Balduin - All In A Dream - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Balduin - All In A Dream

by Jeff Penczak Rating:9 Release Date:2014-09-15

Our favourite Swiss musical gnome returns with a much-anticipated full-length of (relatively) new songs, some of which date back a decade, others reprised from his essential Glamour Forest EP. In fact, he gets extra points for flipping over Rubbles favourite, Boeing Duveen’s 'Jabberwock', which he covered on Glamour Forest, for a 21st century update on ‘Which Dreamed It', complete with tablas, sitars, and assorted headswirling effects. The harpsichord gem 'Mirror Mirror' and the nostalgic, music-box-driven 'Waves Stars and Moon' also return, and we finally get to hear the 'title' track, which he opted to leave off the EP.

But what about the new material? If your appetite was whetted by the career-spanning Post From Mars from The Active Listener’s Introducing series, then you know what to expect: gorgeous baroque melodies; nostalgic 60s whimsy; imaginative Beatlesque arrangements… Balduin also brings some new acoustic folk numbers along for the trip, including the wonderfully Donovanesque 'Autumn' and the quite Barrett-like 'Glamour Forest', which Dodson and Fogg and Tyrannosaurus Rex fans will appreciate.

Then there’s the harder edged 'Kite Come Back' with its extremely busy arrangement, backwards, phased guitars, and soaring melody which perfectly suits its subject matter. 'The Music' is baroque heaven, like some long lost Left Banke b-side full of harpsichords, flutes, and strings, aaahhhhh… I also wept at the intimate, Floydian floater 'Through the Snow', which sounds like a leftover from their soundtrack recording sessions (eg, Obscured By Clouds, More, Zabriskie Point).

Elsewhere, Balduin does things to a sitar that you usually don’t hear in a pop song (including a rather strange solo) in the surreal and quite unsettling tongue twister 'You Can Never Pipe My Fancy From My Dear', and Lennon’s spirit nods approvingly and sings along with 'Father'. To be sure, there are a few missteps: the dreamy-yet-dreary 'Labyrinth'; the pleasant-but-fey 'Prisma Colora'; the meandering, uncharacteristically flat 'Change' and "I Can Hear You', but these are minor bumps on this yellow brick road to the wizard of wonderland and we encourage you to hop aboard for the ride.

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