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Anderson, Jon: Watching The Flags That Fly

A twenty-volume saga like The Lost Tapes is bound to yield enough aces and missteps in one archival scenario to rival the retro-output of Tangerine Dream. One volume, the seventy-minute Watching The Flags That Fly, is a pleasant-enough fifteen-tracker of demos from way back in 1990. These bits were recorded in a farmhouse in France during and after Jon's "wait" for the BWH part of ABWH to show. The other guys didn't, and these songs didn't integrate into the second ABWH album one song did turn up on Union. All sonic input emanating from Jon's voice and electronic keyboards, the whimsy one expects from All Things Jon is certainly present.

"Hold You In My Arms" instantly massages the eardrums with choice synth strings and a fervent vocal. It's hands-down the best song on the disc, though that doesn't mean it's all downhill just yet. "Take The Water" (the Union song), "After The Storm" and the title track are all very good songs that keep the track sequence relevant. Source tape noise becomes more of an issue deeper into the tracklist but that won't be an issue for Jonfans. Besides, these songs have circulated in unofficial form for years. "Touch Me Heaven," "Santa Barbara" and "To The Stars" follow simpler schemes, but the amount of material that was recorded in the farmhouse is still impressive. "Tall Buildings" sounds the most dated and more '85 than '90 and it's as dark as Jon gets, lyrically speaking: Tall Buildings / Got small people / Got no soul / Got no soul at all. (For Jon, that's kind of dark.)

Three swift instrumentals round out the second half of the disc: "Instrumental 1" & "Instrumental 2" echo what Tangerine Dream was doing around the time, albeit much simpler, and "Try It Again" is a nice e-piano and strings ditty with a harp bit. Jon certainly knows his way around his synths.

In all, Watching The Flags That Fly is a nice set, worth checking out for the first four songs.


1. Hold You In My Arms
2. Take The Water To The Mountain
3. After The Storm
4. Watching The Flags That Fly
5. Touch Me Heaven
6. We Make Believe
7. To The Stars
8. Instrumental 1
9. Is It Love?
10. Axis Of Love
11. Instrumental 2
12. Santa Barbara
13. Tall Buildings
14. Looking For The Words
15. Try It Again

Total time 68:39

Added: February 27th 2008
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Hits: 2153
Language: english

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