Moongarden - Songs From The Lighthouse review
|Album:||Songs From The Lighthouse|
01. My Darkside
02. It's you
05. That Child
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.
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