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Pierrot Lunaire - Gudrun CD (album) cover


Pierrot Lunaire


Prog Folk

3.74 | 91 ratings

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4 stars OK. Now delicious.

This is an album I could not have enjoyed just a few years ago as I didn't have the patience for something this weird/challenging. Many people listen to music and consciously look for riffs or vocals to grab onto so they can relate, so they can just enjoy and rock out. You can't do that here. You have to surrender your expectations about what music is and let Pierrot Lunaire paint the picture for you. This is one of the wildest albums you'll ever hear so if you like your music easily digestible, Gudrun is not for you. This album is for the adventurous listener. But so rewarding and the most unique spin I've had in ages.

Pierrot Lunaire is an Italian band from the 70s but this is not your typical "Italian classic" cd. Gudrun is more like avant-garde, free thought, stream of consciousness, melodic madness. It is completely bizarre music with some similarities to Opus Avantra but not comparable to anything really. Conventions go out the window as we are treated to all manner of instruments and free-form vocals in these mini trips. It is held together by the dodging presence of tasteful melodies which are not obvious but they are there. Plenty of them. This is experimentation at its finest but unlike some trippy albums which are just dissonant to an annoying level, Gudrun is enjoyable and beautiful. The album is split into tracks but plays out like one long dream sequence separated by the click of a camera, an effect that makes us feel like we're viewing photos of a person's trip.

"Gudrun," the long title track, starts out promising, dreamlike, mysterious. But I agree with another reviewer that the 11 minute opener runs out of steam and therefore I can't go 5 stars here. The first half is great but the latter part goes on unnecessarily long. But we're that close to a masterpiece so if you have a deep enough collection to have an "avant" shelf, then this is an essential release for that shelf. "Dietro il Silenzio" is a gorgeous piano solo that is all too short, just a brief wistful moment needed to recover from the first song. "Plaisir d'amour" is street sounds and vocal loops that border on insanity until some very obnoxious synths kick in. "Giovane Madre" actually sounds a bit like a song with normalcy contributed by some really outstanding percussion work, but the normalcy won't last. Another refuge from the strangeness and an absolute knockout track is "Morella" which is pure Italian prog beauty, lush melody, great vocals, piano, acoustic, bass, drums and perfect arrangement. It's a perfect song that ends in an outbreak of laughter signaling that reality has begun to slip away again. But I can't get enough of it! I wish this were a double album.

A must for fans of Italian prog, avant-garde, and for daring listeners of all stripes. A must for lovers of truly progressive music! 4.5 stars.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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