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Moon Safari - [Blomljud] CD (album) cover

[BLOMLJUD]

Moon Safari

 

Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 388 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars The second release from Moon Safari depicts the band on an ambitious creative journey known simply as [Blomljud]. One might only wonder why they didn't take more time to work on the album cover...

The album features over 100 minutes of music raging from soft ballads, to playful instrumentals and epics so there is sure to be something for everyone here! The first CD starts off with the beautiful a capella number titled Constant Bloom, try to remember this melody since it will be reprised on quite a few occasions through the album. I really like this idea of repeating the signature melody through the album and thus keeping the feeling of a well-rounded concept album in place, even though the material itself might not always feel as such. Methuselah's Children is another winner, which is great considering it's the second longest track off the album. The song is comprised out of several sections that work very well on their own but there is still somewhat of a disjointed feeling between them, luckily it doesn't really ruin the overall composition for me.

In The Countryside is where the band begin to show signs of somewhat lackluster songwriting, this was of course bound to happen on an album that features this much material. I simply lack the punch to this song, even if the vocal harmonies are just as impressive as ever. Luckily it doesn't take long for Moon Safari to regain my interest since the next track is an instrumental and it's a good one! Moonwalk is a great interlude between the lengthy vocal-centered tracks and serves as an excellent intro to my personal favorite track - Bluebells. This is what I call excellent songwriting done right! Even transitions between the different sections work surprisingly well as the band covers a wide range of influences and brings their own approach to melodic songwriting that was perfected by bands like the Beatles.

The Ghost Of Flowers Past is another great moment that will surely make fans of the Flower Kings quite happy since it clearly sounds like something that Moon Safari have lifted from their repertoire. If only the source material could have been equally as inspiring, unfortunately I've never really been a fan of the Flower Kings due to their overindulgence in lengthy instrumental sections that are, more often than not, void of any excitement for me.

I would have preferred if Moon Safari have stop while they were ahead and release the album as a single CD, since the second half is good but far from as imaginary as the first. Yasgur's Farm has never really struck me as a great track. I do enjoy most of its sections, especially the last part, but it just doesn't bring the same satisfaction as any of the previous compositions. Lady Of The Woodlands and A Tale Of Three And Tree are two shorter tracks that could have easily been left out since they do little but extend the album's duration. That is not to say that they are not pleasant, just that this doesn't seem to be the right place nor the right time for these songs.

Other Half Of The Sky takes up almost a third of the album's playtime as Moon Safari embark on their most ambitious journey yet! This 31 minute monster of a composition might feel quite tough to swallow after listening to almost 70 minutes of material, but if you give it a few spins then its charms will unveil themselves. I cannot say that I consider it to be as great as their other compositions but it's definitely an improvement, in terms of layered songwriting, over We Spin The World from the debut album. To Sail Beyond The Sunset ends the album on a somewhat unsatisfying note since I feel that it lacks the punch that I would expect from the final track off an album of these magnum proportions.

So, have Moon Safari succeeded with their ambitious plan? I definitely think so! Still, an album of these proportions is bound to have some moments that don't feel on par with the rest of the material. I would have probably recommended the band to shorten that album by roughly 30 minutes and release it as a 70-80 minute record. Discarding material is something that young band rarely do since it does takes a great deal of sacrificing for the good of the overall result and this is a lesson that takes time to learn. As it stands today, [Blomljud] is an excellent sophomore release that will unveil many of the band's strengths but also depicts some of their weaknesses.

***** star songs: Constant Bloom (1:26) Methuselah's Children (15:42) Bluebells (10:11) The Ghost Of Flowers Past (9:47)

**** star songs: Moonwalk (8:48) Yasgur's Farm (8:05) Lady Of The Woodlands (3:36) Other Half Of The Sky (31:42)

*** star songs: In The Countryside (5:42) A Tale Of Three And Tree (3:28) To Sail Beyond The Sunset (5:18)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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