Writing for a progressive rock magazine, sometimes challenges you to explore music beyond your own comfort zone. Reviews that are beyond the edges of progressive rock usually are my own requests and in one way or the other somehow related to the genre. Today a none progressive rock album has to be reviewed; When Lights Fade by the Dutch band Blueminded. A very decent and taken care of promotional package asking for our opinion landed on my desk. Even though Blueminded isn't really a band anymore. After an EP and releasing a full album in 2014, mastermind Jörgen Koenen chose to continue as a musical project, where he could chose the musicians to work with.
As I referred to non-progressive rock music, what is there to expect when you push play after entering When Lights Fade to your player? In fact a quite easy question to answer. When Lights Fade is an album that holds soft rock and pop influenced songs, with a very big eighties influence to them. Especially the drums and bass on the album have that distinguished eighties sound. Listen to the album's opener; In My Head and you will agree with me. Not that the music is bad, it just sounds very dated. Rob Rompen has a very solid and suitable voice that makes the compositions accessible and pleasant to listen to. But on the other hand, it's the music that kind a bothers me. Or mastermind Jörgen wants to relive his favourite era, or he just has been born a few decades to late.
The compositions have a recognizable feel, which I think is a positive point. During every song you will be reminded of certain tunes or bands from the spoken area. Sometimes hunches of Genesis pass by, other times just regular AOR rock or radio rock songs have been of influence.
I guess you really have to be a fan of the eighties pop and rock area; especially those days where musicians were heavily experimenting with computers and electronic drum sounds, to really appreciate the music on When Lights Fade. Although the compositions are OK, I would prefer a more organic sound over the cold computerized recording that When Light Fade is.
**+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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