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Roine Stolt - Hydrophonia CD (album) cover

HYDROPHONIA

Roine Stolt

 

Symphonic Prog

3.94 | 123 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Hydrophonia" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedith progressive rock artists Roine Stolt. The album was released through InsideOut Music in 1998. At this point in time Roine Stolt experienced great success with his main act The Flower Kings, but he had been an active musician since the mid-70s. First as a member of progressive Swedish rock act Kaipa and in the 80s as a solo artist. However it wasn´t until he released his 4th full-length studio album "The Flower King (1994)", that things really began to happen.

"Hydrophonia" is not a continuation of the progressive rock sound on "The Flower King (1994)", which is a sound Roine Stolt further cultivated with The Flower Kings. "Hydrophonia" is still a progressive rock album, but it´s fully instrumental and incorporate stylistic elements from as different genres as new age, jazz/rock, progressive rock, folk and medieval music. There is a reoccuring marine theme in songtitles like "Shipbuilding", "Bizarre Seahorse Sex Attack" and "Lobsterland Groove", but other than that the music doesn´t necessarily makes me think of oceans, boats and whales.

Roine Stolt takes care of guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion on the album. He has recruited Jaime Salazar (drums, percussion) and Ulf Wallander (soprano saxophone) to help him out in the few areas where his multi-instrumental skills aren´t sufficient. The musicianship is not surprisingly on a very high level. The sound production which is credited to Roine Stolt´s pseudonym Don Azzaro, is professional, pleasent and organic and generally sounds like the sound productions on contemporary Flower Kings albums.

Although there are some energetic moments and even a couple of atonal solos and themes on the album, "Hydrophonia" is generally a pretty laidback, sweet and uplifting listen. It doesn´t always possess a lot of depth and quite a few of the tracks very quickly become pleasant background listening (or if I´m a bit more critical: "high level muzak") and at 67:42 minutes I think "Hydrophonia" does drag on for too long. If Roine Stolt had cut the fat (read: the most new age/muzak sounding parts) and released a 40 minutes long album instead and I think "Hydrophonia" would have been a better and more enjoyable listen. Still it´s a relatively enjoyable listen and certainly a professional sounding release and a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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