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Tracklist: 1. Shooting Psycho 4:15 2. Wouldism 7:35 3. Living Desert 5:50 4. Just Another Me 4:20 5. A Secret Song 5:00 6. Late 4:40 7. Summerland 11:45 All tracks: by Glomb, Griffith, & Jaehne. Line-up: Stefan Glomb - electric, acoustic, & bass guitars Philipp Jaehne - keyboards Philip Griffith - vocals Ludwig Benedek - drums With: Mirjam Buch - backing vocals Recorded, mixed, & produced by Poor Genetic Material. Mastered by Stephan Weber.
Prologue. I haven't heard the music of Poor Genetic Material until now. However, I know that "Summerland" is their third album (see the PGM discography below). Also, I see the names of the two Alias Eye musicians in this line-up of PGM.
The Album. There are six songs and one instrumental piece (Late, track 6) on "Summerland". All of them were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, which is nothing else but Classic Symphonic Art-Rock. While on the whole, both the music and sound of "Summerland" remind me of a vintage Symphonic Progressive of the 1970s, this is, nevertheless, an album of a highly original stylistics where there aren't traces of any distinct influences. Furthermore, although PGM present Classic Art-Rock of a moderate complexity on this album, some marvelous magic and charm, that were typical for most of the classic works of the 1970s, have touched "Summerland" as well. The words of the same character can be said with regard to Philip's vocals that, by the way, are here radically different than those on the Alias Eye album. While his theatrically dramatic way of singing is rather typical for albums of a unified stylistic concept, his voice can't be compared to anyone's. (It seems, the musical career of son of Martin Griffith, who was a lead vocalist of the well-known UK band Beggars Opera, develops in Germany successfully.). For the most part, the arrangements that are featured on Living Desert (3) and the instrumental piece Late consist of symphonic, gentle and quiet, structures. The slow and mid-tempo passages of acoustic guitar, synthesizer (a string ensemble), and electric piano, kind of the pensive solos of electric guitar, bass, and organ, and variegated interplay between all of these instruments, are typical for both of the said compositions. Also, there are just a few parts of drums on both of them. The alternation of the vocal and instrumental parts, as well as hard-edged and quiet arrangements, frequent changes of tempo and mood, diverse and, often, contrasting interplay between various soloing instruments, etc, are typical for all five of the remaining tracks on the album. These are Shooting Psycho, Wouldism, Just Another Me, A Secret Song, and Summerland (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, & 7). It must be mentioned that, apart from the other arrangements, each of these five songs features wonderful interplay between passages of acoustic guitar and one of the keyboard instruments. All five of the said compositions are excellent, but the album's title track, which is also the longest track here, is an absolute winner. This epic song is a real masterpiece of Classic Symphonic Progressive. The instrumental parts, filled with a lot of various progressive ingredients, including complex time signatures and the stop-to-play movements, cover about two thirds of it. The tasteful, diverse and masterful, passages of acoustic piano that are present only here, on Summerland, and interplay between them and passages of acoustic guitar, are especially impressive.
Summary. To be honest, I didn't expect to hear such an excellent music on "Summerland". It's because of I've recently heard that "it's not that progressive". It turned out to be that, quite the contrary, this is a truly progressive album, which, in addition, is marked with the signs of frankness and magic. Which, for the most part, was typical only for Progressive's heyday in the 1970s. So this album gets my highest recommendations. PGM Discography: 1999 - "Free To Random"; 2000 - "Modern Myths"; 2001 - "Summerland"; 2002 - "Leap Into Fall"
VM: June 4, 2002
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