Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Pastoral Master

PERSEPHONE’S DREAM – “Pan: An Urban Pastoral” CD ’10 (Progrock, US) – Yup, I know people, we’ve been through the whole “what the hell does ‘progressive’” discussion/argument/back-alley-fist-fight enough times around here. I mean, c’mon, I don’t have this bloody bent nose for nothing. I’ve stood my ground on my hard-assed stance that prog can mean a bunch of different things…and all correctly…over enough years that I can match wounds with Quint any day of the week. But that’s all kinda silly, you know, because what I have in my hands right now is this new disc by PERSEPHONE’S DREAM and there ain’t no doubt this one is a prog masterpiece. It’s interesting to note that a lot of concept albums over time have slipped easily into the so-called “prog” genre: “2112,” “Tales Of Topographic Oceans,” “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway,” the list goes on forever and it’s clear that “Pan…” takes a seat quite comfortably in the upper tiers of this well-populated theater. That’s not to say that this, PD’s 5th album blurs, non-descript, into a long hallway of similar releases. Sure, you’ll hear hints of things (a bit of a Kansas overtone in “Selene Rising,” some Yes rhythmic in “Youth’s Denial”) but these are only jumping-off-points at best. No, PD brings a lot to the table here…whether it’s Rowen Poole’s guitars, going everywhere from metallic to lush 12-string or Ashley Peer’s sensual, powerful vocal delivery, this is vibrant stuff. The thing that’s so great about it is the way the music incorporates so many lights & shades and yet still manages to flow with a smoothness that implies much thought and care. I’m also very impressed by the lyrical themes here. While I’m not going to spill any of the proverbial beans, I’ll say you’re in for quite a treat when you read the liner notes and lyric booklet. In all, you can call me Ray, you can call me Jay and you can call “prog” whatever you want. The fact remains that with “Pan…”, PERSEPHONE’S DREAMS pipes are calling you home! At The Gates Of Dawn


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