Still Life

Still Life

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"People in Black," "Don't Go," "Witches," "Love Song No. 6 (I'll Never Love You Girl)," "Dreams," "Time" -- the titles of Still Life's only album alone indicate that these fellows were both morbid and ambitious. As happens so often when musicians set out to conquer such big issues, the music's not as illuminating as the intentions. This is tense, classically tinged early prog rock with organ and nervous harmonies to the fore, though the melodies aren't all that memorable or inviting. The lyrics, too, can border on the self-parodying, with "People in Black" criticizing the ostentatiousness of protesters with quite ostentatious phrases. A sense of abiding futility pervades the proceedings, with images of darkness and solitary sadness. Even "Love Song No. 6 (I'll Never Love You Girl)" turns out to be an anti-love song of sorts, coming to the realization that "I'll never love you, girl, you'll never love me," despite the clich├ęd protestation that "I've given you everything money could buy." It's not exactly the sort of angst that makes you want to hold a pity party for them. Some of the imagery on "Dreams" verges on preposterous, such as "I'm up on a cloud selling popcorn to a priest," which is more evocative of a movie you want to turn off than a trip you want to take.

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