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Life Line Project: Modinha

The Keeper of the Keys

Filled to the brim with keyboard wizardry, intriguing compositions, and instrumental music that actually tells a story, Modinha is another great album by Erik de Beer & company. Life Line Project amazed me with 2010's Distorted Memories, and my next venture into their discography was every bit as successful. Modinha tells the story of Mar Morto by Jorge Amado, a book in which a negro sings the same melancholic tune throughout the story. Though I've never read the book, it's easy to get vivid imagery in your head when listening to this highly-expressive instrumental music. Life Line Project is one of the few groups who can successfully create instrumental prog rock that is moving and fun without crossing the line into self-indulgence. Although Modinha does have some flaws, its charm and musical prowess tremendously outweigh any setbacks. If you like instrumental progressive rock, I can't stress enough that you need to check out this fantastic Dutch band. You won't be disappointed.

The music here is primarily classic instrumental symphonic prog, but Life Line Project is an eclectic band and manages to incorporate many other styles into their music. "The Chase" sounds like something out of James Bond movie, "Modinha - Jazz Intermezzo" is akin to a lounge-jazz track, and the beautiful "Sonho" is a folk-influenced classical track featuring terrific use of the oboe and flute. My favorite track on the album is the breathtaking "Keeper of the Keys" - the composition is quite an achievement in itself, but Erik de Beer's keyboard playing on that track is also outstanding. There isn't a weak song on the whole album, which is another enormous feat. The musicians in Life Line Project are terrific, although (unsurprisingly) Erik de Beer often takes the cake on this keyboard-oriented album. He actually masters many styles throughout Modinha - Erik can handle a Hammond organ like Keith Emerson, a synthesizer like Tony Banks, and a piano like Rick Wakeman. If I were to pick some of the best keyboard players in the modern prog scene, Erik de Beer would be high on that list. My only critique in terms of musicianship is the drumming from Ludo de Murlanos, which definitely could have been improved on Modinha. Although his technical capabilities are impressive, his style doesn't appeal to me very much. There are quite a few times where the fills just don't fit well with the rest of the music - it's more of an arrangement issue than a problem with Ludo's playing. It's also worth noting that the sound of the drums is less than stellar. The toms and the snare drum sound a bit odd (almost muffled in a way). However, it's a minor complaint, and rarely affects my listening experience.

Aside from that small knock, the production is generally very good. It has a nice vintage 70's rawness with a few modern amenities. As mentioned before, the sound of the drums are hit-and-miss, but otherwise I have no other complaints in terms of production.

Conclusion:

Life Line Project has really been impressing me lately, and Modinha is yet another reason why these guys should get some attention. If you like instrumental symphonic rock and still haven't checked out this Dutch group, I would recommend fixing that sooner rather than later. Although Modinha isn't quite as great as Distorted Memories, it still deserves an advocated 3.5-4 star rating. There's some terrific symphonic prog here that I'd recommend all fans of the genre to lend an ear to.


Track Listing
1. Modinha - Inicio (3:07)
2. Joy (3.35)
3. Dark Procession (7:37)
4. Stampede (4:16)
5. The Chase (0:55)
6. Modinha - Jazz Intermezzo (2:39)
7. Keeper Of The Keys (4:12)
8. Subjective Object (4:10)
9. Sonho (2:34)
10. Another Dayride (3:32)
11. Modinha - Oraçao (1:12)
12. Night On The Freeway (4:56)
13. Quasar (2:56)
14. Modinha - Final (4:13)


Bonus Track:
15. Song For Lara (2:17)

Added: December 25th 2010
Reviewer: Jeff B
Score:
Related Link: Official MySpace
Hits: 1922
Language: english

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