Speed of Light

Speed of Light

by Peter BardensPeter Bardens


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Pete Bardens' follow-up to the popular Seen One Earth is a lightweight collection of new age instrumentals and sleepy pop songs. Speed of Light does feature a handful of nice melodies, none better than the atmospheric "Afterthought," but it's not enough to make this a compelling purchase (especially for Camel fans expecting a hint of the old organ magic to surface -- it never does). Synthetic songs like these live and die by the sounds at their disposal, and the fact is that the simulated flutes, saxophones, keyboards, and percussion used here only date the album. A couple of tracks, like "Westward Ho!" and "Gold," recall the southwestern sounds of Tangerine Dream (notably Oasis), though on a less grand scale. While the instrumentals are generally enjoyable, those with vocals suffer from pedestrian melodies: "Speed of Light" suggests any number of songs, "Whisper in the Wind" is disposable dance-oriented pop. Vocalists Neil Lockwood and Neil Nicholas (who appears on "This Could Be Paradise") sound like mumblers in the great Andy Latimer tradition, although it may be they're just low in the mix. If Bardens is going to rely on multitracking pre-programmed synthesizers, creating credible pop music will remain out of reach. New age is probably the more profitable field for him, although a mix of acoustic piano, Hammond organ, and "real" percussion would have suited the material better. Judged by what Bardens is capable of, and compared to the solo careers of fellow prog rock keyboardists (Patrick Moraz, Rick Wakeman, Tony Banks), Speed of Light is a disappointment.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/09/2014
Label: Imports
UPC: 5028479026722
catalogNumber: 978281
Rank: 94064


  1. Westward Ho!
  2. Black Elk
  3. Gold
  4. This Could Be Paradise
  5. Afterthought
  6. Speed of Light
  7. Whisper in the Wind
  8. Heartland
  9. Columbine
  10. Gold (Reprise)

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