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Simon Says - Paradise Square CD (album) cover

PARADISE SQUARE

Simon Says

 

Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 62 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Things did not turn out very well for Simon Says after ''Ceinwen'' with Ola Johansson being sacked due to his arguments with Stefan Renstroem and Nils Stenstroem moving to Goethenburg.A new line-up was set up for a brief time by Daniel Faeldt, but in 1996 the band was put on ice, as Renstroem was not quite satisfied with the direction of the new core.He focused on his work with his other band, The Moor.Years later he decided to revive Simon Says and sent an mail to Faeldt, who had moved to India.Without any second thoughts Faeldt returned to Sweden and the new line-up included also The Moor's Jonas Hallberg and Ulf Nylen on guitar and drums respectively.As Nylen had a hard time to absorb Simon Says' material , he was replaced by Valinor's Tree's Mattias Jarlhed and the recordings of the new album were finished in 2001.Demo tapes were sent to Galileo Records and ''Paradise square'' saw the light the following year.

Simon Says did not abandon the long forms of Progressive Rock music and still produced stretched and interesting compositions, they did update though their sound a bit, moving somewhat from their old-fashioned GENESIS stylings for a more contemporary style, which still involved huge analog echoes on Mellotron and organ, delivered with a cleaner and more modern production.They were caught though in the trap of sounding extremely close to SPOCK'S BEARD and THE FLOWER KINGS, offering arrangements with alternating synth and Mellotron/organ textures, strong symphonic tendencies and some lighter poppy tunes.The material is still well-written with captivating melodies and professional executions, ranging from pretty dramatic themes with atmospheric instrumental passages to more optimistic and accesible tunes.Lots of bombastic keyboard parts, sudden shifts in tempos and a few jazzy vibes result a work, that has been written with intelligence and passion till' the last detail.Good and sometimes adventurous guitar parts with melodic and post-psychedelic leanings and an efficient rhythm section complete the picture of the group, that now seems influenced by a wider spectrum, including GENESIS, YES, KAIPA and FOCUS.However the resemblances with SPOCK'S BEARD''s or THE FLOWER KINGS' music get a bit disturbing in the process.

Rich and interesting Progressive Rock by a work, that could be seen as emblimatic regarding the style.Far from original, but very interesting with a few nice highlights like the great title-track.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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