Gidon Carmel
The Story of Goabi

Label: RecordJet
Three similar bands: Ayreon/Cameron James Laing/IAMX

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1.Wake Up
2. The Great Pretender
3. The Fall
4. The Ocean
5. Creature
6. Tonight
7. Saint Helena
8. Take Me Away
9. Sticks and Stones
10. Goabi
11. Trace the Lines
12. The Hands of My Shadow

Gidon Carmel - Guitar, piano, keys, drums, percussion


Sophie Sutton - Vocals
Ben Wuyts - Vocals
Tim Hook - Guitar, piano and mandolin
Rene Flächsenhaar - Bass, synth bass
Tomer Moked - Violin and Viola
Merav Goldmann French-horn
Alex Samawicz - Trumpet
Fabrizio Tentoni - keys, synth, piano
Amistat - vocal
Coby Grant - vocals
Jan Prasil - guitar
Merav Goldman - french-horn
Alberta Cross (Petter Ericson Sakee) - vocals
Jess Smith - backing vocals
Lucas Laufen - vocals
Cameron Laing - bass, keys, vocals
Cameron Hassard - vocals
Lotta St Joan - vocals
The Nation Mourn - vocals
Lenda Minder - vocals
Children - vocals
Witch 'n' Rah (The Swag) - vocals
Reema (Mimi Müller Westernhagen) - vocals

Recorded and mixed at The Famous Gold Watch studios, Berlin
Produced by Gidon Carmel, Tim Hook, Cameron Laing
Post-production - Cameron Laing
Mixing - Cameron Laing
Mastering - Francesco Salvadori

Released 2023-03-17
Reviewed 2023-03-05


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The Story of Goabi is a Star Trek type sci-fi story where we are told the story of humanity through a parable with aliens replacing one type of people. In this case it is the marginalised, like refugees and people like that. It is the story of Goabi, an alien from intergalactic space that accidentally ends up on Earth. But instead of being protected this aliens gets sold to scientists and abused due to our ignorance, something that probably would happen if an space traveller would end up on Earth as we humans are evil and abuse everything that we can abuse. Not really thinking about whether or not this alien advanced enough to traverse space has friends with nasty weapons nearby, as ignorance and indifference to injustices is the human condition. It is an ambitious project for a first solo release, but why not aim high instead of making something everyone else already have made?

Carmel has lots of guests for this album, many singers for example, that and the themes makes me think or Arjen Lucassen’s space stories with Ayreon; but in terms of style it is not really that similar. We get a wide-ranging musical style, electronic, pop, rock, dark, some hope, good variation thanks to the songs being different. Still, thanks to clever composing the songs fit well together as whole despite their rather incoherent foundations. The atmospheres are good, I like the sound, though some more darkness and depth would have been good, a bit more power wouldn’t have hurt some of the songs either. Small niggles though, as the album is sensible in playing time and has good dynamics as well as great vocals.

In its best moments the story about Goabi is very captivating, it has some lesser moments where my interest wanes a bit as well, but the weaker parts are far fewer than the great parts. I especially like the second and the eighth track, those are real standouts for me; but apart for some smaller things the album is great all the way through. It is no doubt that it deserves a high rating, it touches on an even higher rating, and might be one of the albums that I consider the most interesting of 2023 when this year turns into the next, it is one of the real highlights of the year so far at least.

An album that is well worth checking thanks to its great songs, and great musicianship. Thanks to its wide-ranging style of songs it should also be an album that has a rather wide appeal, and not just being for fans of a certain genre. I have a hard time seeing that any sensible music lover would find this album unplayable. I know that it is an album that I will return to every now and then, and that is certainly not something I do with every album.