5:01 AM - 21st Century Dream

Year of Release: WMMS 105
Label: WMMS/Music Is Intelligence
Catalog Number: 1996
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:52:00

It is obvious that this Dutch band grew between the release of their first album The Circle and 21st Century Dream, their first for the WMMS-label released in 1996. It is not only is a concept-album, it also let us hear a tighter band and better structured songs. This is indeed the case with the fierce "Let Go Of The Past," with some nice extra female vocals from Esmira Klaster and the soulful saxophone of Heinz-Dieter Sauerborn, who also worked for Chaka Khan. So what you get isn't really progressive rock but rather good melodic rock with a strong emphasis on the melody. What strikes me, though, is the fact that Edu Arde's voice sounds rather limited and without any sense of emotion, which obviously takes the quality of the songs down. In fact, at times he reminds me of Billy Bragg, a voice which certainly doesn't fit the bill here! However one should certainly mention the outstanding guitar parts from Rich E. Reinders. In "Lost Parts I & II" he sometimes sounds like a modern version of Steve Hackett. An unfortunate factor however is the poor drum sound which has very little dynamics. Majestic is the use of grand piano in "Alive On The Inside," which blends nicely with the vocal part. That same classical approach forms the backbone for "The Changing Die" in which you even hear the dice roll in the hope of throwing a full house!

In "Picking Up The Pieces" you get the proof regarding Edu's voice: here guest singer Esmira Klaster sings more at ease, more melodic than Edu, adding an extra dimension to the music, a thing I wanted to hear all over the album. Pity also about the tight, uninventive drumming here, and the very abrupt finish.

All in all 21st Century Dream is not at all a bad album, but it misses some convincing elements to make it the outstanding album we were all wanting it to be.

Alive On The Inside (5:30) / The Swing (8:44) / Lost Part I & II (3:12) (7:31) / The Changing Die (4:58) / Let Go Of The Past (6:06) / Living In A Dream (7:37) / Lost Part III (6:13) / Picking Up The Pieces (4:04)

Edu Arde - vocals
Rob Ekkelenkamp - drums
B.J. Kramer - bass
Jan Pezie - keyboards
Rich E. Reinders - guitars

The Circle ()
21st Century Dream (1996)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: March 6th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1639
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]