' are two more strong offerings on show here. All in all, this is a good album. With Collage, you know what you are going to get. Nothing too adventurous or different, but good, solid, highly melodic prog, with no obvious weaknesses. If you like Moonshine, and Satellite's two albums, you won't be disappointed in this one. That is a 'Safe' bet!
Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars What do you do after you release a masterpiece? That must be the question Collage faced after producing not only the best record from Poland, but one of the best neo prog records of all time. Moonshine was indeed a hard act to follow and being only their second original release you can say it was also quite an early success. Too much too soon? Maybe. Anyway, Safe is quite a fitting title. They now had their own style, nobody could deny Collage the tittle of one of the most important prog acts of the 90's. But with fame and success also comes pressure.

So, on Safe the band seems to try to expand the formula, rather than just repeat it. A nice try. But that does not mean it was completely successful either. The first three tracks sound just out of place and a bit forced to me. Not too much, but still not very convincing. After repeated plays I found those songs inferior to the remaining tracks. Things get better from then on and reach their peak with the trilogy Eight Kisses, One Of Their Kind and the title track. Oh, how I wish the whole album was like them! There Collage takes the melodic sound of Moonshine and go one step further: soaring guitars, beautiful landscape of keyboards, emotional vocals and a strong rhythm section. Those 3 songs are worth the price of the CD and then some.

The rest of the CD is not bad either, I found them better than the first tracks, but not as good as those 3 aforementioned songs. So, in the end a very pleasant album with some minor flaws. Moonshine was a tough act to follow and the band broke up very early. fortunately the key musicians of Collage got back after some years with the equally brilliant band Satellite. There they went back to their trademark sound.

Safe is definitely not as revolutionary and melodic as Moonshine, but it has its moments and stood well the test of time. If you like neo prog, this album is a must have anyway. If you're a fan of Collage then you probably already have it.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars "Safe" is the follow up to the excellent "Moonshine" release. This one is of the lighter variety reminding me at times of Hogarth era MARILLION. Unfortunately Marek Gil seems like he's left in the background a lot on this record.The lyrics are shared between the drummer and vocalist.

Things get off to a bland start with "The Winter Song". It opens with synths as piano melodies follow. "This Time" is a little better as we get some good guitar and vocals. "Cages Of the Mind I" has these strange vocals that kind of ruin it. "Cages Of the Mind II" has the same melody with acoustic guitar but with normal vocals this time. We get a full sound 40 seconds in, and one of the highlights of this album are the synths in this song. "Stranded" has it's moments but is a very average tune. "Eight Kisses" is one of the best songs on here. Synths, light drums and vocals lead the way until we get some tasteful guitar 5 minutes in. That guitar turns aggressive 7 1/2 minutes and then it soars before becoming aggressive again the rest of the way. Nice ending !

"One Of Their Kind" has some good guitar after 3 minutes. "Safe" is a beauty, with gentle piano and reserved vocals. Light drums follow and I like the lyrics "Safe from the sorrow and pain". Female vocal melodies late and some tasteful guitar. "The Chanting" has this cool guitar melody to open as keys and synths take over. After 5 1/2 minutes Gil breaks out for the first time on this album with some scorching solos. "Made Again" is dominated with vocals, keys and synths. The acoustic guitar on this song is actually played by the drummer. "Cages Of the Mind III" is an ok tune that turns dramatic with some passionate vocals. "I Will Be There" is ok with 12 string guitar and reserved vocals. Synths come in later.

I don't think this album is for everyone, it is a 3 star record in my opinion, but barely.

Review by progrules
4 stars This successor of their legendary Moonshine album apparently leads to a huge difference of opinion about the album. I can understand why because it has been hard for this band to produce a good successor after such a brilliant album. I'm afraid that some of the low rated reviews have something to do with the expectations. And I must agree I suffered a bit myself of high hopes for Safe and when I bought and played it I too was slghtly disappointed.

But I think this isn't really a poor album. I don''t even think that's a matter of taste because quality is quality and the quality is very much to be found on this album. I will review the songs individually because it's a varied album with quite some difference between the songs.

