MPCD 4001 Water Colors
Produced by Pete Bardens and Phil Da Costa
Released on 1991
Find it at GEMM
MPCD 4001 cover
[high resolution scan]

I t seems an immutable truth that all progressive rock keyboardists will eventually make an album (or two or three) of new age music centered on a natural wonder of some sort: space, water, desert, mountain, jlo’s can, what have you. Pete Bardens had successfully explored space on Seen One Earth and returned to water (“Neshamah of the soul...”) for the soundtrack to one of Miramar’s video-albums from their nature series, Water Colors. I own Canyon Dreams from this series, featuring the music of Tangerine Dream, and it’s a pretty cool concept, matching instrumental music with sweeping vistas (I know, what is this, a brochure?) of the Grand Canyon. Of the two Bardens albums I own (Speed of Light being the other), this is by far the better, though honestly Tangerine Dream has released buckets of stuff like this: instrumental synthesizer music that sounds by turns placid, arid, ominous, energetic. Truly, I would trade both of those Bardens albums for three minutes of “Supertwister,” so any mention of this as the best of Bardens should be accompanied at all times by an asterisk. Of added interest, Water Colors slips two vocal songs into the mix: “A Higher Ground” (sung by Mychal Lomas, who sounds approximately like Tony Banks) and “Is It Any Wonder” (featuring established R&B vocalist Syreeta Wright). Both songs deal with water themes, but I’d be interested in seeing how well they work with visual accompaniment. (Not interested enough to shell out fifteen bucks for the video, however, since I live near the ocean and can watch all the water I want for free.) As an album of mostly instrumental music, Bardens has produced a minor work of art with Water Colors, holding his own in the competitive field of new age keyboard composers. Subsequent albums followed a similar formula, suggesting that the former Camel keyboardist may have finally found his niche as a solo artist.

MPCD 4001 back cover
MPCD 4001 back cover


  1. JOURNEY    (Pete Bardens/Jethro DeFries)    5:10
  2. DE PROFUNDIS    (Pete Bardens/Jethro DeFries)    4:59
  3. A HIGHER GROUND    (Pete Bardens)    4:52
  4. YELLOWSTONE BLUE    (Pete Bardens)    3:55
  5. IS IT ANY WONDER    (Pete Bardens/Jethro DeFries)    4:50
  6. WATER COLORS    (Pete Bardens)    4:19
  7. SHAPE OF THE RAIN    (Pete Bardens)    4:59
  8. TIMEPIECE    (Pete Bardens/Jethro DeFries)    4:37
  9. GHOSTWATER    (Pete Bardens/Jethro DeFries)    4:16


PETE BARDENS -- keyboards
JETHRO FOXX (DeFRIES) -- drums, percussion
MYCHAL LOMAS -- bass, vocals
Syreeta Wright -- vocals (5)
Phil Da Costa -- engineer
Malcolm Cecil -- engineer & producer (5)
G. Paul Sullivan -- executive producer
Ted Mader + Associates -- art direction
Dave Crosier -- cover inset photograph
Keith Brofsky -- background photograph
Robert Knight -- artist photograph

US 1991 Miramar CD/CS MPCD/MPC 4001  


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