For years Like Wendy is the project of the Dutch multi-instrumentalist Bert Heinen. When he started the project, somewhere around 1995, he was together with Mark-Jeroen Heek and Marien. The collaborations lasted until 2005, when the album Endgame was released. After this 2005 Endgame album there was a fourteen year radio silence which lasted until this current album The Beautiful Lie. On this album there are no collaborations. Bert Heinen has completely made it on his own.
Most followers of our beloved genre of progressive rock will probably remember Like Wendy's albums The Storm Inside (1998) and Tales From Moonlit Bay (2000). In fact a lot will have these albums on their shelf. In those days Like Wendy was very keyboard and also guitar driven. They also didn't run away from elongated epic tracks. I think there was no misunderstanding about the fact that this band was a progressive rock band.
After the fourteen year gap I was expecting a continuation of the music from the old days. Anyway I didn't expect a radical change of course. But to get straight to the point, The Beautiful Lie did surprise me. Most of the progressive rock elements are crossed out. Like Wendy has developed itself into a more or less indie-band. All songs are compact and guitar or piano driven. I personally think that some of the old Like Wendy lovers will declutch the Like Wendy train.
But this said, is it all doom and gloom? Certainly not! Personally I like the album. Bert Heinen is and remains a brilliant songwriter. Besides that Bert also is a great instrumentalist, especially on guitar he plays phenomenal parts and solos. His style and sound is rather unique in my humble opinion.
It may sound strange but Like Wendy has gone down a path that the colleagues of Morgendust also did. Morgendust also developed itself into an indie-band and waved the progressive rock roots away.
The Beautiful Lie has become beside the lie also a beautiful album. The opening track Deliver Me for example has an up-tempo character and a very pleasant melodic chorus. You can easily sing along if you like. It is something I often do and which makes me cheerful. Unfortunately my wife doesn't get as cheerful as I do.
Beside Deliver Me also the tracks Anthem For A Lost Love, Blinded and Hero are really up-tempo. The rest of the tracks are more mellow and melancholic. Personally I think that Dune, One Day and Summer's Gone are the highlights of the “mellow” tracks. Most of these tracks have a darker atmosphere, but are still very melodic.
My personal favorite track is All My Life. This tracks includes the best of both worlds and starts in a quiet manner, to end in a firmer way.
The Beautiful Lie is an excellent album for everyone who has a broader musical taste then only progressive rock. The compact songs makes it an album you can listen to at any moment and any time.
***+ Aad Bannink (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2023