Lane, Lana - Curious Goods (Special Edition)

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Think Tank Media
Catalog Number: TTMD-1031
Format: CD
Total Time: 138:03:00

Incompleteness. The feeling can be so nagging (not to mention devastating) that it can eat away at one's conscience for an eternity without ever seeing itself meander or dissipate. Apply the feeling to a situation that can still be corrected, and our tormented subject will either fix it in tremendous desperation or go insane from the pressure. Fortunately for all their fans, Erik Norlander and Lana Lane have chosen the former with this revitalized edition of the female vocalist's sophomore offering, Curious Goods (1996). With Norlander thinking that the production and mix back at the original time of release were erroneously too stale, and further evidence of his suspicions arising on some remixes featured on a couple of EPs, it was only a matter of time until this happened: the album has been remixed, the vocal tracks rerecorded, and the whole shebang released as a special edition including the original, unadulterated Curious Goods album as well.

Enough background. The question is: is there actually a point to all this reworking of an album that was released only six years ago? Well, dear three loyal readers of mine, yes there is. Although the substitution of the James Bond theme "You Only Live Twice" for Steely Dan's "Do It Again" on this new edition was definitely the wrong way to go, especially considering how incredibly well the latter worked within the context of the album, Curious Goods is otherwise an entirely new monster in its new make. The veil of mysticism that covers much of its tracks shines resplendently under the new guise, and the instruments breathe so much more that the album is not only more powerful, but also more natural. Even Lane's vocals, flawless on the original version, are bettered this time around. In other words, we get Phoenix rising up from the ashes.

"Whatever, I've never listened to the album in the first place," you say? Well, you just stick to your reading and I'll do my job, which I was about to do anyway before being interrupted. First of all, throw away all notions of revolutionary groundbreaking music, that's not the deal here. Secondly, cast away all remembrances of subsequent Lana Lane releases, which start to veer off into the progressive metal direction considerably. That's not what's in store for you here either. One is instead treated to a relatively gentle collection of songs and instrumentals that are for the most part drenched in an accessible concoction of lush mystery, so that the album manages to sound quite exotic at times despite the fact that its music is nothing truly new and is eons away from even bordering on the radical.

Exactly. Curious Goods instead relies on the strength of good songs adorned with a healthy amount of variety, hovering in a slightly heavy rock domain with just a slice of epic nature and a progressive spirit that keeps things interesting and accessible enough simultaneously. It is one of those records that one would be unlikely to hail in gasping excitement as a new rift in the fabric of music, but which one could safely recommend to a load of people as being immensely enjoyable despite a couple of shortcomings ("Two Can Play That Game" comes to mind particularly). It is, simply put, an excellent display of what good songwriting can accomplish without the need for dazzling displays of technicality or avant-gardism. And with its new facelift, it has just gotten better. Curious and good indeed.

Similar artists: Erik Norlander, Ayreon, mid-period Marillion

Released by Pseudonym in Europe (CDP - XXXX DD)

Disc One (2002 version): Curious Goods Part One (4:32) / Emerald City (6:52) / Escher's Staircase (6:09) / Heart Of Dawn (1:34) / Take A Breath (6:08) / Reverie (6:38) / Satyr's Moon (5:51) / Symphony Of Angels (6:37) / Two Can Play That Game (5:20) / Voices (6:51) / You Only Live Twice (3:05) / Curious Goods Part Two (3:29) / Clouds (4:11)

Disc Two (1996 version): Curious Goods Part One (4:30) / Emerald City (6:50) / Escher's Staircase (6:07) / Heart Of Dawn (1:34) / Take A Breath (5:42) / Reverie (6:24) / Satyr's Moon (5:44) / Symphony Of Angels (6:33) / Two Can Play That Game (5:53) / Voices (6:51) / Do It Again (7:13) / Curious Goods Part Two (3:07) / Clouds (4:16)

Erik Norlander - keyboards
Lana Lane - vocals
Tony Franklin - bass
Tommy Amato - drums
Neil Citron - guitars

Additional musicians:
Mark McCrite - guitars
Don Schiff - bass
Vinny Appice - drums

Love Is An Illusion (1995)
Curious Goods (1996/2002)
Garden Of The Moon (1998/2002)
Echoes From The Garden (1998)
Live In Japan (1998)
Love Is An Illusion 1998 Version (1998)
Ballad Collection (1998)
Acoustic Live in Tokyo (1999) (promotional release only)
Queen Of The Ocean (1999)
Echoes From The Ocean (1999)
Secrets Of Astrology (2000)
Ballad Collection (2000)
Project Shangra-La (2002)
Covers Collection (2002/2003)
Lana Lane and Erik Norlander - European Tour 2003 Souvenir CD (2003)
Winter Sessions (2003)
Return To Japan (2004)
Lady Macbeth (2005)
Gemini (2006)
Red Planet Boulevard (2007)

Storybook - Tales From Europe And Japan (2004) (DVD)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 589
Language: english


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