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World Through My Eyes

Review by Josh Turner

The new album from RPWL arrived on my doorstep at the exact same time as a much anticipated copy of Spock's Beard's latest. I hadn't even realized RPWL was working on a new release. It was a toss-up, but I went with Spock's Beard. I expected a good album from the bearded ones and got a great one instead. After a few spins of Octane, curiosity started scratching at the door and I finally let RPWL on in. I wasn't sure what to expect. Their debut God Has Failed topped my charts in Y2K. The one to follow, Trying to Kiss the Sun, was more or less sufficient. The one to follow that, Stock, was credible enough when you consider it was nothing more than surplus from their warehouse. I was intrigued to see where RPWL would take us next and World Through My Eyes resoundingly responds to my nagging questions.

With this album, they sink an ace in the hole, bringing together everything that worked in the past. While the Pink Floyd influences are still quite prevalent, there is also U2 feel in all the nooks and crannies. The bridges and solos are well-timed. Each melody is fine-tuned. The songwriting is so good even a Beatles' fan would be more than satisfied. In essence, World Through My Eyes engages the listener on several fronts. I feel bad showing such outright favoritism to Octane. Despite its excellence, there's no reasonable excuse for my despicable behavior. I duly apologize for making RPWL stand out in the cold for much too long. If it's any consolation, I was penalized with delayed gratification.

World Through My Eyes has the progressive peculiarities of the first, the stupendous sensibilities of the second, and the experimental eccentricities of the third. If you've liked anything in RPWL's discography, you'll definitely take pleasure in this one. While I'll certainly rave about Spock's Beard's latest, this band deserves its due.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
This song takes the same direction as U2 in How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which is odd considering the proximity of their release dates. There is a commonality in the bombastic nature of this song and U2's Vertigo. At the same time, this is unquestionably RPWL. It's a great track that brings the popular and progressive together.
Start The Fire
Aside from Yogi's voice, and even that differs, several aspects are way out of character. They take a stab at harmony and it is surprisingly on target. They even mix a muted sax into the background. While these traits are unconventional and unexpected, they work so well, you'd think they've been doing them for years. As a side note, the keyboard solo at the end, while short, is quite stupendous.
Everything Was Not Enough
The songwriting is rife with Beatles' riffs. It's slow and pensive like Yesterday, but lush and poetic like Crazy Lane. While I like all their past albums, each of them may have been guilty of carrying a certain sameness from start to finish. What I like best about this album is the fact that every song is innovative from the last and this one is no exception. The many bridges along with the wrap-up at the end are extraordinarily gripping. This is where Yogi's voice really shines, expressing eagerness and empathy. Drifting through my open mind, there seems to be much more beyond the words he has to say.
When I first heard this song, I thought, this is weird; Yogi's voice sounds a lot like Ray Wilson's. This is déjà vu for me. Once upon a time, I was listening to Spastic Ink when I thought the vocalist sounded an awful lot like Daniel Gildenlow. It turns out this really was good old Danny boy. Don't mean to toot my own horn, but I've done it again. It's been confirmed that this really is the tender voice of sweet Sugar Ray. It seems Yogi heard Ray playing in concert. When he wrote this song, he just knew Ray's voice was perfectly suited for it. He asked Ray if he would like to sing this single and voila, we have a match. Whether fostered by Ray Wilson or raised by RPWL, this is welcome in either home. I think we'll all agree. This track adds a certain sense of balance and assists in further augmenting the album's diversity. It's a great song and Ray's voice is the right one baby, aha.
This song takes the same direction as U2 in How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, which is odd considering the proximity of their release dates. There is a commonality in the bombastic nature of this song and U2's Vertigo. At the same time, this is unquestionably RPWL. It's a great track that brings the popular and progressive together.
3 Lights
Even though the band has only been around for a few years, I can honestly say this is classic RPWL. This would fit appropriately on the God Has Failed album. I'd be flabbergasted if I found out this was not recycled from material written back in the day. That's strictly going on comparison. This is by no means a hand-me-down and it's as good as anything from that album. The choruses alone are incredibly clean and comprehensible. This one goes a little longer than the others. The extra portion is damn near neo-progressive.
Sea Nature
Like the first track, this is a cross between U2 and RPWL. It also incorporates a jackpot of jazzed-up elements. The pot is left to simmer with this ideal combination of spice and ingredients. The assorted sounds and ideas are coherently combined. They culminate on the range with warmth and affection. The result is a bowl of scrumptious jambalaya containing gobs of yummy goodness.
Day On My Pillow
This bittersweet ballad is a combination of RPWL's God Has Failed, The Beatles, and Oasis. Some moments, especially the bass, remind me of Transatlantic's Suite Charlotte Pike, others integrate influences from the Orient and India.
World Through My Eyes
This large and lethargic beast is slow to grab you, but once it gets you in its grasp, it's hard to break free. The title track passes the 10 minute mark before it fades off to oblivion.
Wasted Land
I like each and every song, but if I was hard-pressed to choose a favorite, this would be it. I enjoy the crafty melody, the compelling beat, and all the calculated instrumentations. This trumped-up track drives like a high-performance luxury sedan pushed to its limit. When it comes to a rest, vapors pour out this vehicles' roasting engine.
Bound To Reach The End
This is such a great choice to finish the album. I wouldn't put the song in any other slot. Yogi stated that they planned to put a 15 minute epic in this position, but when the album came together, they just didn't have the room. For those interested, the missing track comes in the special edition minus a few missing minutes. That may be one bonus worth checking out. Fortunate for us, the standard edition is utterly idyllic. I wouldn't change one second of it. For a group that has already given so much to progressive rock in the past few years, World Through My Eyes may actually be their most charitable contribution.
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