Rating:
7.0
Moongarden - Songs From The Lighthouse
2008


01. My Darkside
02. It's you
03. Solaris
04. Emotionaut
05. That Child
06. Flesh
07. Dreamlord
08. Southampton Railroad
09. Sonja In Search Of The Moon (Part 5)
10. The Lighthouse Song


Songs From The Lighthouse is the fifth album by the Italian progressive rock/metal outfit Moongarden who already started back in the early 90ies and have been touring internationally. As of 2008 they've had diverse line-up changes and the only founding member left is the keyboardist Cristiani Roversi and the band has reunited with Simone Baldini Tosi, the vocalist from the first Moongarden release. So now that you know the background setting of this release, what does it actually sound like?

If you want an album that you can put into your player, sink into and then lose yourself into the world of dream with, this is exactly the thing you need. The whole CD is very tranquil, except for a few small more agressive outbreaks which are still very moderate though. Generally the music is very pretty and dreamy and like I said the kind of musical experience you can sink into and just let go and relax. It's very keyboard oriented but also features a lot of acoustic guitar and even violin and cello, of course next to rhythmic drumming, which is always very far in the background, and the electric guitar and bass, with and without frets, whose importance varies from song to song. The vocals sound quite raspy.

Well that's basically what the CD sounds like, but how does it come across? For me personally there are a few extremely strong tracks on this one, "The Lighthouse Song" and "Sonja In Search Of The Moon (Part 5)" are awesome, but in the end this album just has way and way too much filler material. With its 1 hour, 11 minutes and 11 seconds it's definitely too long. Three quarter hours would probably have been perfect for this kind of release. Some of the songs are simply too long, like "Solaris" with it's repetitive, boring 13 minutes, while others like "Southampton Railroad" could have been scraped completely without anyone shedding a tear over it.

That whole issue aside, when I listen to Songs From The Lighthouse I always have this particular though; "damn, this could have been such a brilliant album..." However unfortunately it isn't. Don't get me wrong, this album is good, nothing less than that, yet I always have the feeling that with such a strong and dreamy instrumentation the whole music could have been completely stunning had the vocalist delivered a better performance. Not that he's bad, but with this music you need a vocalist that isn't "not bad" or even one that's "good", for this kind of music I believe you need an "awesome" singer. Perhaps if he had practiced some more this could have been one of my top releases of the year, but as of now it isn't. Something else that would have done this album a world of good is if it had some more heavier passages to complement the serenity of the rest of the music. Or at least if the heavy passages that are present would be heavier.

To sum this review up, Songs From The Lighthouse is a nice serene album, yet it's length makes it boring from time to time and I can't listen to it without the feeling that this could have been so much better with a minimal extra effort. A shame, maybe next time.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8


Website: http://www.moongarden.it/


 


written by Bas | 07.09.2008



Comments

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Lily_Lazer - 07.09.2008 at 16:32  
Aha, so this looks like something to listen to before sleep ;p.
So then the length issue can be solved, because near the end I'd fall asleep without being tortured by the extra fillers. ^__^;

(Apologies in advance for the band o.o)
ponderer - 08.09.2008 at 19:13  
About the time you called this "pretty" I lost interest. Cool cover though.
Bas - 08.09.2008 at 20:17  
Written by Lily_Lazer on 07.09.2008 at 16:32

So then the length issue can be solved, because near the end I'd fall asleep without being tortured by the extra fillers.

hm doesnt quite work this way because the two best songs are also the two last ones
no really it's a good album actually, but it's just too long with too little variation...

Written by ponderer on 08.09.2008 at 19:13

About the time you called this "pretty" I lost interest. Cool cover though.


well, judging by the bands in your profile and the albums in your collection (+the ratings) this album probably wouldn't be very interesting for you

yeah the cover is great, it totally doesn't fit to the atmosphere of the album though
ponderer - 08.09.2008 at 20:57  
I'm actually kinda tempted to check this out I'll put it on the list. I forgot to mention that your review is well written. Nice job.
Introspekrieg - 08.09.2008 at 21:27  
Bas, thanks for the review man! The cover looked cool, then your words sparked my interest even more, I went and checked it out... I must say I love the style. Something very mellow to listen to, but sometimes it sounds too much like Dave Matthews Band
DreamWeaver - 11.09.2008 at 00:15  
Written by ponderer on 08.09.2008 at 19:13

About the time you called this "pretty" I lost interest. Cool cover though.


I'm guessing you like ugly girls.
DreamWeaver - 11.09.2008 at 00:18  
This album is quite good and I agree with you Bas, some songs, while not bad, are repetitive or too long. Btw, check their previous release "Round Midnight", it's nearly a masterpiece, and it's only around 50 minutes long (although I wish it was longer, how ironic).
ponderer - 11.09.2008 at 02:19  
I'm guessing you've never met my wife.

http://johnnys-epitaph.com/honeypie.jpg
Introspekrieg - 11.09.2008 at 07:50  
Written by ponderer on 11.09.2008 at 02:19

I'm guessing you've never met my wife.

http://johnnys-epitaph.com/honeypie.jpg


Oh snap... very beautiful/ lucky guy

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