Ernst, Michael - Excalibur


Year of Release: 2003
Label: Point Music
Catalog Number: 10245
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:20:00

When I received the promo of Excalibur, my first thought was: Oh no, not another King Arthur Rock Opera! After Rick Wakeman, Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Kayak and Gary Hughes, Austrian singer/composer/producer Michael Ernst teamed up with Alan Parsons (does he need further introduction?) and Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann's Earthband) and wrote and recorded Excalibur. It took him about 10 years to finish this project.

I can be very clear on this album: this is NOT a prog album, but rather a pop album that is released some 20 years too late. It would have fitted great in the 80s, along with Mr. Mister, Mike and the Mechanics and the poppy Alan Parsons Project stuff, although I prefer any of them above this album. But, honesty obliges me to say it is not all that bad. There are some good songs on the album. Like "Magic" (although it sounds very commercial) and "On The Run," maybe the only song I really like. Besides Thompson, Michael Ernst also sings, and he is not a bad singer. The vocals are quite good, as are the orchestra arrangements by Parsons. The problem is the music! The songs are either sweet sounding ballads, or pop songs with a strong electronic beat. Absolute depth points: "People Shall Be Free," with reggae influences and rap like vocals, and "Time To Change," which reminds me very much of any random song by The Vengaboys (if you ever heard of them, a dance act from the Netherlands).

For a pop album it is not bad, but I personally expected a bit more of this, especially as Ernst has been working on this album for 10 years! O.K., it is different from all the other Arthur related albums, but I doubt if this is a good point. I think it is a waste of good money to buy this album. There are lot's of better albums out there.

[This review originally appeared January 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Tracklisting:
The King Of Swords (1:09) / Excalibur (3:16) / Magic (4:20) / A Long, Long Time Ago (4:08) / Back Again (3:47) / Stop (4:09) / On The Run (4:00) / Dreams Can Come True (4:19) / Goodbye (3:53) / People Shall Be Free (3:56) / Time To Change (4:08) / Part Of Me Part Of You (4:35) / Every Dream Will Have It's Day (3:25)

Musicians:
Michael Ernst ? vocals
Alan Parsons
Chris Thompson ? vocals

Discography:
Excalibur (2003)

Genre: Rock

Origin AT

Added: November 26th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Score:
Artist website:
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Language: english

  

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