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Maudlin of the Well: Part the Second

Progressive music can be quite a mystery sometimes. The genre itself is so eclectic, and style varies widely. Some prefer a very simplistic approach while others (myself included) revel in complexities. Often, when I see someone giving a very harsh review or rating to an album I think is a masterpiece, I think that it's quite possible that this person just doesn't know enough about music theory to decipher the hidden complexities of the album that I see and love about it. I say this not to try to appear superior in intellect, but to outline the struggle that the progressive music listener must go through in order to understand a progressive artist that is new to him or her, and how often a piece of progressive music must grow on a person. I know I've judged many things badly, and then come around to love the same piece of music later as I've gained an understanding of some of the hidden complexities of that piece of music. This album, and the reason it is beloved enough to receive an astounding number of 5 star ratings, baffles me. I wanted to decipher the mystery of why it was so beloved, and listened to the album 3 times in the span of a week to try to understand. But I felt that it suffered from two key issues that distracted me very much from anything else as I listened to this album.

The first, and most immediately grating issue to me, was the singer. He has a moaning, whiny style that grated on me, and slowly sucked away my will to live. I felt as if I were listening to a personification of C.S. Lewis' literary character Puddleglum, or maybe Charles Dickens' character Uriah Heep...or perhaps even a male version of the character Bella Swan from the Twilight series.

The second issue I had with this album was I felt there was no dynamic - the entire album seemed to stay at a slow, melancholy pace, never showing joy, triumph, anger, or even extreme sorrow - just melancholy. It was like the music was disinterested in life: it went to bed early and slept late into the day, eating nothing but cold cereal all day and never getting out of its pajamas, and liked to write in its journal about how it didn't think it could live without Edward...oh, whoops, I'm mixing this up with Twilight again.

Perhaps one day, many days from now, I will come to an understanding of why this album is so beloved. But to me, trying to understand how something so ploddingly slow could be considered so worthy of attention left a bad taste in my mouth. Now, looking back on this, rather than distaste I am left with more of a sense that this is simply unremarkable.


Track Listing:
1. An Excerpt from 6,000,000,000,000 Miles Before the First, or, the Revisitation of the Blue Ghost
2. Another Excerpt: Keep Light Near You, Even When Dying
3. Rose Quartz Turning to Glass
4. Clover Garland Island
5. Laboratories of the Invisible World (Rollerskating the Cosmic Palmistric Postborder)

Added: July 17th 2012
Reviewer: Geoff Glenister
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1380
Language: english

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