I need to get back into writing, the same way I need oxygen to breathe. It's been over a year though and I could do with some prompts.  See my tags for subjects/fandoms/pairings/formats I'm comfortable with, but I'm flexible. Be as specific or as vague as you like.


I can't promise to be quick, but this would really help me begin to edge back in...

Finally, after two days' arguing with Royal Mail, my copy of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds: The New Generation arrived, both in CD and vinyl format (the latter having record sleeve sized versions of the artwork which matched the size in the original collector's edition and allowed detailed comparison.


There is no earthly way, as a devotee of this music, to review it without comparing it to the original. To do that justice I need time to sit and listen to both versions, so in the meantime here are brief notes on my second time through.


Liam Neeson as the Journalist:  I like it more than I expected to like someone who wasn't Richard Burton. Although I though the point of that was to expand plot elements.  This has not happened, enhancing my suspicions that the reason they needed a living actor was really for the movie we thought they would announce when they announced this.


The Eve of the War: Very full texture, sounds quite like a remix after the opening chords. Possibly slightly faster than in the original, although that may be a trick of the texture.  I thought it was a semitone lower but having just checked against my ringtone, it's not.  I think I will get used to this, although it's overproduced and very ravey.  It's one heck of an iconic opening to be redoing though!  Part of the busyness does for me evoke a civilisation building for war. Gary Barlow singing the Journalist was one of my biggest worries and of course his first entry is, again, iconic - and proved my worries needless.  He has the tone and inflection of someone who knows the Justin Hayward version very well.  You can hear very strongly in the ending of the movement the influence of the three live tours on the music.


Horsell Common and the Heat Ray: There's some weird whispering in the beginning here! It might be speech run backwards, I need to listen more. Again, I think this is a touch faster than the original, and is largely the original synth although with more metallic tones, and with lots of the same members in the Black Smoke Band, it might well be that Jeff just held a big old jam session. Some elements of synth are added, and the piano and percussion are more influenced by the orchestration of the stage show, like the more dominant xylophone. There is a throbbing, insistent hemiolaic thing that is almost a drone for much of it, which I like very much - it gives a very subtle but driving effect in addition to the relentless on beat drumming, but makes it slightly unsettling.  There's also a lot more in the way of mid to high range ostenato type figures going on which makes me think Jeff spent the years in between albums playing his way through all the Final Fantasies I through IX.


The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine: First, I love that there's an owl hooting over the beginning! Again, this feels faster. Ricky Wilson in his speaking role here is very pleasing. More on him later. As with the previous track the Black Smoke melodies are preserved to begin with but more middle lines added - this has a very pleasing synth cello countermelody.  Additional dialogue which is true to the novel, and some added mechanised sounds as the Fighting Machines come back into play.  The return of the rave beat is a tad jarring but the schwoop noise on the Eve melody sounds like a representation of the heat ray blasts.  I don't like the new version of the theme that comes with the fifth fighting machine, but I can see where Jeff has gone with it and have an idea of what to expect with the live show's new CGI at that point. Sadly for me the sacrifice of the driving syncopations for a more stuttering underneath rhythm has left one of the essential bits on the wayside.  There is definitely more franticness about this, and I can see people hating the moment the Journalist jumps underwater, but I LOVE it.


Forever Autumn: This of course was a single before the original was written, and Barlow acquits himself excellently. I like the more metallic guitar tones and clearer treble figures, but it is perhaps a little overproduced again.  Vocal harmonies remain largely the same, but there are some wordless figures added which I am going to need to get used to.  I think I shall like them in time. Part of the beauty of not having the same time restrictions here allow the music almost to stop and breathe.  in the narrative section the lovely cello synth is back, signposting the return of the Fighting Machines while the music and narration has not got there yet.  The Eve theme slots in better here.


Thunder Child: I don't really know Alex Clare as singer, but he does very nicely, no problem with the top note.  Liam doesn't say whoosh the way Burton did, but he says it nicely nonetheless.  Extra wordless vocal tones here add lovely long chords which sort of counter the very busy underpinning rhythm - almost the chorus on the steamer praying for safe passage.  There is an awful lot going on in the texture by this point, but it is quite evocative of the scramble to get away from the invaders.  The final eve chords are held back just a little longer than on the original, again in an obvious allowance for the cgi of the live show.


And as the noises of the Martians fade, here are the whispers again and I have a sneaking sense that it's the 1998 pc game prologue martian dialogue being run backwards.  that will be one to listen to on the vinyl then...


and a silent pause to feed the cats and wonder why my GP never called back.


