RPWL - The Gentle Art Of Music

(CD 2010, 133.08, GAOM 002)

The tracks:
CD1: Compilation
  1- Hole In The Sky(7:29)
  2- Crazy Lane(4:41)
  3- I Donít know(4:02)
  4- Home Again(9:04)
  5- The Gentle Art Of Swimming(10:18)
  6- Sun In The Sky(4:21)
  7- Roses(6:36)
  8- Wasted Lands(4:50)
  9- 3 Lights(8:18)
10- Silenced(9:53)
11- Choose What You Want To Look At(4:04)
CD2: Revisited
  1- Sleep(6:40)
  2- Trying To Kiss The Sun(5:48)
  3- Moonflower(3:55)
  4- Watching The World(3:59)
  5- Start The Fire(4:19)
  6- Farewell(5:05)
  7- World Through My Eyes(7:47)
  8- Cake(4:17)
  9- Fool(5:07)
10- Breath In, Breath Out(3:50)
11- Bound To Reach The End(6:26)

RPWL Website        samples       

In ten years time RPWL became not only a well-known prog rock band, but also very appreciated in the magical landscapes of the prog world. Therefore Yogi Lang (vocals, keyboards) Kalle Wallner (guitars), Chris Postl (bass guitar, backing vocals), Markus Jehle (keyboards) and Mark Thuriaux (drums) wanted to do something special for their fans all over the world. Thatís why this double album had been released in spring 2010 just after their 10-year anniversary.
I think RPWL is a unique band for three reasons. First, their lyrics always match with the music. The different composers of the band share their textual abilities for all songs. Second, every song on an RPWL-album has been well thought out. In my opinion, none of the seven albums they released so far contain weak or even moderate songs. Third, Yogi Lang sings with a clear voice with hardly any German accent. Moreover, they sound as a perfect blend of Camel, Pink Floyd, Pendragon and Arena. For all these reasons, I enjoy their music right from the beginning.

CD 1 is just a compilation of the seven albums RPWL released so far. I guess it was a difficult job to choose their best songs for this album. My personal favourites are Roses featuring Ray Wilson, 3 Lights, Hole In The Sky and the beautiful and romantic song Crazy Lane. CD 2 is called Revisited and contains remastered old songs and two new ones. First track Sleep has got many extras, because of the contribution of Manasvee Mezz, who gives this song a specific Eastern and Indian colouring by using exotic instruments. Trying To Kiss The Sun has also changed a lot by adding violin and string arrangements of the albumís producer Tom Norris. Moonflower has changed radically as well. Itís a real cool, jazzy and smooth song now sung by Julia SchrŲter and Yogi accompanied by the saxophone of Ferdinand Settle. It has even become a romantic dance song and thatís not quite what you expect on an RPWL-album. The first new song is Watching The World, a dreamy, catchy and modern piece beautifully sung by Yogi and Conny Kreitmeier. Itís not that spectacular, but yet a good and radio-friendly tune. Start The Fire again contains contributions of Manasvee Mezz and Tom Norris. The phenomenal Farewell begins slowly with almost spoken words. Itís a sad and dramatic song, but magically sung by Yogi accompanied by the cello of Jost Hecker and the violin of Tom Norris. In my opinion, this is a perfect ballad and one of their best songs. World Through My Eyes changed into a completely different acoustic song caused by the Indian percussion arrangement of Manasvee Mezz.

The second new song is Cake, an optimistic and positive song, I presume. It contains beautiful drumming and bass playing. Itís also radio-friendly, but never becomes too commercial, but the middle-section with the saxophone and the voice of Kreitmeier make this song quite a maverick in the RPWL-repertoire. Fool begins as an acoustic guitar ballad. The middle-section has a bluesy guitar solo followed by the Hammond-organ played by Yogi Lang. Another highlight on Revisited is the breathtaking Breath In, Breath Out which has been slightly changed compared to the original version recorded for The RPWL Experience-album (2008), but this time it has an acoustic ending. Bound To Reach The End sounds a bit like Pink Floydís Echoes with spoken words in the vein of David Gilmour. A violin, a viola and the female vocals turn this song into a dramatic and perfect apogee of this double album. If you are not familiar with the music of RPWL, then this is the perfect album to start with.

†****+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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