Album Review: Jacqui L – Planet Parallel 5

By Andrew Bansal

Australian prog artist Jacqui L has come out with a highly conceptual release, ‘Planet Parallel 5’. She expresses her music and lyrics through the perspective of an alien scorpion from the planet PP5. The 10-track effort is expertly augmented by three incredibly stunning music videos that further elaborate the concept, but the music on its own is sure to capture the imagination and stimulate the senses of all prog fans.

The mood and scene is set right away with the short intro/buildup piece ‘Happy Birthday’, and then the album only goes from strength to strength with every track . Fans of bands like Tool, The Ocean, A Perfect Circle, Porcupine Tree and Jacqui L’s fellow Aussies in Karnivool will instantly be able to relate to the depressive, melancholic vibe created by Jacqui L. The song ‘Frankenstein’ establishes the album’s stronghold early on, and songs like ‘Rich Man’ and ‘I’ll Covet’ tighten it further, and then comes ‘Cold’, probably the finest composition on offer here, and rightly forming the centerpiece of the 10-track set.

The album does not let its intensity drop in its second half even one bit, as ‘Decaying Orbit’ comes across as the heaviest and most up-tempo track, and is followed by four compelling, thought-provoking tunes that bring the journey to ‘Planet Parallel 5’ to an end.

It is not at all easy to pull off a conceptual prog album with success, but Jacqui L does so with flying colors and has presented her concept in a manner that beckons all prog fans to take a listen. Come take the trip to ‘Planet Parallel 5’, for you certainly won’t regret it.

Rating: 9/10

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Track Listing:
01. Happy Birthday (1:21)
02. Frankenstein (4:26)
03. Rich Man (5:17)
04. I’ll Covet (5:44)
05. Cold (4:56)
06. Decaying Orbit (4:45)
07. Under the Noise (4:58)
08. Could Be (4:29)
09. Stroke It (4:24)
10. Distraction (5:06)

Total Duration: 45:26

Jacqui L links: website | facebook