**slightly elongated break while Pippin goes on hunger strike**


The Red Weed, part 1: I like this starting with the missile noise: a reminder that the Martians are not just there but still an oncoming force too.  This should be a much quieter piece, and it is very true to that, with very similar textures and a pianist whom I assume is Jeff (as he doesn't play keyboards this track) providing more plinkety plonkety bits over the top which almost sound improvised.  Again there are some new middle part ostenati.  It retains the swaying, creeping feel of the original version, and still wouldn't sound out of place in the climactic sequence of Labyrinth. Additional text, and Liam gets the tone of slight revulsion describing the weed very well.  Not all good though.


The Spirit of Man: Lots of extra orchestration here, and Beth's refrain gets a lot of repetition that stems from the stage show. I like a lot of the new effects and vocal synth. Joss Stone as Beth is very beautiful and again there are some quite lovely descents to her parts. Unfortunately the only good thing I can say about Maverick Sabre's performance is that he's not singing the part live. He does sound deranged, which contrasts Joss Stone's pure tone of serenity, but he's more like a deranged Bob Marley than a deranged Victorian London Parson...  They've been able to take more time over the instrumental sections and pauses though.  Ana_goth commented that it won't be long before someone dubs Phil Lynott's original vocal in to duet with Joss.  Also, the crash of the cylinder on the cottage is so muted as to be insignificant, which is a shame as it's dramatically very important.


The Red Weed, part 2: More dialogue here , so more for Liam to enjoy. The inclusion of one of my favourite lines from the book is well delivered and creepy in understatement: they understood doors!


The Artilleryman Returns: this has always been an odd sort of track as nothing really happens, it's a bridge between features.  There is more dialogue about the science behind the Martians which I think is true to the Wells, and the texture is played with.


Brave New World: Ricky comes truly into his own here.  he's clearly studied David Essex very very closely, and some lines are spot on the same : others deliberately delivered in a new way. This track was always going to make or break the album for me, and it is. just. brilliant.  Again, more text, more middle lines, and a subtle degrading of the harmonies to something more jarring when you really get the hang of how insane the Artilleryman has gone is an excellent addition.  A plus distinction.  I can't wait to see him sing live.


Dead London: Very calming, finally some slow music! it's very much a reorchestration of the same notes, extra percussion and some low sounds with a little extra dialogue.  every now and then there's an echo on the narration which I guess is supposed to the echo of a lone voice in London, butt doesn't come off. the piping sound in the backing should sound like a sad clanger, but that does work, oddly enough, as though the machines are sad that their drivers have died. The reintroduction of the opening chords is happily authentic and manages to stop the Eve theme from sounding disappointing on it's return.  Not sure we needed Gary Barlow back with his opening refrain - that's a device from the live show to get the singers back onstage - but I shant begrudge them and it helps build the climax. Liam gets the bit about minute invisible bacteria inflection perfect.


Epilogue: well, it's the Black Smoke band having fun at this point : a few extra bits of texture and a nice descant. I'm touched by the britishness with which the narrator having seen his world, feels "close to tears". Sob, man, sob!


Epilogue 2: this is almost identical. almost. and then right at the end, as NASA loses touch with Curiosity the landing craft, the build of music incorporates one line from the 1998 computer game prologue that got polished up for the live show but thankfully not used in this... lovely way to fit it in, and the cutoff is even more abrupt and jagged as the first time, as though it really is a broken transmission...


Artwork: beautiful. instead of taking the easy route of looking at other scenes they have redone all of the iconic scenes, and it really is some phenomenal work.  You can very much see that in the interim they've had to build a Fighting Machine and so the mechanics of the renderings are that much more realistic. Ana took delight in finding a photo of Regent Street to show me that the panic in the street scene is a very real place, and the Brave New World steampunk scene blew me away. A lovely touch that Beth is now included in Nathanials vision.


Right, I'm off have nightmares about Martians.


