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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

RPWL

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Review by Gary Hill

RPWL have created quite an interesting beast with this one. They have found a way to combine early prog stylings of bands like Pink Floyd and Genesis with a modern Europop texture and come up with a highly listenable CD. The early Pink Floyd elements are the ones that dominate the disc, but there are plenty of other sounds present, too, all crafted into unique sound. This is a very entertaining album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Opel
Effects start this. As the song proper enters, it is in a Europop sort of style that shares a lot with the sound the early works of Pink Floyd and the Who. This is not the most progish example on display here, but quite a good cut, nonetheless.
The Way It Is
Another that is not so prog, this mellow, slow paced cut feels a lot like a proggier arrangement on something by the Psychedelic Furs. Floydish textures appear late and an instrumental break feels like a cross between Yes, ELP, Starcastle and Genesis. It also gets rather Wakemanesque.
Perceptual Response
This is a brief and pretty atmospheric keyboard instrumental.
Forgive Me / Part 1
Mellow acoustic guitar accompanied by lush keys makes up this short Floydish instrumental. Crowd sounds end this.
Gentle Art of Swimming
This has a psychedelic prog texture to it, again feeling rather like Pink Floyd, but it also calls to mind newer groups like Obvious, Lands End and Chroma Key. The cut wanders in the main musical theme for quite some time, eventually intensifying it. It works into a weird effects laden jam after a time. That segment contains some very tasty keyboard stylings. It is also interrupted at points by riff-driven segments. This is a great melodic prog jam and one of the highlights of the disc. It jumps into a processed, semi distorted element for a time. This whole prog excursion gets quite intense at times. A percussion solo takes the piece for a time, then almost Genesis meets Floyd flavored textures move it forward from there. The Pink Floyd type leanings dominate the later segments of the piece.
Who Do You Think You Are
This brief tune feels a bit like a cross between the early works of Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Genesis, but there are definite Beatles leanings, too. This is understated, but quite cool. It crescendos into weirdness to end.
Going Outside
This, another short one, is an effects based composition that serves as a bridge between Who Do… and Sun In The Sky.
Sun In The Sky
The early Floyd textures are all over this one, but it gets quite a bit heavier than they ever would have on the accessible chorus. Even mellow early Crimson stylings show up. The later segments and soulful and quite powerful.
Forgive Me / Part 2
Processed mellow vocal stylings start this one as a resolution to the last piece. Then pretty and dramatic keyboard tones take over from there. This is a very sedate and evocative piece that is quite potent, even though very laid back.
Forgive Me / Part 3
The Floydian elements, Dark Side of The Moon variety, dominate this cool cut.
 
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