Fireworks

Moon Safari - 'Lover's End' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/35/32/8b/1221_MoonSafariLoversEnd_1304807808.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 07, 2011    
 
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I think I've found my album of the year. Yes, it is that special.

Whilst I love a wide range of musical styles (virtually everything covered by this web site, and more besides) my heart still belongs to Progressive Rock and Moon Safari are a prime example of why. Most genres of Rock such as AOR or Hard Rock have fairly narrow parameters by which they are judged, yet Prog has a huge number of sub genres from Metal across to Folk and Neo, with numerous stops in between. Add another notch to the list as I think Moon Safari have created a whole new genre to themselves, Harmony Prog or maybe West Coast Prog.

As I listened to this album for the first time I was struck by the wonderful musical creativity and deftness that harks at fellow Scandinavians, The Flower Kings (TFK) and Magic Pie, but vocally they have arrangements and harmonies that wouldn't be out of place with Venice or the Beach Boys, making their sound both unique and compelling. Frankly, I think this album is superb and should appeal to the majority of our readership purely for the wonderful tunes and melodies, whilst not being overtly Prog.

The opening track ('Lover's End Part 1') lays down the benchmark for the rest of the album with its lovely piano refrain which is then joined by an understated organ. The theme is picked up by guitar and flute whilst the initial vocal has a John Lennon tinge to it. As the song develops the harmonies are fed in and they are truly glorious. The segue into 'A Kid Called Panic' is a delight, as is the melody which brings TFK to mind, whilst vocally the verses have a Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon) quality. Again, the multiple vocal arrangement is spectacular and elsewhere the song structure has me in mind of the seemingly and lamentably missing in action A.C.T. There are some fine instrumental sections with piano, synth and guitar all getting solos. The 14 minutes of this song fly by in what feels like half that time.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Southern Belle' opens with an amazing a capella arrangement that is a thing of beauty, and the lead vocal is spine-tingling in its delivery. 'The World's Best Dreamers' has yet another fabulous vocal arrangement and the chorus is absolutely phenomenal, whilst some Rick Wakemen-esque synth work rounds things out rather nicely. 'New York City Summer Girl' changes the mood somewhat in a kind of light and fluffy style, but that's not meant as a criticism. There's a retro feel with organ and slide guitar underpinning another multi vocal piece which harks at The Beach Boys. 'Heartland' opens with a Spock's Beard style keyboard before taking a more TFK/ACT feel. The driving bass is lovely, the chorus stands out as being rather special and the instrumental section is invigorating.

Everything about 'Crossed The Rubicon' just shouts quality with the vocals well to the fore, but the music that sits behind it is wonderful with a slight Celtic feel in places. There are layers to the music that only reveal themselves with repeated listens so there's always something else to entice the listener. A reprise of the title track closes the album and for me that signals a quick prod of the repeat button so I can hear it all over again.

You will have gathered that I rate this album, and although 2011 has barely started I think I've found my album of the year. Yes, it is that special.

Gary Marshall

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