Like Wendy — Endgame
(LaBraD'or Records LBD 040018, 2005, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01
This is the first Like Wendy release to feature new member Mark-Jeroen Heek who has joined fellow Dutchman and founder Bert Heinen as co-composer and instrumentalist (the liner notes equally credit both). Fans of past efforts will be pleased to know that little has been sacrificed or changed with Heek’s arrival. One assumes he shares Heinen’s taste for melodic and accessible progressive rock with strong production values and tasteful arrangements since this album is loaded with all of the above. I sense some kind of conceptual thread running through the material, though the liner notes offer little feedback in this regard. Despite variety in the seven songs – some rock more than others, some are more upbeat than others, etc.— there’s a strong stylistic packaging to it all that favors leisurely, almost relaxed tempo writing in minor key arrangements that avoid sounding angry or sad, just introspective or perhaps melancholy. Emotionally the songs draw upon deep-seated humors that can be compared to Porcupine Tree or newer Marillion. The compositions are uncluttered and lack fussiness, often built upon simple voice and piano tunes that remind me of older Spock’s Beard or even John Lennon or ELO’s penchant for direct songwriting. The occasional mid-period Genesis thrust will pop up at times, offering a flash of prog-rock vigor, though these tend to be brief interludes within the overall song arc. Truly, there’s little to fault here (though the drums sound suspiciously digital) so, though not perfect, I can easily give this one a full recommendation.
Related artist(s): Like Wendy
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