After heavier conceptalbums, based on the works of Tolkien, Hieronymus Bosch, Hans Christian Andersen and Peter van der Laan, the approach of Peter Swart on THE COUCH is, thematically spoken, somewhat lighter. The central theme consists of actions that you can perform on your lazy couch: dreaming, resting, reading, meditating and playing the guitar.
This has created a musical pallet, in which the introvert troubadour returns to his intimate albums THE PATH and SHADES, while the more extraverted sound of ROFLORÉ only pops up in some climaxes. Therefore the 'whispersympho' is back.
Fans of Anthony Phillips' series Private Parts & Pieces, the quiet passages of Genesis' Trespass and the subtle play on the older records of Steve Hackett, Al Stewart and Bo Hansson can surrender themselves, relaxing in the warm, rooted in the seventies, music of the classically trained Swart.
The main focus is on literature. Hedwig, inspired by Van de koele meren des doods of writer/psychiatrist (and thus sofa user) Frederik van Eeden, gets more than nine minutes of space to develop, while the six part suite Werther (inspired by Goethe's Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers) covers over twenty minutes. Yet there is no difference in atmosphere created in the shorter pieces, like Dust and Buddha, the latters partially supported by mellotron sounds.
Swart starts his compositions with pleasant sounding key passages, after which his Duncan Browne-like voice, his electrical guitar solos (influenced by Hackett) and the occasional flute of Marlies de Vries colour the whole. Ron Brevé's drums provide dynamic elements, whereby the keyboard generated fretless bass often gives a nice sliding support. Finally, of course, the acoustic sixstrings has a big part, especially in the miniature On The Couch and in Werther. So curl up on your couch, close your eyes, relax and experience The Couch.