To celebrate their tenth anniversary, Dutch progressive internet site: Progwereld (http://www.progwereld.org) released an album with the finest Dutch progressive rock bands, but not just songs from regular albums put together. No. There is something special about this release since all the songs have the lyrics sung in our native language.
While mostly in progressive rock, the language of choice is English, Spanish, French and even German, there was not a band that dared to release a song completely sung in Dutch. So, what does the Dutch language add to the songs? The only thing I can come up with is that the lyrics are easier to comprehend by people that find the foreign languages hard to understand. Further in my opinion-and yes I am Dutch as well-is that my native language is not the most suitable for progressive rock.
But, stop nagging! The effort of the bands on Prog NL is quite impressive, but in some ways the language gives the bands some similarities with bands like Bløf or Van Dik Hout. Leap Day's Half Mens, Half Machine (Half Man, Half Machine), Knight Area's Rijk Der Schaduwen (Realm Of Shadows) and Bruut Pitt's Twijfel (Doubt) are samples of this phenomena, but musically these bands are more impressive than the bands I referred to above. Being a fairly small country, even in The Netherlands we have a large number of dialects, 21 Eyes Of Ruby's Vleugellam (Winged) takes you to the south of our country, while Flamborough Head sings their contribution: Rixt Fan't Oerd completely in a language of their own, namely Fries, which is not to be compared to the Dutch spoken in other parts of The Netherlands. PBII transfers their Plastic Soup into Haagse Soep (Plastic Soup), which I hope is meant as a kind of humoristic statement, for I really don't like the local language of The Hague, but nevertheless, the song is still a perfect statement, with brilliant guitar work. Impressive on the CD are the Spanish band Harvest, who's female vocalist is Dutch; a nice piano continues during De Stille Zwerver (Silent Tramp) , emotional vocals sing over that and a soft guitar solo takes the song to an end. Another perfect song is Tijdlijn (Timeline) by Nice Beaver which is larded with newsflashes over a powerful guitar, bass and drums. The song that incorporates the Dutch language the best for me is; The Aurora Project with Alles Is Een (Everything Is One) as here is seems that everything is in balance: music, lyrics and atmosphere. Everything is one, so to speak-even the translation of the title is right.
I would like to congratulate Progwereld for ten years of serving us nice articles and album reviews. The CD is a perfect way to honour this fact and all the bands that participated have done an excellent job. Let's find out if there are bands that will be inspired and will start with lyrics in Dutch. The samples on the album tell me that it should be possible so time will tell. By the way. The album is still on sale on the Progwereld website. So take a chance!
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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