Pendragon - Not Of This World,
Can it really be five years since ‘The Masquerade Overture’? In the intervening time, Nick has suffered personally, and some of this is brought home by the lyrics. There are some very bitter words at times, but the strongest message is probably on “If I Were The Wind (And You Were The Rain)” where Nick sings to his son. It is straight from the heart and I not only felt extremely moved when I read them for the first time, but also that I was intruding on a very private matter. Nick has bared his soul on this album, so that it is extremely personal and, hopefully for him, cathartic. OK, what of the music? In many ways, this album will appeal to followers of Floyd, Genesis and Camel, albeit with more majesty and grace. This line-up of Pendragon has been together now for about fifteen years, and although Clive has many projects of his own he enjoys playing with Nick as he bears no responsibility for song writing, and just has to play keyboards. Add Fudge Smith (now with short hair) and Peter Gee to the equation and here are four people who have total faith and trust in each other. It also means that the fans know exactly what they are going to get as well. This may not be innovative prog, but it is music that can be bought with confidence. To complete the package Nick has again retained the services of artist Simon Williams who works very closely with Nick to provide a visual interpretation of the lyrics. My family spent ages studying the booklet, long before we put it on to hear what it sounded like. Listen to the first part of the title cut to hear just how powerful and dramatic prog can be.