Music review: Queen of the Wave

BY PEPE DELUXE
Label: Catskills Records
Reviewed by Meg Kingston

cb61ad3b32af3ad2d762f5792b048ce4_1328016411_cover__Calling itself “An Esoteric Pop Opera in Three Parts”, Queen of the Wave is a bold attempt by the Scandinavian duo Pepe Deluxe to reinvent the prog rock concept album for the 21st century. I love the idea, I enjoyed some of the tracks, but it didn’t really flow in the way I would expect from a concept album. It sounds more like a collection of tracks strung together almost at random. The story they tell is similarly mixed up.

The accompanying book is similar, a collection of images comprising fragments of the story, the history of the group, the lyrics and miscellaneous retro-futuristic machines. It’s appealing at first glance, but I reached the end feeling that my expectations were unfilled.

There’s no denying the talents of the contributors or the scale of their ambitions. I loved several elements – especially the Stalagpipe Organ (exactly what it sounds like). But the overall feel suffers from a lack of coherence.

This work has been submitted to the magazine as a “Steampunk” work. I don’t believe it is, though it’s retro-futuristic, full of references to odd machinery, Atlantis and other trappings that could be part of the Steampunk aesthetic.

Is it Steampunk? No, I’m afraid not. Did I enjoy Queen of the Wave? In part, yes.

Personal Score: 3 stars (out of 5)

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