Loonypark - Deep Space Eight,
I don’t know what happened between 2016’s ‘Perpetual’ and 2019’s Deep Space Eight’, but there has been a major change in the band as singer Sabina Godula-Zając is no longer involved (although she did write the lyrics to all the songs), and she has been replaced by Magda Grodecka. Magda has a quite different approach, as well as a lighter and higher vocal style. This means she is quite happy to throw her voice up and for the music underneath to be almost pedestrian at times. While she is a superb singer, I did find myself wondering what the band are trying to achieve here as overall this is more basic than I have come to expect from the band, and given this is their fifth album they should be moving forward as opposed to working out what it is they need to do.
As always, the piano of Krzysztof Lepiarczyk has a major part to play, but I found myself wishing that guitarist Piotr Grodecki was allowed to stretch his wings as opposed to having them clipped. This album finds the band moving more to AOR-inspired melodic rock with the occasional nod towards progressive rock as opposed to being firmly within the genre and looking out, and the album suffers because of it. Although the vocals are riveting, and I really enjoyed hearing them (and I know we will hear a lot more from Magda in the future in one form or another), there are times during the album when I was simply bored.
Loonypark need to have a serious think about where they go from here, as while I thought ‘Unbroken Spirit’ was a great album, ‘Perpetual’ wasn’t quite as good, and ‘Deep Space Eight’ isn’t quite as good as that, so they need to do something significant. Will they?