There was "The World", an album fantastique, so a title "Not Of This World" sets one's mind wondering, what's in behind the cover with a theater of life scene. Now, we're definitely back to this world, our world, not a fantasy one. "If I Were The Wind (And You Were The Rain" intro paints an abandoned landscape, which got enlivened by Barrett love song, not ballad yet continuation of this spacious guitar. Nick's approach very mature, more soulful than ever up to almost gospel part. Clive Nolan with Peter Gee's support arranges a sonic storm that calms down into unsophisticated piano - welcome in!
"Dance Of The Seven Veils" first part, "Faithless", appears sprinkled with Chinese motifs until it gains flesh and shows a chorus, familiar as its shadow lurked in the PENDRAGON's songs before. A new life out of dream? Too cruel, it seems - especially if the second part says "All Over Now" and builds another tune on guitar strumming the same chorus line. There's even an anger the reality brings, melody slows down to bitter-sweet and then cuts again. "Not Of This World" is sharp, too, starting Jarre-styled but laden with guitar over synth layer and bearing the statement, "I'm flesh and blood, I'm a human being". The music comes down-to-earth, Nick sings rough, drawing on desperation - check this "Ridi Pagliacci" off Leoncavallo's opera, a sihn of faith gone, on the verge of the next part, "Give It To Me", a slow dance of consumerism. The third piece, "Green-Eyed Angel" brings back the blue-eyed melancholy, resolving in heartbreaking guitar moves while keyboards add a deja-vu feel.
It lingers on with acoustic wave of "A Man Of Nomadic Traits". Escapism is tragic, a man feels he doesn't belong to "this crazy world", and a keyboard and guitar solos gently carry him away. To the "World's End". The suite beginning, "The Lost Children", is as far from "The World" optimism as can be. Yet the question, "Where are the lost children?" hides a hope, the same that in FLOYD's "Bring The Boys Back Home". Hope lies bare in "And Finally...", looking back to "Not Of This World" and rousing an anthem of regret. No love now, no faith - PENDRAGON wave goodbye to this world, which has unicorns gone for another green pastures.
A sad record it is, but there's a prize in the end, a glimpse over the shoulder - the acoustic versions of "Paintbox" and "King Of The Castle". Will the fantasy return?