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Jon Lord – Pictured Within

Sometimes I have the feeling it’s not only the evil emperor Palpatine from Star Wars who leans back in his chair from time to time and mumbles to himself „Everything is proceeding as I have forseen“. Looking at the tracklist of Jon Lords new solo album „Pictured Within“, the track „Wait A While“ could have been a song describing the release procedure of this album, as the release has been delayed several times — but finally the album has emerged to face the public.

I have had the opportunity to listen to this album for some time now, but
I still dig out new facets with every additional listen. „Pictured Within“ is certainly not to be played in the background while washing your car or doing the housework; rather, it’s for these silent, private moments of life when you light a candle, turn off the lights and relax with a good glass of wine (or something similar for those not drinking alcohol).

I have most Jon Lord works in my collection and I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I first put the tape into my recorder, but even still „Pictured Within“ was totally different from all my expectations. „This one has nothing to do with rock’n’roll“ Jon Lord said in an interview, and that’s an accurate statement. Rather, it’s a collection of keyboard-based works with orchestral accompaniments for many of them.

When first listening to „Pictured Within“ and seeking for something similar to offer as a comparison,  only one album popped up in my mind: Jim Matheos‘ „First Impressions“ (guitarist for the band Fates  Warning). an album recorded back in 1993 with a few other people using just acoustic guitar, cello  and violin.

Most tracks on „Pictured Within“ are instrumental; only three songs include vocals. The title track, „Pictured Within“, is sung by Miller Anderson — and I still wonder why I never heard of this guy before, as his voice is brilliant — and the other two tracks, „Evening Song“ and „Wait A While“, are sung by Sam Brown.

„Wait A While“ especially found a way to my heart during the very first listen; I can no longer say how much time I’ve spent listening to just this track. „Evening Song“ is the newest track on the album (it was recorded in July) and replaces „Miles Away“, which will be left out of the final release (a fact that leaves me with some mixed feelings, as „Miles Away“ was one of my personal favorites). But there’s still the chance to see it as a track on the hopefully-to-be-released „Wait A While“ single.

Of course I can’t guarantee this, but I’m convinced everyone who gives „Pictured Within“ a fair chance will find a bright shining jewel.