Top critical review
A perplexing mixture of great moments and lacking substance
on April 16, 2015
When I first heard Desolation Rose I was hooked. Prog tends to be a genre full of people playing their music really well to a bunch of empty seats. There is nothing that reaches out and grabs you about prog unless you really love difficult, intricate instrument playing. There are, of course, exceptions and I was absolutely convinced that this was one of them. Tower One, the opening track, offers so many emotional shifts and is a genuinely excellent track to throw in the background.
My problem is that I would never share this album with anyone else. Maybe, MAYBE if we were all out of our minds on entirely legal substances then this album might be far greater than I believe it to be currently but in a sober mind Desolation Rose has a hard time keeping my attention. Right now, I'm listening to Tower One, and hearing everything that turned me onto the album to begin with. Shifting this way and that, pleasant vocals, well played instruments, but somehow, as the album goes on, it just doesn't connect. Like someone removed the yolk from the egg. The egg is still delicious, it still offers pretty much what you were expecting, but that one quality that you really wanted from it is gone.
It is hard for me to put my finger on just what is wrong with Desolation Rose. I don't hate it, I am far from hating it, there are moments where I'm close to loving it, yet I find myself wavering. I'm not upset that I own the album, you can't go wrong with two cds worth of entertainment, but I struggle to recommend it. Tower One is great, Silent Graveyards is one of the best outros I've ever heard, but somewhere in the middle it just doesn't work. One of those intangible qualities has gone missing. Still, if you're a fan of prog in general then I have no doubt you'll love this album and perhaps I'm just being a fuddy duddy that doesn't 'get it'.