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Collage - Safe (1996/2003)

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Collage - Safe (1996/2003)

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1 	The Winter Song 	2:26
2 	This Time 	8:15
3 	Cages Of The Mind I 	0:44
4 	Cages Of The Mind II 	6:09
5 	Stranded 	6:29
6 	Eight Kisses	10:07
7 	One Of Their Kind 	5:52
8 	Safe	7:28
9 	The Chanting 	8:07
10 	Made Again	6:30
11 	Cages Of The Mind III 	5:19
12 	I Will Be There	2:43
13 	The Winner Takes It All (Previously Unreleased) 	9:41

Robert Amirian - acoustic guitar, back vocal, vocal
Mirosław Gil - acoustic guitar, guitar
Krzysztof Palczewski - keyboards
Wojciech Szadkowski - acoustic guitar, grums
Piotr Witkowski - bass guitar
Krzysztof Garbaliński - guitar (12)
Kamila Kamińska - backing vocal 6,8)
Krzysztof Garbaliński - acoustic guitar (12)


W zamyśle Wojtka Szadkowskiego miał to być album innego zespołu. W przewrotnej wyobraźni lidera zespołu narodził się pomysł, by członkowie Collage wydali ten materiał pod innym szyldem. Z różnych powodów później postanowiono jednak, by „Safe” ujrzał światło dzienne jako album firmowany nazwą „Collage”. Pod wieloma względami jest on jakby kontynuacją pomysłów zamieszczonych na poprzedniej płycie. Tak jakby „Safe” był młodszym bratem „Moonshine”. Trochę spokojniejszym, bardziej zadumanym i kto wie czy nie jeszcze bardziej dojrzałym. A przy okazji, jak na razie, niestety ostatnim dziełem w dorobku zespołu. Chociaż w chwili wydania tego albumu nic na to nie wskazywało. Wręcz przeciwnie, po tak doskonałych utworach, jak „Eight Kisses” (fenomenalna, niekończąca się gitarowa solówka w wykonaniu Gila), „One Of Their Kind”, czy „This Time” mieliśmy prawo oczekiwać ciągu dalszego. Póki co, nie doszło do tego, choć Szadkowski w różnych wywiadach nigdy nie wykluczał możliwie szybkiej reaktywacji działalności grupy Collage. Czyżby te kompaktowe reedycje miały być przygotowaniem gruntu pod wielki powrót zespołu?... ---Artur Chachlowski, mlwz.pl


I remember reading an interview with Collage members after the success of "Moonshine", and the gist of the communication was that the band had finally, after close to a decade, produced an album that they intended all along. Moreover, they also felt they now had the pieces in place to move onward and upward. Unfortunately, this potential energy was never harnessed, and in fact one might wonder if the band was already splintering at the time of the followup "Safe". Apparently the group considered issuing it under a different name to reflect the departure in mood.

The album truly reflects its title, being very soft neo progressive rock of a type that rarely rocks the boat, let alone breaks boundaries or even perfects a sound that might have been. It would appear that Robert Amirian's greater songwriting involvement might be a factor in the extreme mellowness of "Safe". Certainly, take on its own this album is not without considerable inner beauty, but we expect so much more from Collage. Songs like "This Time", "Stranded", "Cages of the Mind" and "Chanting", are all decent on a low energy level but lack urgency or wow factor. "Made Again" and the title cut are similar but more melodic and emotional in a manner we expect from Collage. The two best songs by far appear back to back. "Eight Kisses" is a 10 minute tour de force in which Mirek Gil is unleashed for long, languid, breathtaking stretches in a way barely hinted at by the best work on "Moonshine", while "One of their Kind" is a musically upbeat but lyrically twisted look at isolation. It could have been a huge hit with a few tweaks.

The best material here is as good or better than anything Collage ever did, but too much of the rest (and in general that is too much of the album) is simply weak in spirit and unwilling to risk anything. Still, too much class oozes even from the also-rans on "Safe" to make it possible to award less than 3 stars for Collage's last effort. ---kenethlevine, progarchives.com

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