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Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion - 'HFMC' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/52/0e/ca/hasse-frberg-musical-companion-hfmc-40-1438030797.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 27, 2015    
 
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I've already added this to my list of contenders for year-end honours, it's that good.

Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the previous albums from Hasse Fröberg and his companions, Thomsson (bass), Ola Strandberg (drums), Kjell Haraldsson (keyboards) and lead guitarist Anton Lindsjö, with this, their third album, they've produced something quite outstanding. I've already added this to my list of contenders for year-end honours, it's that good!

It's been a while coming due to injury and family bereavements but the wait has been more than worth it with the creation of some sensational songs, including writing contributions from Strandberg and not just Fröberg. What this proves is that it's not just The Flower Kings cohort Roine Stolt who can write memorable melodies and refrains.

The album comprises of ten tracks but in effect tracks one and ten are short instrumentals that bookend eight fulsome songs. 'Seconds' will be the perfect introduction music to a gig as it sets up 'Can't Stop The Clock' perfectly. This a wonderfully constructed seven minutes of music that has some TFK traits but also includes Hard Rock and even Metal motifs which keeps things very interesting. The chorus is absolutely gorgeous, a theme that is consistent across the entire album.

'Everything Can Change' is a diverse yet cohesive song where some of the vocal arrangements put me in mind of 10CC and Queen, while the change to Jazzy guitar and piano solos is inspired. The track is superbly melodic throughout and the guitar solos are a wonder to behold. 'Pages' is a fifteen-minute epic that moves through so many different styles yet never feels the least bit disjointed. The track builds and the vocal arrangement hints at Transatlantic but other passages are redolent of Yes, both Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin eras. There's a distinctly Steve Howe-type guitar solo which suddenly morphs into a dual guitar thing akin to The Allman Brothers.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Genius' is already in my mind as "Song Of The Year' material and is a plaintive track about dying young. Starting acoustically it picks up pace towards the end, Fröberg's melancholic vocals are rather special as are the lyrics. 'In The Warmth Of The Evening' is yet another delight. There's Supertramp-like electric piano, beautifully lush Hammond Organ that puts me in mind of early Deep Purple. Vocally there are instances where it sounds as if Joey Tempest (Europe) has put in an appearance. The extended instrumental passage is terrific.

'Someone Else's Fault' could be an anthem of our times with more brilliant lyrics. Wonderfully melodic, again, I love the mid-track switch to a Blues section that screams Thunder. 'Something Worth Dying For' is heavy with great riffs, being almost Euro Metal in places, highlighting the band's ability to tackle any style successfully.

Gary Marshall

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