Lana Lane
El Dorado Hotel

01 A Dream Full of Fire
02 Maybe We'll Meet Again
03 El Dorado
04 Darkness Falls
05 Hotels
06 Believe
07 Life of the Party
08 Gone are the Days
09 Moon God
10 In Exile

Lana Lane - vocals
Erik Norlander - keyboards, additional guitars, bass and programming

Love is an Illusion (1995)
Curious Goods (1996)
Garden of the Moon (1998)
Echoes from the Garden (EP 1998)
Live in Japan (Live 1998)
Ballad Collection (compilation 1998)
Queen of the Ocean (1999)
Echoes from the Ocean (EP 1999)
Best of Lana Lane 1995 - 1999 (Best of 1999)
Secrets of Astrology (2000)
Ballad Collection II (compilation 2000)
Project Shangri-La (2002)
Covers Collection (compilation 2003)
Winter Sessions (2003)
Return to Japan (Live 2004)
Storybook (DVD 2004)
Lady Macbeth (2005)
10th Anniversary Concert (DVD 2006)
Gemini (2006)
Red Planet Boulevard (2007)
Best of Lana Lane 2000-2008 (Best of 2008)

John Payne - harmony and choral vocals, mandolin
Mark McCrite - guitars, bass, choral vocals, programming
Bruce Bouillet - guitars
Neil Citron - guitars
Freddy DeMarco - guitars
Guthrie Govan - guitar
Don Schiff - NS/Stick
Mark Matthews - bass
Jay Schellen - drums

Produced by Erik Norlander for Think Tank Media, USA
Mastered by Maor Applebaum at Maor Applebaum Mastering

Released 10/2-2012
Reviewed 22/3-2012

the tank

If you mention Lana Lane and I will just like so many others think of slowly, sweeping landscapes of melodic music with graphic lyrics and vocals that is as smooth as silk on a moisty night in August. It's been almost 20 years since Lana introduced herself as a solo artist with the album 'Love Is An Illusion' and after a hectic release schedule, Lana returns after an almost five years long hiatus with 'El Dorado Hotel' - an album that alludes on a mythological paradise where dreams come true, just like her 2002 release 'Project Shangri-La'. Francisco Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro gave their whole lives to search for El Dorado and we've seen the golden city appear in movies like Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull as well as National Treasure 2 lately and perhaps this is what has inspired Mrs Lane to write an entire album on the theme?

With the husband Erik Norlander as pack donkey, Lana Lane heads out in to the kind of wilderness she describes with her music. The rout goes from open fields in to deep jungles with the quite fast and bombastic A Dream Full Of Fire to a much slower and calmer El Dorado by Maybe We'll Meet Again. These three tracks gives the album an interesting and very atmospheric start with the kind of music she has become known from doing, and she does it well too. They are easily some of her better songs as solo artist. However, when we goes in to Darkness Falls and especially Hotels I can't feel anything but pure disappointment as the album completely falls in to a bottomless pit.

As Lana and her donkey heads in to the caves of Darkness Falls something strange happens. Verses and choruses becomes like separated from each other for the rest of the album. In Darkness Falls the verses are quite soft and comfortable but as soon as she reach the chorus the whole music turns in to something that best is described as hoover sounds from a vacuum cleaner while Lana repeats the words "darkness falls" with every syllable pronounced. The chorus and verse just don't go along, they sound decent on their own but not together - it's like a breakfast with poridge and soup, it just don't mix. And this is the kind of breakfast they must serve at the hotels Lana refers to in the song Hotels. This is, without a shadow of doubt, the worst song on the album and mostly because of the chorus where she just stretches the tones to miles. The verse is acoustic with piano and all kinds of "classic" instruments and I actually think it might have worked if it wasn't for that ridiculous lyrics. Instrumentally this is a good song, but Lana ruins it with her vocals.

After the worst song on the album, we get to the best song, where Lana begins by asking us if we dream and see and fight the "big machine" before taking on a real audience flirting oooooooohhhh-ooooo-oooohhhhh oooooooohhhh-ooooo-oooohhhhh that really catch the listener. She also uses a voice-distorter and when she does this I tend to think of the 90's hit by Cher that was called Believe as well. But this one is better, of course. Life Of The Party, Gone Are The Days and Moon God follows after this, which are all middle tracks without much enticements, but of the three Moon God is most memoarable since Lana returns to the voice-distorter when she does the short but nice chorus. It sounds… fun, more than anything else.

The concluding song is an almost 12 minutes long epic that begins pretty soft and slow but then develop into something quite similar to the title track of 'Secrets Of Astrology' from 2000. Overall it's a pretty decent song, but I have a hard time getting my head around why she has left all those segments in between everything that makes the song go into transportation mode more than actual music. Seriously, I can't see why this song couldn't be seven minutes long… or six. It's like a sandwich - music and music and in between one big gap with fillings. It's like this album as a whole - too much filling and too little substance, which is kind of what I tend to think of most Lana Lane-music. Somehow it becomes a little too much surface and too little depth in her songs. This album could have taken off 20 minutes without really loosing any music at all. I don't say that all the atmospheric parts between real music must go, but strip it down and keep the gold and maybe Lana could get the treasure back home for once.

Without hesitating I give Mrs Lane my approval with this album, but had it been the same music on the same album with a playing time of around 40 minutes, it still wouldn't have lost a minute of real music… which is why my interest kind of fades away… in almost 20 minutes of nonsense.





Label: Tink Tank media/Connecting Music
Tre liknande band: //
Betyg: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Recensent: Caj Källmalm

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