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John Wesley

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John Wesley The Emperor Falls album cover
2.82 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Out of Your League (4:29)
2. Come and Gone (4:25)
3. An Ordinary Man (6:04)
4. Days That Won't Let Go (4:11)
5. There Go I (4:56)
6. One Step Behind (3:31)
7. Last Man By Your Side (4:46)
8. Gift of a Woman (2:46)
9. The Emperor Falls (8:05)
10. Someone for a Day (2:48)
11. Are You Alive (3:38)
12. The Desperation Angel (4:18)
13. So Bad (2:09)
14. A Time to Dance (4:56)

Total Time 61:02

Line-up / Musicians

- John Wesley / guitars, Vocals
- Tracy LaBarbera / vocals; piano (track 8)
- Mark Prator / drums, percussion
- Andy Irvine / bass
- Steve Hogarth / backing vocals (tracks 3, 13)
- Steve Rothery / guitar (track 8)
- Tony Turrell / Hammond (tracks 2, 4, 7, 10)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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Buy JOHN WESLEY The Emperor Falls Music

Emperor FallsEmperor Falls
Dream Catcher 1998
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JOHN WESLEY The Emperor Falls ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN WESLEY The Emperor Falls reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog Leviathan
2 stars This early release by John Wesley (of contemporary Porcupine Tree) is an emotive collection of singer/songwriter style songs which miss much more frequently than they hit, making "Emperor Falls" a poor album overall with a few shining gems hidden within for fans.

"Emperor Falls" is song-oriented, leading from one short, sensative pop tune to the next. While unambitious, the writing is very genuine, but while emotions and lyrics aspire to connect with the listener, the mediocrity of music holds back the potential for anything special. Wesley's guitar playing is quite good, using vibrant layers and processed tones to create interesting tapestries of sound, he just doesn't do enough of it to make much difference.

The introduction, "Out of Your League" is one of the few standout tracks, displaying some of this strong playing with a strong momentum and slinky vibe; "Emperor Falls" is another keeper, having a unique feel and building to a fine solo. All other tracks will leave the listener wondering what the point was. Ideas are introduced but not explored, and many songs feel like they are just getting started when they end. The end result is a sort of pointlessly introspective collection of languid pop songs-- too personal feeling to connect with, and too lazy to simply go along with. There's a definite unpolished (or even unfinished feel) to these songs.

Hogarth's and Rothery's contributions are negligible, making this one just for Wesley fans-- who are better off sticking with "Shiver".

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'The Emperor Falls' - John Wesley (5/10)

Coming to attention as the session and lead guitarist of progressive rock giants Porcupine Tree, the solo career of John Wesley should certainly be of interest to the bigger fans of the band out there. Regardless of his association with Steven Wilson however, Wesley has a very heartfelt style of his own, and anyone who appreciates a warm singer-songwriter approach to music should look into the man's solo material. With his second full-length under his own name, 'The Emperor Falls' demonstrates many of Wesley's strong points. However, the overall execution of the product pales in comparison to some of the other work he has done, and a little more variety with attention to detail could have made this a much more enjoyable and memorable experience.

I have always thought of John Wesley as being a 'progressive' Bruce Springsteen of sorts; his no-frills approach to making music doesn't leave much room for experimenting, but theres alot of emotion here... Unfortunately, along the course of 'The Emperor Falls,' it feels like Wesley is revisiting the same few emotions over and over again, without exploring much further.

The sonic palette generally consists of acoustic guitar driven rock. Although there's certainly more arrangement here than a barebones acoustic record, things are kept pretty simplistic, giving the vocal delivery and essence of the songwriting centerstage. While this means that it doesn't have the replayability of a more involved piece of music, it is easy to get something out of the music, and feel something from the first listen onwards.

Wesley's voice and his instrumental sensibility are the highlights here. While there are cameos from members of the neo-progressive band Marillion, that seems more like a marketing technique over anything else; many times listening through, it doesn't sound like there is anyone else besides Wesley himself at the helm.

The production is functional here, but while Wesley's music has never been dependent on crystal clear sound, things sound alot more polished on the other records. In any case, the album's greatest flaw is it's lack of variety... While the upbeat, almost tribal Wesley/Hogarth duet 'So Bad' is a refreshing break from the acoustic melancholy, things could have taken a much more enjoyable turn if each song had new to throw into the mix. For what it is however, 'The Emperor Falls' is a competent piece of work from a very talented man, although I would suggest starting out with the latest album 'Shiver' or the debut for those who haven't heard his solo work before.

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