Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“The band was formed in 1997 in Freising, Germany as a Pink Floyd cover band. The band's name comes from the first letters of the original four members; Phil Paul Rissettio, Chris Postl, Karlheinz Wallner, and Yogi Lang”
“After three years they started to make their own music based on their influences from their cover band era. Their debut CD, "God Has Failed" was met with international enthusiasm, praise and excellent reviews in all the major progressive rock music magazines” (Source: ,RPWL’s Wikipedia Page 2010).
The Gentle Art of Music is a compilation of the best of RPWL, so far, celebrating their 10 year anniversary.
CD1 - Compilation
HOLE IN THE SKY – Great song off their first album. This song will help explain why the band was successful as a Pink Floyd cover band. Even Yogi’s voice sounds like Gilmour’s. Excellent start.
CRAZY LANE – Another song off the first album, and another of their best songs ever. I only own the album Experience, so this was a nice surprise for me.
I DON’T KNOW – This one is off Trying to Kiss the Sun. The sitar sounds are wonderful supporting the rest of this pop – oriented ballad.
HOME AGAIN – Also from Trying to Kiss the Sun, their second album. Wild synth effects open this song, before heavy strings and a crying child enter the soundscape. An edgy guitar rips open the seam before that trademark Gilmour guitar and PF organ. Beautiful song and a nice track list showing the band’s progression through time.
THE GENTLE ART OF SWIMMING – A 10:19 epic off the album Stock. Lots of cool guitar and sampled synth effects throughout.
SUN IN THE SKY – Another song off Stock. This seems to have been a turning point for the band as they begin to add more psychedelic effects and create a much more original sound, leaving behind their Pink Floyd cover band days. Female vocals add to the sound in wonderful ways.
ROSES – This one is off World Through My Eyes. Now they are truly leaving that PF world behind on this one. With the addition of Ray Wilson, this song could easily have been one of the songs left off Genesis’ Calling All Stations album, it would have fit perfectly.
WASTED LAND - This one is also off World Through My Eyes. More original sounds again with more of a rock, U2/Coldplay feel to it.
3 LIGHTS – The last one off World Through My Eyes on disc 1. Obviously the band felt that this album had some of their best songs or at least the ones which highlighted their sound. At 8:20, it is the second longest song on this first disc. The acoustic guitar at the beginning is wonderful despite the lyrics which describe another dismal day at work. Great contrast. Beautiful music to help take us away from our everyday existence. In this story possibly to worlds beyond our own.
SILENCED – Another epic at 9:46, this one off The RPWL Experience. This one lights a fuse and rocks early before slowing down to deliver lyrics about the destruction and effects of war. A popular PF and RPWL theme.
CHOOSE WHAT YOU WANT TO LOOK AT – The final track on this disc off The RPWL Experience. Surprising they did not include Masters of War, one of the best songs off Experience, but it is heavy in Gilmour/PF references and they really covered that well with the first song. Besides you don’t want to give away all the best of the catalog on any compilation album. This song acts as a diatribe against marketing/advertising and cultural leadership from the media and business in general.
CD2 - Revisited:
SLEEP – This song from World Through My Eyes is a cleaner acoustic version than the original.
TRYING TO KISS THE SUN – The title track off the album with the same name, opens with a beautiful electric guitar, violin and chimes. Creates that Middle Eastern feel very well.
MOONFLOWER – I can’t find this track listed on any of their albums, so it must be a new addition or previously unreleased song. A jazzy, café – like song with female vocals supporting so well in a duet with Yogi. Completely out of place, but beautiful, wonderful, lazy day on the coast, kinda love song. A wonderful complete distraction from their normal sound.
WATCHING THE WORLD – Another song which I did not find listed on the band’s website discography. A quiet acoustic guitar and keys song with good quiet vocals. Female vocals in wonderful support again.
START THE FIRE – From the World Through My Eyes album. Heavy strings and brooding sounds open this one before the drums and violins take over. The violins replace the lead electrics from the original version, giving this track a cool alternative mix.
FAREWELL – The second last song off of the debut album. A very good song.
WORLD THROUGH MY EYES – The title track off the album of the same name. This one opens with sitar and synth effects supported with bass guitar. Very cool, it has a similar feel to the opening to Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes. Very different opening than the original version which had much more synth effects before the sitar entered. An epic song and one of the best songs off this double disc.
CAKE – Another of the songs not listed in the discography. A cute pop song, to break things up and show the diversity of their sound.
FOOL – Another song off the debut album. Deep dark guitar and bass surrounding Yogi’s vocals before the keys and female supporting. “…childhood slipping through my fingers…” The rough edge of feeling your age. Life speeding up with no control over time.
BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT – One of the best songs off of The RPWL Experience IMHO. This time acoustic guitar and drums with piano in support of the mixed male and female vocals. The original was dominated by a cool synth that opened along with the acoustic and drums.
BOUND TO REACH THE END – The final track on this album and they close with another from World Through My Eyes. The original had some cool violin effects before the synths began. Another deep dark song about the anticipation of the end of life or the end of the world. The original was more of a dirge. This one starts off eerie with what sound like flute and then the synths sounds. The piano on this one warms and takes off some of the edge in the lyrics and theme.
Rating: 9/10 – This is a great compilation and look at the discography of this band. It does give the new fan a glimpse into the past and evolution of the band on disc one. On disc two we get to hear how the band is still evolving and looking back over the last ten years and making some changes with experience as their guide. For fans of the band, the second disc will give them a chance to experience how they have changed.
The two disc set is meant to be a celebration of the band’s first ten years with a nod to the future. A good compilation any prog fan would be happy to add to their collection.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on August 8th, 2010