Quidam - Alone Together

Year of Release: 2007
Label: Rock-Serwis
Catalog Number: RSCD 068
Format: CD
Total Time: 63:11:00

It was 1996 when Quidam released its self-titled debut album. Sung in Polish, it was mainly the melodic instrumentation and the warm, clear voice that resulted in comparisons to Camel. Their arrival on the Dutch live scene was triumphant, yet what many thought would just be a one-off soon resulted in some firm staying power. It was mainly Emila Derkowska's voice that was the main attraction for the band, so when she left the group it looked like Quidam's days we're finally over. Imagine our surprise when out of the blue the band appears with a new singer, yet this time a male singer! For sure a huge risk as until now the name of Quidam was similar to female voices. The album surREvival in 2005 was newcomer Bartek Kossowicz' first studio album, a CD that could not really convince me. A year later the album Halfplugged delivered some live takes and covers, but it's with the brand new studio effort Alone Together that Quidam really proves they are a band to reckon with!

With each title on the album forming one large sentence, Alone Together is a concept album that talks about different kinds of loneliness and estrangement, about feeling "alone together" in various relationships. No doubt the lyrics make up an important part of this new release. Together with ace musicianship, the wonderful artwork is a real eyecatcher. Created by Michal Florczak it has the word "quality" all over!

The dreamy opening of "Different" already delivers a strong melody that is soon repeated by a blistering guitar. Extra percussive sounds give an extra edge to "Kinds Of Solitude At Night," whilst vocal effects and harmony vocals widen the arrangement, which even incorporates the wonderful, unique sound of the zither. As expected, the sound is ever so clear and detailed and very well balanced. The lengthy "Depicting Colours Of Emotions" has a slight ambient atmosphere in the beginning, which evolves towards kind of a Portishead meets Camel approach. At the end the fierce guitar solo, it suddenly becomes an intimate piece of music that mixes David Gilmour with Jan Akkerman.

Probably the most commercial sounding track on the album has to be "They Are There To Remind Us." Especially the synth loops in the intro of the song makes it contemporary and catchy. Sadly the song lasts for a little under eight minutes, which is not a commercial move. I really enjoy the jazzy middle section here. A song like "We Lost" perfectly illustrates the great skills these guys have. Even when speeded up it remains a great tune.

Great panning on the Fender Rhodes when "One Day We Find" kicks off. Again the song contains great hooks and a very catchy chorus, yet might be a little too long to make it on daytime radio. The actual closing song, "We Are Alone Together," highlights Bartek's nice voice against some subtle piano before more instruments are added, although remaining well balanced throughout. The tribal rhythm contrasts nicely with the classical piano, resulting in a hypnotizing experience. As kind of a "post scriptum," the frantic "But Strong Together" is added, including some nice Hammond washes and the mighty flute.

Without a shadow of a doubt Alone Together is Quidam's most mature product to date and probably the best album they have ever produced. The material is varied enough to keep you interested throughout, so maybe they should deliver the entire album live in one take as the first part of their forthcoming concerts followed by a selection from their previous albums. Alone Together is most definitely another step on the ladder for Quidam and a great addition to the collection of anyone who is into wonderful, honest, symphonic rock.

Different (3:16) / Kinds Of Solitude At Night (6:) / Depicting Colours Of Emotions (10:18) / They Are There To Remind Us (7:49) / Of Illusions (8:04) / We Lost (8:26) / One Day We Find (6:46) / We Are Alone Together (8:20) / But Strong Together (4:25)

Zbyszek Florek - keyboards
Maciek Meller - guitars, backing vocals
Jacek Zasada - flutes
Bartek Kossowicz - vocals, backing vocals
Marius Ziolkowski - bass
Maciek Wroblewski - drums, percussion

Quidam (1996)
Moje Anioly (1998)
Sny Aniolow (1998)
Live In Mexico '99 (1999)
The Time Beneath The Sky (2002)
SurREvival (2005)
Halfplugged (2006)
Alone Together (2007)

The Fifth Season (DVD) (2006)
Strong Together Live (2010)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin PL

Added: December 10th 2007
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.quidam.pl
Hits: 2348
Language: english


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