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Pell Mell - From the New World CD (album) cover


Pell Mell


Symphonic Prog

3.08 | 43 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars I have often stated that transitional albums tend to represent the best of a group, where the eclectic strengths of each phase are showcased. In the case of Pell Mell, "Marburg" was a powerful debut with an appealing contrast between over the top rants and passages of extraordinary beauty. This unlikely juxtaposition worked to near perfection. "Rhapsody" and "Only A Star" were prissy by comparison, but were more than saved by a sense of fun and skilled arranging and editing. The vocals were also well suited to the style. Here is the in-between album, and it unfortunately adopts the worst qualities of both.

It does not know what it wants to be, but seems to opt for a manic EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER most of the time, which isn't even good when you are the band of that name. The more faithful classical flourishes work well, but the transition to ripping organs and searing violins seems clumsy and tacky by comparison to what would come later. This is a frustrating album because every track is in dire need of editing. As a result, although I have tried to enjoy "From the New World" on several occasions, and do indeed love certain parts (such as the start of the title cut and the pan flutes of Suite II), no full track here would make my top 5000. And "Toccata" can't be filed away too quickly for my liking. I'll stick with the version by SKY that appeared much later.

"From the New World" is the only effort out of Pell Mell's big 4 that seems to have been thrown together helter-skelter, in frantic disorderly haste, which is...actually the definition of pell-mell.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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