Reviewed by Nuno on 24 May 2002
I must confess I am not the biggest Pendragon fan. Though I consider they have some good albums, most of their work does not appeal to me as much as other bands in the same categorized playing.
The Window of Life is, nevertheless, my favorite album from this well-known English band.
Though I find this album to have some problems in the vocal department (as the others), they are not as evident and harmful and so this album becomes more enjoyable to me and, as a result, it often gets played.
I do consider that Pendragon are able to deliver tremendously good instrumental parts, fully emotional and displaying the true potential of the musicians. For instance, Nick Barret has a way of playing the guitar that is only achievable by the true gifted musicians. His soloing is tremendously emotional, almost competing with such emotion-deliverers like Rothery or Guilmour.
Pendragon is, without a doubt, one of the defining bands of the genre and I fully give them credit for that. It’s just that I have this real problem with the way Nick Barret sings. And then again, maybe is just me!
After the step forward in sound consistency with The World, with The Window of Life, Pendragon were able to definitely set their sound on the actual bases upon which they are still playing. They fully explore their most melodic side, unfolding emotions and pleasant audio moments clearly in the Progressive Neo-Prog mainstream. Even if The Masquerade Overture and Not of this World are considered their best achieved albums, I do prefer this one for its honest and quite satisfying deliverance.
The fact is that Pendragon is composed by excellent musicians other than Barret. The legendary Clive Nolan deliver some exquisite moments on the keyboard department, though often only serving as the melodic settler, he is, perhaps, the main driver of this band’s musicality. Peter Gee is a real gentleman on the Bass. He is almost unnoticed throughout the album, but his Bass lines are nothing less than excellent. The drummer Fudge Smith is humble in his studio works, though he has a much braver performance while on stage.
Window of Life is a fine representation of the sub-genre most known as Neo-Prog. Though I only use this word because of its world wide usage. I perfectly know that Neo-Prog is still Progressive Rock, only wit different characteristics.
Pleasant, sentimental and ear-candy, that’s how I feel about this album.