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Moon Safari - Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteċ Serenade CD (album) cover


Moon Safari


Symphonic Prog

4.74 | 124 ratings

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5 stars "Lover's End Part III - Skellefteċ Serenade" is probably Moon Safari's finest recorded moment to date. That is no mean achievement as the band have already laid to disc many memorable epics. This song brings together all the best aspects of the band's output in one stunning 24 minute masterpiece, which shows the growing maturity in their writing, performance and production technique. Put simply Moon Safari have never sounded as good as this. The musical excellence is supplemented and enhanced by personal and articulate lyrics which can work on several levels for the listener. After a slow but seductive intro featuring a classic Simon Ċkesson keyboard hook, the song builds tempo and Petter Sandström's vocals paint a scene of glorious despair set in the band's hometown of Skellefteċ: "The lonely lover's just arrived. He's tearing every doorway down and invites the darkness again." Despair yes but not without hope as "today we'll make a new Jerusalem". The emotional power of the song, as with so many Moon Safari songs, lies with the bitter sweetness of the lyrics. Sadness is never far from hope but hope is also never far from sadness. As if to underline this, a sweeping keyboard passage, almost orchestral in nature, takes the song into another phase of melancholy. This doesn't last long as the band take the passage into a strident positive upbeat tempo before asking plaintively "why does the sun shine?" and "why does the world spin"? This takes us into the story of Rubber Feet. Johan Westerlund explains: "Rubber Feet is a local legend from our small village outside Skellefteċ, Bergsbyn. When we grew up he was already very old and certainly an outsider. He lived in a run-down old house and spent his days riding his bike around all over Skellefteċ and collecting cans". Rubber Feet's demise is used as a metaphor for the decline of the town of Skellefteċ, where "the only movement is by the driftwood down the river". Ironically, the melody that accompanies these lyrics is one of the strongest and catchiest you will ever hear. The music is so good at this point that you start to feel it can't continue at this quality but you would be wrong as a jaw dropping instrumental passage of quite stunning brilliance raises the bar even higher. As this passage comes to an end the song returns neatly to the earlier lyrical and musical themes of not only this song but also those of Lover's End Parts 1 & II. "But you know that I love you" is perhaps a line you would hear in the songs of many artists. You will not, however, hear it sung with the same beauty and precision as it is here. "Life is but a waiting room and I guess I'm still waiting there for you" similarly carries a huge emotional punch that cannot be conveyed through merely reading the words here. When you hear Simon's piano again, you realise you're reaching the end of a beautiful journey and so is our hero who concludes "I'm never leaving my hometown". This song has all the classic Moon Safari elements brought together in a story line we can all relate to.
Nrwhmr | 5/5 |


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