Anders Lundqvist "Unknown Destination"
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Review by Krzysztof Radomski (written in 2001)
Finally I've got Anders' album, and I would like to share my opinion about it. Firstible: album is great! Really, I was surprised more that I was expecting... Cover picture from Mike Henderson looks really good, much much better than all of HS releases - I could even say that it's the album with the best cover HS ever released, but obviously it really doesn't matter. What is really matter, is the music.
First song, "Mission to the Stars" I've heard before, and I was always praising, as it's a very good one, kept in old LD style. I really like its synthchord line in it. "Dragon Slayer" and "Stratosphere" are quite average IMO, and they are quite old what isn't their strong point. But when I've heard "The Ordeal", my jaw went right to the ground... I haven't heard such a good song for a very, very long time!!! In my opinion it's the best Anders' song he ever written, it's absolutelly fabulous and brilliant. Better than "Mission to the Stars", which earlier was my favourite song from Anders. It reminds me a bit final outro music from PC game "Unreal" or some MyVoice's music, but not by melodies, but overall mood and atmosphere. Great! As I can see, this song is also best one by technics Anders ever wrote. Absolute NUMERO UNO on the CD. I'm also happy that it's the longest song on the CD. Ok, chill out...
"Hyperspace" is again an old one, and also good one. "Star Dust" IMO is quite similar to "Stratosphere" - melodies are lighter, not so spacy, but this one is better than "Stratosphere" (and I love these bells in it :)). Next one, "Unknown Destination" - quite good song. The most fresh and original one is "Eternal Guardian" - quite different than standard Anders' synthdance. It reminds me (again!) some old tracked songs or old-school computer games music by melodies. Very nice one. "Strike Force" is, similarly to "Mission...", very LD-ish one. I have one remark about it - some lead lines in it have downgraded quality very strangely. Anyway it's a very nice song again.
It's not the end of review :). Any review isn't full without counting weaknesses, so now the time has come for weak points of an album (not many, hehe). Firstible, I think Anders is repeating sounds too much. Every song has got almost the same (maybe exactly the same) bassline, few song are using the same leadsynths, and drums seem to be the repeated in few songs. That's incontestable fact. Next: in my opinion songs are too similar, too homogeneous, but it's the matter of taste of course. Technical weakness: I think that vibe lacks of juisyness, warmth. The vibe is quite cold and dry IMO, but it's the constant element of Anders' songs, so somebody may find it typical and won't count it as a fault. And the last weakness concerns to Hypersound's schematic layout vision, which I hate (Strutt didn't make it... again - won't he ever learn?). But of course it's not Anders' fault...
Summary: album "Unknown Destination" is great. Definitely a must-have for every synthdance fan, no doubt about it. The best song is the extraordinary "The Ordeal", which I could play round-and-round, and I could place at the best songs of LD and Koto. Considering that my favourite LD album "Changing Times" has got 10/10, Anders' "UD" would receive 8.5/10, what places it above e.g. "Technological Mind" or equal to "Future Generation". Congratulations Anders!
I think this short review gave you sufficient idea about what you've missed, if you still don't have it. Is there anyone such?
Review by Klajunas
Mission to the Stars – a good old LD style. Nice intro parts and synth melody. Can’t say anything bad. Just listen and dream.
Dragon Slayer – again intro was something unreal. And then synth parts. Very nice job. Sound not very fast but not very slow too. In this tune Anders found this tune golden mean. Wonderfull track.
Stratosphere – this tune sound differentlky then two first. Rythmic, very melodical. Strong side is melody variation in this tune. But I think intro was to “stong” for such “classical” melody.
The Ordeal – one more classical sound tune. Nice sound. But do I feal too much same melody for such long tune?
Hyperspace – one more amazing tune. Melodic, strong powefull and nice.
Star Dust – this is slow tempo song… Smooth, no great shakes, average tune. To much „nice“ feeling in it. Not mich like it.
Unknown Destination – album cover song… it got some good parts, like intro and middle. But miss some strong composition like it got first tune.
Eternal Guardian – again… intro is something… wonderfull. In this album Anders show his good taste on intros. Tune got very intresting synth parts. Variantion with melodies strongest part, of this tune. But it sound too much happily for me… too much “good” mood… and that’s irritate me.
Strike Force – one more smashing tune. U must listen to synths they sound unreal. One of the best track in this album. Can listen it again and again.
Fiend – this tune not real spacesynth. And it separate from whole album. Powefull, hard. Some may like it, some not. Can say only one thing. Interesting tune. With very nice intro part.
Escape Velocity – last tune. As the first it sound wonderfull too. What I liked is bells sound. They fit here very nice. Good job.
In conclusion. This is amazing album. With stong LD style and own Anders music. Nice job.