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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pandora, Sweden

Pandora - Measures of Time. 1974 SMA

My experience with Pandora is very similar to the one I have with Apartment One, that we just spoke about last week. For years and years, this was a top curiosity. On the same label as Lotus' debut, an album that I owned and adored - and with descriptions indicating that Measures of Time was a symphonic progressive masterpiece - my curiosity meter was far into the red zone. When my friend Heavyrock secured the LP about a decade ago, he had me come over and we checked it out. We both looked at each other in horror. We thought it was terrible! Fortunately I had him burn me a copy for posterity.

A few years ago, I revisited the title and changed my tune somewhat. It isn't that bad I said to myself, but it still didn't make a huge mark. I didn't promote the title from the main list.

Now comes the CD-R revisit project, and I really am changing my tune now. If there's ever a justification for this project, it's albums like Pandora that benefit. Of course it's no masterpiece, and I could probably take a negative disposition and continue to maintain the album is worthless. But I'm an optimist by nature, and I found much to enjoy on this listen.

The first track is dubious though, and has much to do with my early frown. It's a direct rip from Uriah Heep's Salisbury, and not at all in touch with the remainder. From there on out, the album switches gears to a semi-progressive rock album. The band they emulate most, and it becomes clear on multiple listens, is Genesis. Now this is interesting actually. The progressive rock world is filled with Genesis imitators, and one could argue that the group was germane to the entire "neo prog" movement of the 1980s. But you'd be hard pressed to find anyone (outside of Italy) imitating Genesis back in 1974, especially from Sweden. The album is vocal heavy, sung in English, and can weigh down the compositions. But there's much happening musically behind the scenes, taking this album up a notch. Guitar, keyboards, and irregular rhythms all make this one an interesting listen. It does require some patience, and it definitely insists on focus, as otherwise it blows by without notice. Speaking from experience of course.

Priority: 3

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