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RPWL: World Through My Eyes

I think it is safe to say that RPWL has shed the Pink Floyd tribute band label. World Through My Eyes is a straight forward progressive rock CD that mixes elements of Spock's Beard, Sylvan, Alan Parsons, and the Beatles. Yes "Three Lights" has some elements of the Floyd sound, but if you didn't know RPWL's history, you would never make the connection.

This CD is more rock than prog-rock. It reminds me a little of Ray Wilson and Nick D'Virgilio's solo outings. But it is much more mature than either of those. There are hints of Slyvan in many of the songs and the 10 minute epic "World Through My Eyes" is unlike anything any of the afore mentioned every attempted.

So what does that give us? A beautiful, well written, well performed CD that will keep you guessing and keep you moving for almost 70 minutes. RPWL writes both intelligent music and lyrics, which is fairly rare in today's music scene.

I can't think of many I wouldn't recommend World Through My Eyes to. This won't rock your socks off, but it will definitely keep you entertained.

Track Listing
1) Sleep (7:11)
2) Start The Fire (5:06)
3) Everything Was Not Enough (8:43)
4) Roses (5:39)
5) Three Lights (7:30)
6) Sea-Nature (8:10)
7) Day On My Pillow (4:22)
8) World Through My Eyes (10:04)
9) Wasted Land (4:52)
10) Bound To Reach The End (6:39)

Added: March 14th 2005
Reviewer: Steve Ambrosius
Score:
Related Link: RPWL Official Website
Hits: 3746
Language: english

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RPWL: World Through My Eyes
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-03-14 16:22:41
My Score:

Strange as it may seem, I never thought a band with a name like RPWL would be making such sophisticated, cerebral music. I only decided to give them a listen when they signed to InsideOut releasing their debut with them, and fourth album in total. The band comes from Germany and comprises Yogi Lang on vocals and keyboards, Karlheinz Wallner on guitars, Stephan Ebner on bass and Manfred Muller on drums. Former Genesis singer, Ray Wilson, appropriately described as "one of the finest voices in rock music" by InsideOut, also appears as a guest singer on one track.

RPWL was formerly a Pink Floyd tribute band, and the earlier releases of RPWL were heavily Floyd-inspired. Most reviews I read about this disc mentioned that they've finally started to grow away from that and develop a more personal style. As much as that may be true, it is still not too difficult to trace the band's profound love for Floyd, not so much in the shorter songs, but in the relatively lengthier pieces that are definitely centered around a Gilmour-ish musical understanding. Take the fifth track, "3 Lights", as an example. It's got an epic edge, very Gilmour-like guitar solos where each note makes sure it touches you, and a nice psychedelic overall vibe created by lush synth work. "Sea Nature" and the title track aren't too different either. The latter at over 10 minutes borrows various Middle Eastern melodies and melts them into a bluesy and progressive soundscape. There's a lengthy instrumental section in the middle and it's so beautiful you don't want it to end. Near the end of the song, you'll hear some modern electronic keyboard patches that sharply contrast with the previously introduced Middle Eastern elements. Once you concentrate on Lang's lyrics, you will also discover that this album focuses heavily on the prose, discussing and criticizing mankind's current materialistic way of life. Without doubt, this is an album with a strong message and spiritual lyrics about the shortcomings of humanity "through his eyes". The difference between West and East is also nicely portrayed on the album cover; on the front, you'll see the band members in the middle of colourful flowers on a field wandering happily, being one with nature; while, upon turning the back of the CD sleeve, you'll see a picture of modern and high buildings built by the side of an artificial lake with their reflection shining on it. At first, I found the artwork rather bland, but after paying attention to the lyrics, they seemed to make great sense.

The music on this disc is no where near what you'd consider "heavy"; it's very vocal-oriented and easy listening. "Roses", sung by Ray Wilson, is an excellent interpretation about the individual's loneliness. Wilson gives the song its needed life and expression, delivering Lang's lyrics emotionally. The album picks up in tempo, displaying more guitar work from Karlheinz Wallner, but as I said, the music is generally slow played through expressive guitar solos with occasional analog keys and a fitting rhythm section. Recommended to fans of Kino, Blackfield, non-prog period Genesis and 80's Yes. RPWL doesn't necessarily sound like any of these bands, but I can see some listeners of theirs digging World Through My Eyes.


RPWL: World Through My Eyes
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-01-14 21:41:49
My Score:

Just a few years ago there was no RPWL, but since the year 2000 this band has emerged, released three CDs and headlined an important American prog festival. Now, with that experience and musical maturity and the release of their fourth CD behind them, it is interesting to see how they have progressed, and which part of the progressive music landscape they've claimed as their own.

The first three CDs were relatively light neo-styled progressive rock - approachable, song-oriented, a slightly spacey sound, and altogether pleasant. The new record takes those characteristics and adds a whole new flavor: Take a light Floyd-like sound and add a thicker component to it - lots of heavy bass and Manni's drums at the bottom, rock-solid rhythms, and very full sounds with powerful extended Gilmour-esque guitar solos. Those characteristics aren't found on all tracks, but as it finishes playing, that's the impression World Through My Eyes leaves on you. There seems to be a formula at play here - songs often start slowly with acoustic instrumentation and Yogi's soft ballad-oriented singing, then that hard-edged rhythm creeps in, and before you know it there's a wall of sound with Kalle's masterfully played Telecaster at the fore, and you're nodding your head and rocking away like it's still the '70s.

Yogi Lang's singing is in a muted, soft mid range, not unlike those on Pink Floyd or on Opeth's Damnation, and with that stronger rock tone, this CD is probably best compared with Porcupine Tree's In Absentia. Track 4 "Roses" is a little different, though, as it is sung by Ray (Genesis, Stilskin) Wilson - whose effortless delivery is very impressive. Yet somehow, Yogi's singing is more expressive.

There are several psychadelic, almost spacey passages, enhanced by electronica and samples; and with the new emphasis on the bass clef this record is more about atmosphere and vibe than about the songs. World Through My Eyes may not have as much immediate appeal as RPWL's previous CDs because it lacks the immediately obvious hooks and melodies, but chances are it will grow on you and have more staying power in the long run.

So where exactly has RPWL landed on planet-prog? Although there's nothing radically new here, they've certainly settled into a sound that is all their own. The best way to summarize this music may be: hard-edged symphonic rock with lots progressive rock and tinges of psych and neo and thrown in for variety. Not only is RPWL a more mature band, but you can't help feeling that the guys are having more fun with it!



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