July 1: Watson injury (any severity), from a different POV than Holmes.
In Harm's Way. ACD!canon, Lestrade, Watson, angst. PG
Posted 02/07/11
July 2: Rain, lamp-post, handkerchief, flowers.
A Little Heavier Than Usual. Sherlock (BBC), Holmes, Watson, illness, daftness. G
Posted 02/07/11
July 3: The Hospital Ship by W. H. Littlejohn.
Dashing Hopes for Our Deliverance. ACD!canon (kinda) crossover, Watson, angst, alien invasion, character death. PG-13.
Posted 03/07/11
July 4: Celebration of a non-British holiday.
Oats, Coconut, and Golden Syrup. Sherlock (BBC), John, Sherlock, Mrs Hudson, allergies, cookies. G
Posted 04/07/11
July 5: Quote/adaptation: If actions speak louder than words, how is the pen mightier than the sword?
Trending on Twitter. Sherlock (BBC): John, John's blog. G
Posted 05/07/11
July 6: Crossover
With Tempest and Storm. Holmes (ACD)/PotC: Watson, Will Turner, hiatus, G.
Posted 07/07/11 (0005 BST)
July 7: Falling
Alone You Hang In Ruins. Sherlock (BBC): Watson. DARK. Discussion of suicide, drug abuse, R.
Posted 07/07/11
July 8: Photo prompt
Stakeout. Sherlock (BBC): John, 221b, fluff, G.
Posted 08/07/11
July 9: Stress/exhaustion, stress relief
Two Dozen Caddies. Sherlock (BBC): Mrs Hudson, Mrs Hudson's tea cupboard. G
Posted 09/07/11
July 10: Midnight summons
He Whom You Love. Sherlock (BBC), John, drabble, G.
Posted 10/07/11
July 11: Kitten
With the Queen. ACD, Watson, Wiggins, Holmes, a number of furballs, G.
Posted 11/07/11
July 12: Quote - "I like a friend the better for having faults that one can talk about." - William Hazlitt, 1826
To A Fault. Lestrade, 221b domestic equilibrium (of a sort), drabble, G.
Posted 12/07/11
July 13: Superstition
Left Shoe for Luck. Sherlock (BBC), Mycroft, Sherlock and John (S/J squint) on their special day, G.
Posted 13/07/11
July 14: TLC
Through the Checkout Five Times Sherlock (BBC), John, Sherlock, h/c, G
Posted 14/07/11
July 15: Fix a scene from canon
Solitary Investigations. ACD Canon, Holmes, Watson, Dialogue double drabble, SOLI, G.
Posted 15/07/11
July 16: The Dutch steamship Friesland
The Dutch steamship Friesland. Sherlock (BBC), Sherlock, John, Cows, G.
Posted 16/07/11
July 17: Dialogue fic.
I'll Find You. Sherlock, John, offscreen kidnappers, PG, dialogue only.
Posted 17/07/11
July 18: Picture Prompt
If Not. Holmes, angst, a critical error, G.
Posted 18/07/11
July 19: A Foggy Day - George & Ira Gershwin.
And Suddenly I Saw You There. Watson, Holmes, Guest Star, WW2 AU, G.
Posted 19/07/11
July 20: Watson’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day
You Make It Real. Sherlock, John, angst, offscreen cancer, PG.
Posted 21/07/11 (0114 BST)
July 21: Acquainted with the Night - Robert Frost
Brighten the Stars. Lestrade, Sherlock, John, London. G.
Posted 21/07/11
July 22: Correspondence
If Convenient. Holmes, Watson, wartime telegraphs. G.
Posted 22/07/11
July 23: Alternate FINIS
An Eye For An Eye. Holmes, tag for 3GAR. PG
July 24: Seasonal Storms
"The Weather Will Become Very Windy..." Sherlock, John, storms and memories. PG.
Posted 24/07/11
July 25: Supernatural
He Lies Slain. John, Sherlock, post-pool, devastating news. PG.
Posted 26/07/11 (2233 BST - first day of the outage). Posted earlier that day on Dreamwidth: finished 2100 BST 25/07/11
July 26: Red, lantern, grass, fish, needle
Every Scar. John, Sherlock, snooping and scars. G
Posted 26/07/11
July 27: Poem
And Afterwards Rememberl. Sherlock, John, traumatic illness. Owch. PG.
Posted 27/07/11
July 28: Enclosed Spaces
The Claws That Catch. Follow-up to And Afterwards Remember. PG-13
Posted 28/07/11
July 29: Illness in a location where little to no help is forthcoming
As You Value His Life. AU scene for HOUN. Watson, Holmes. G
July 30: "Is that __(item name)__ supposed to be _(doing that) ?"
Before A Fall. John, Sherlock, injury in the course of duty. G.
Posted 30/07/11
July 31:Picture prompt
Growing Gloom. John, waiting for Sherlock. G.
Posted 31/07/11

Amnesty prompts: Rising Waters (complete story)
Posted in completion 08/08/11
Reading order:
Prologue: Comes the Flood (8)
Part 1: Run (3)
Part 2: In Case of Emergency Please Call (1)
Part 3: Efficient (5)
Part 4: Secure Communications (4)
Part 5: Blue (2)
Part 6: Relief (6)
Part 7: Dust and Water (7)
Part 8: Strode the Two Fools (9)
Epilogue: Married Ones (10)



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