Review Summary: This is truly mind-blowing stuff.
Well isn't this interesting? Band makes some overly bombastic, obscenely ambitious space-opera about Atlantis and black magic and anti-gravitational artifacts, attempts to combine a multitude of sounds and compositions, and calls it Queen of The Wave
. But does it all matter?
In one word, no. After all the glitz of this overblown concept are gone with the wind, what we have left is the music. Make no mistake about it - there is nothing here that in any way connects or represents these songs and the concept behind them. Pepe Deluxe attempt to create this huge story of sound and end up masking the tale in its own weight. Basically, this thing falls in on itself all too often; too many moments where things just don't seem right, the concept never really clear or pulsing through the music.
I think this might be one of those times where you really wished you liked something as much as you actually did. "Let me sing a song for you / Let me spin a tale that's true" Queen of The Wave
begins on "Queenswave" a truly cool song, with an unrelenting groove and a 70's rock vibe to it. It's on these more subdued but still wacky tunes that Queen of The Wave
succeed as opposed to the layered insanity and massive jam-outs that just seem so unnecessary featured on cuts like "The Storm".
The real show here is "My Flaming Thirst" which pretty much single handedly gives this album brilliance. This is where this supreme vision of Pepe Deluxe's is in perfect unison, the heartbreaking progressions giving way to the most epic of choruses where everything shines and everything is glorious. "My Flaming Thirst" is a riveting, mesmerizing supernova of a song, this glorious voice carrying us up through the stretches of Pepe Deluxe's own imagination, finally nailing it.
But we never get back there. Even the cool-as-hell interlude "In The Cave" which was, of course, recorded in a cave in Virginia, even with its actual echoed rain drops and the use of some gigantic organ, can't save Queen of The Wave
from its own ridiculousness. This is truly mind-blowing stuff that is unfortunately too focused on blowing your mind.