Lighthouse is the third studio album by duo Gleb Kolyadin (piano, keyboards), and Marjana Semkina (vocals), better known as Iamthemorning. They are a very good duo in my opinion, and both are very skilled. Some great guest musicians are contributing on this album, including two members of Porcupine Tree. Colin Edwin provides the bass and Gavin Harrison the drums and percussion. Mariusz Duda (Riverside, Lunatic Soul) provides additional vocals on the title track. The album itself is a concept album about a woman fighting against the progression of a mental illness. I had no idea what to expect of this album, even though I've seen them perform live once as an opener band for Gazpacho last year (see review). Sometimes the musical compositions do remind me of that band. It's a mixture of different music styles and genres, like folk and jazz. Some of the compositions lean towards classical music. The music sounds very good, and has its dynamic moments.
The album starts with I Came Before The Water Part I, and is the shortest on the album, followed up by Too Many Years. The odd rhythm that carries on during this track gives it a special twist. The bass intro of Clear Clearer is catchy. The song itself sounds very dreamy, and the instrumental outro is actually too short in my opinion, I hoped it would have lasted longer. The next song Sleeping Pills reminds me a lot of Steven Wilson's solo album Insurgentes (2008), it could have been a track on that album because it carries that same (haunting) atmosphere that album has. It's only Gleb on piano and Marjana singing, followed by lovely strings, a choir and percussion. It is followed by Libretto Horror which is a short, spooky song. The title track is also the longest song on the album. It starts with a very classical sounding piano part. After four minutes, the song starts to open up more. Mariusz and Marjana sing beautifully together. Harmony is an instrumental song and starts with a beautiful flute part. This track also carries some sort of Steven Wilson vibe, and could be used as movie music in my opinion. The mid-section has a lovely piano solo part, later being strengthened by bass, drums and other instruments. Matches slowly becomes more haunting and darker as the song progresses. Marjana's voice carries you along. After two and a half minutes, the song gets a certain twist for half a minute. Belighted has a harp part as an intro, making it sound very folky. The song opens up after two minutes, making it sound grandiose. Chalk And Coal is the most spooky song on this album. The conflicting chords give it extra power. It reminds me of the music of Lunatic Soul. I Came Before The Water Part II starts with Marjana singing a cappella, followed by a string orchestra. Post Scriptum is a beautiful song to end the album with. It contains piano, bass, drums, violin and humming vocals. The repeating musical theme is very catchy and slowly fades out.
Gleb and Marjana delivered a beautiful album. This is not music that everyone will probably adore, but I'm sure a lot will love this. I really enjoyed listening to this album, although it's probably not an album I would spin a lot. This album needs to be played at special moments!
****+ Iris Hidding (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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