1. The winter song. Nice melodic opener. 3,75 stars

2. This time. Very good track that can be placed in the "Moonshine categorie". Great composition. 4,5 stars

3. Cages of the mind. At best funny. Hardly worth mentioning. 1 star.

4. Cages of the mind II. This one we can take seriously. Good vocal performance and nice track. 4 stars.

5. Stranded. Powerfull very convincing song. 4,25 stars.

6. Eight kisses. Best track of the album. As title suggests a romatic one that also could have been on Moonshine. 5 stars.

7. One of their kind. Bit like Stranded, very good track. 4,25 stars.

8. Safe. One of the ballads on the album. Sensitive song. 4 stars.

9. The Chanting. Second, little bit rougher. 4 stars.

10. Made again. Also one of my personal favourites. Comparable with This time. 4,5 stars.

11. The third part of CotM. Same standard as part two. 4 stars.

12. I will be there. Short ballad. Also quite romantic. 3,75 stars.

So to me there can be only one average rating. 4 stars is what it deserves.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars I remember reading an interview with Collage members after the success of "Moonshine", and the gist of the communication was that the band had finally, after close to a decade, produced an album that they intended all along. Moreover, they also felt they now had the pieces in place to move onward and upward. Unfortunately, this potential energy was never harnessed, and in fact one might wonder if the band was already splintering at the time of the followup "Safe". Apparently the group considered issuing it under a different name to reflect the departure in mood.

The album truly reflects its title, being very soft neo progressive rock of a type that rarely rocks the boat, let alone breaks boundaries or even perfects a sound that might have been. It would appear that Robert Amirian's greater songwriting involvement might be a factor in the extreme mellowness of "Safe". Certainly, take on its own this album is not without considerable inner beauty, but we expect so much more from Collage. Songs like "This Time", "Stranded", "Cages of the Mind" and "Chanting", are all decent on a low energy level but lack urgency or wow factor. "Made Again" and the title cut are similar but more melodic and emotional in a manner we expect from Collage. The two best songs by far appear back to back. "Eight Kisses" is a 10 minute tour de force in which Mirek Gil is unleashed for long, languid, breathtaking stretches in a way barely hinted at by the best work on "Moonshine", while "One of their Kind" is a musically upbeat but lyrically twisted look at isolation. It could have been a huge hit with a few tweaks.

The best material here is as good or better than anything Collage ever did, but too much of the rest (and in general that is too much of the album) is simply weak in spirit and unwilling to risk anything. Still, too much class oozes even from the also-rans on "Safe" to make it possible to award less than 3 stars for Collage's last effort.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars The debut album of this band was rather interesting and can be considered as one of the (few) major Polish prog album.

Unfortunately, their internal changes/history, lead to a weaker second album and I have to say that I hardly feel something great out of this work.

The music one can experienced here doesn't hold a lot of great number. Even if the ambient and instrumental opener might be misleading, this album is rather weak. But as soon as you proceed to the second track, these beats are really killing the good impression of the start. What happened to "Collage"?

This band has been a flag of prog music in Poland when there were (very) little (to none) of this kind of music been played in this country. But when "Collage" just produces an average album like "Safe", I can only testify.

The band is also catching the disease to record an overlong album (over seventy minutes). This would have the length of a standard masterpiece double album from the seventies (yes, this period IS in my genes). In terms of masterpiece, there is of course nothing as such here.

At best, some good songs (but not too many) like "Eight Kisses" are very much welcome to hoist the colours of the Polish neo-prog. Tasteful and emotional guitar solo, fine melody, and some good background keyboards are the combined elements of a very good track. The best of this album IMO. To be put into perspective with "Chanting". The worse by far.

This album has been quite a deception. When passion is gone, "Collage" is no outstanding band any longer. Two stars for this average album.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Safe is the fourth studio album from Polish progressive rock act Collage. Collage third album Moonshine (1994) is considered a classic Polish progressive rock album and deservedly so IMO. To follow up on an album many people believe is a masterpiece or at least an excellent album is a very hard task and even though Safe is not as significant a release as Moonshine I think Collage succeeds pretty well after all.

