Lane, Lana - Garden Of The Moon (Special Editon)

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Think Tank Media
Catalog Number: TTMD-1030
Format: CD
Total Time: 118:14:00

Looking back upon Lana Lane's 1998 release, Garden Of The Moon, husband, keyboardist, composer, lyricist, producer, and basically jack-of-all-trades Erik Norlander regards it as the album where it all finally came together. The figures certainly back him up, with commercial success multiplying itself tenfold back then. So it comes as absolutely no surprise that this one has been released in its own special edition at the same time as the wonderful Curious Goods, but without any sort of rejuvenating treatment and featuring a second disc containing a series of tracks from the Echoes From The Garden and Echoes From The Ocean EPs. Thus the question this time around is not really whether or not there is a point to this special edition, but more whether or not the actual album is any good.

Well, it's a solid collection of tunes, there is no questioning that. It's also the beginning of a departure from the wonderful mystique of its predecessor into the fields of polished and accessible progressive metal, and a release which sees a more mature Lane as far as her singing is concerned. Yet part of the magic of Curious Goods was a certain charming naiveté that gave her voice a sweetly mysterious tone at times and an intensely epic one at others, which is completely amiss here. Hell, her singing even manages to border on the shrill when the full-speed rockers "Destination Roswell" and "Evolution Revolution" kind of spoil the fun by being too brazen and obvious. But, truth be told, the album actually has a lot more going for it than against it.

And the reason why is obvious by the time the unquestionable highlight "Moongarden" is over. As already mentioned before, Garden Of The Moon marked the beginning of a stylistic departure, but the keyword here is "beginning." Much of the lushness found on its predecessor seeps down into the foundations of this album as well, and the altered and expanded lineup creates layers upon layers of sweet and thick instrumental honey that work beautifully at the barriers of the listener, so that one is irremediably brought under a spell of simple multicolored beauty by songs such as "Seasons" and "Eternal Waters." It is thus that, although there are a couple of missteps here and there, and the album doesn't quite have the endearing appeal of a Curious Goods, it's still quite an enjoyable lot.

As for the new companion disc included on this special edition, well, it is a fairly uneven compilation, to be quite honest. A lot of the material included is quite excellent, some is just good, and some is not really very interesting at all. Notable due to its relevance to Garden Of The Moon, however, is a more acoustic version of "Seasons" that is a shame wasn't included on the album instead of the original version. Nevertheless, the real point in getting this would be to actually own Garden Of The Moon, with the accompanying disc merely a nice bonus to have. And in view of that, one could hardly maintain that it is absolutely imperative to own this as part of one's record collection, but it would also be impossible to deny that this is yet another solid release in the history of the "queen of symphonic rock."

Similar artists: Erik Norlander, Ayreon

Released by Pseudonym (CDP - XXXX DD) in Europe

Disc One: River Of The Stars (2:40) / Destination Roswell (6:39) / Seasons (5:45) / Moongarden (6:05) / Evolution Revolution (8:16) / Under The Olive Tree (6:29) / Eternal Waters (5:57) / Dream Of The Dragonfly (7:30) / Garden Of The Moon (2:46)

Disc Two: Frankenstein Unbound (8:37) / Escher's Staircase (6:09) / Seasons (6:08) / Leaving Stardust (4:32) / This Is Not America (5:13) / Without You (7:47) / Let Heaven In (6:36) / Evolution Revolution (7:41) / Reverie (6:36) / Symphony Of Angels (6:05)

Erik Norlander - keyboards
Lana Lane - vocals
Tony Franklin - bass
Tommy Amato - drums
Neil Citron - guitars
Danelle Kern - guitars
Mark McCrite - guitars
Don Schiff - stick

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: 1253
Language: english


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