Well, what shall I say......
After hearing the title track, Nomad and Mr. Szabo I went to my dealer in a great mood.
After listening three times I'm feeling a bit confused.
Is this what I'd expected?
I'm much more satisfied with SS than with those guest appearance shit.
But some tracks.......partly great, partly elevator music.
My opinion(just mine) track by track:
1. Shapeshifter: Great tune
2. Dom: Nice tune, sounds a bit like Aranjuez and Luz Amor Y Vida. The addition of the strings suits the song
3. Nomad: SUPERB!!!
4. Metatron: GREAT SONG with a SUPERB THEME
5. Angelica Faith. Just another quiet instrumental.Not good, not bad. In Holland we say : Goes into ear and leaves through the other. Nothing special. Don't even know if this is the version of Food for thought or from Deborah's book.
6. Never the same again: Some nice, though recognizable licks, but also parts that I would call muzak. To be played at cocktail parties. Far too easy listening for me, with a cheesy rhythm guitar(wow wow) part as well.
7. In the light of a new day: While listening to the first notes I thought by myself: WTF...Carlos on Diazepam?? Partly the same song and songs structure as Never the same again.
Luckily this changes for a minute or so halfway the song and especially against the end, where the going gets heavy. The finishing piece is cheesy again with Las Vegas strings...... For me "just a mediocre instrumental".
8. Spark of the divine: This is a very special experience. This is the song that was used as an opener of the last tour. I really liked the approach, but this way it's ridiculous. Potentially a nice tune, but it's cut off at a point that it's just about to start. At least it sounds like that. The place on the album is very weird as well. Could have been an opener.
10. Macumba in Budapest: Start is promising, but then again....weird keyboard sounds. Some semi-spiritual background vocals. Sounds a bit like Music for the Millions.
BUT THEN SUDDENLY, at 1.50.....the latin/salsa approach I'd love to hear from the band. For about a minute or so.
Unfortunately after that the song suddenly fades out ver quickly with the same weak opening theme.
11.Mr. Szabo: VERY ORIGINAL AND GREAT track. Nice guitar playing with accompanying percussion.
12. Eres La Luz: From the first notes I thought.....oh no, not again......easy listening.
Then, to my relief, a Ricky Martin/Gloria Estefan-like latin track kicks off. Electronic percussion...(bad!) Song is not bad at all, but I really wonder why this has been put on this particular album. Perhaps Carlos wanted to give Tony and Andy some vocal training.
Ater a weak acoustic solo in the middle Carlos really tears it up in the end part. Nice!
12. Canela: ONE OF THE BETTER TRACKS. Starts off a bit easy(listen to the first few solo piano notes after a minute and a half or so.....yawn yawn) but later on great guitar playng and the salsa part at the end made me smile. Heavy guitars, great Hammond and piano.
13. Ah sweet dancer: Of course we already know this from the Hymns Montreux DVD. Nice "bare" song, with a beautiful guitar part. I'm not so fond of the piano playing though. That looks to belong to another song. In my opinion this song had deserved a longer version as well. Lke "Spark" it sounded as if it was cut off somewhere in the middle.....
Yes, I like the more agressive guitar playing by Carlos and am not so fond of songs like 5, 6 and 7.
So, yes, I'm a bit disppointed. Too many songs (or part of songs) sound "the same", "have the same atmosphere", "have the same approach" but I'm sure water will drip from the mouths of many fans.
Another thing that struck me was the fact some songs were 50% great and 50% very mediocre, to be positive. And 2 songs that should have been much longer!
If only 5, 6, 7 had been replaced by Maggot Brain, Venus/Upper Egypt or one of the great songs he played live with the Dave Matthews Band(Warehouse, Sugar Will) in 2004. This would not have been strange since Metatron was already played in the late 90s.
6 out of 10
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