The musical style hasnīt changed much since Moonshine and weīre still treated with very melodic progressive rock dominated by keyboards and synths. The guitars from Mirek Gil are also very beautiful and melodic while the characteristic and untamed drumming from Wojtek Szadkowski is somewhat toned down on Safe. He still delivers some great drumming though. The vocals from Robert Amirian are in Steve Hogarth style ( Marillion) which means that they have a slight hard rock sound to them while still maintaining the melodic qualities. I am normally not a big fan of that kind of vocal style but it works pretty fine here. The music is predominantly influenced by bands like Marillion and IQ. Very rooted in eighties progressive rock ( neoprog if you will).

Like Moonshine the album is very long. The playing time is 71:01 minutes but there are several great songs on Safe which means that the album never gets trivial. I really enjoy songs like Eight Kisses and One of Their Kind but I donīt think any of the songs here are weak.

The musicianship is excellent. Lots of great performances here and the compositional level is also very high.

The production is a bit more balanced than the very pompeous and grand production on Moonshine. Itīs even a bit warm. Itīs still a grand production with dominant keyboards though.

Moonshine is without a doubt Collageīs main work and if youīre new to the band you should start with that one but Safe is not far behind and if you like Moonshine chances are youīll enjoy Safe very much as well. Itīs not my biggest 4 star rating ever but a 4 star rating it is.

Review by The Crow
3 stars After the great success of Moonshine in the Neo-Prog scene, Collage could sadly not achieve the same level of quality in Safe.

And I think that one of the main factors of this failure is the subpar production, which makes the vocals of the album even worse than in Moonshine (the weakest part of this album, no doubt about it) specially the female choirs, simply horrendous sometimes. I don't know if they were in a rush making this album, or maybe they suffered of budget limitations, but I think some tracks simply need more work of them.

And the volume of the instruments? What's that? The mixing is also really bad sometimes? And even the remastered version could not improve this defect very much.

Nevertheless, the magic of Collage is not all gone. Some tracks are so enchanting as ever, like the marvelous Eight Kisses, the folk influenced The Chanting and the mellow and melancholic Made Again. This few moments (especially when the female vocals do not appear) are able to make us dream like no other neo-prog band has made in all the sub-genre history.

Best Tracks: This Time (a rock neo-prog which acts as a fine opener. I specially like the acoustic guitars on it), Eight Kisses (splendid keyboard melodies, precious atmosphere and a great final solo), The Chanting (a bit repetitive, but with marvelous melodies and fine folk influences), Made Again (a more modern sounding track which acts as a sample of the quality that Collage could have gave us it they had not split up)

Conclusion: if you can forget the poor production which makes the vocals sound awful sometimes and the poor mixing which set the volume of the instruments just wrong in some parts of the album, you Will find moments of true magic in Safe. It's too long, cheesy and old fashioned, but also beautiful and unrepeatable.

Sadly, the overall quality is not so high like in Moonshine. With a length of 40-50 minutes and a better production it could easily have reached a four-star rating. Nevertheless, it's unfair to forget this album in the sands of prog memory, because it really has some true talent invested on it.

My rating: ***

Latest members reviews

5 stars It is amazing things how quickly Collage became mature music creators. "Safe" includes best elements of their previoullsy albums with added best other bands influences. Monumental almost symphonic sounds and climates mixed with memorable music ideas and great melodies created probably one of ... (read more)

Report this review (#103694) | Posted by Patique | Tuesday, December 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album contains the most pop of all Collage works. I don't mind, because the songs have splendid melodies and they are beaulifully arranged. Amirian has a wonderful, warm voice created to sing about love. The only minus is the comparison with earlier masterpiece, Moonshine. Collage music l ... (read more)

Report this review (#1580) | Posted by | Sunday, April 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Suberb Neo Prog Rock. Highly recommended to all those who love Arena, Clepsydra, Pendragon... very powerfull. The 6th track 'Eight Kisses' is an absolute must. Splendid arrangement, great guitar. I like this album as must as their 'Moonshine'. I agree completely with Mr Markwin Meeuws and Mr Ja ... (read more)

Report this review (#1568) | Posted by | Thursday, April 1, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of COLLAGE "Safe"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.