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Galleon - From Land To Ocean CD (album) cover





3.68 | 119 ratings

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4 stars Galleon - From Land to Ocean (2003)

Swedish neo-progressive rock band Galleon has been operating since the early nineties without ever getting to hit it big in the worldwide appreciation of the neoprog genre. This is a bit a suprising, because they surely have a very recognizable Marillion/Genesis/Pink Floyd derived sound & style and guys are real pro's when it comes to musicianship and performance in the recording studio. I've been busy finding some new neoprog I like (I really love Arena) for listening with my mp3-player while traveling and so far I had trouble finding other acts that really connected with me, however the first song 'Three Colours' of this album got me right away.

Listening to the album I have two main impressions. On the one side I find a very well composed and played neoprogressive album with many really catchy moments, intelligent composition and some nice surprises when it comes to broadening the neoprog horizons. Moreover, this begin a double album, there's quite a lot of good material here. Guitarist Sven Larsson's playing is very enjoyable for me, him being a good stratocaster connoisseur who sometimes doesn't hide his love for jazzier guitar parts. Bass-player and vocalist Göran Fors often has a heavier and natural bass-guitar sound I learned to like his competent vocals as well - a bit typical for the neoprog genre. Ulf Pettersson on keyboard has professional sounding sounds/samples (something that goes wrong to often) and a very well balanced input.

My other impression is that the artistic approach of Galleon on this album is not without controversy. The very intimate & theatrical vocals have been a key-element of neoprog genre from the very beginning. Often the subjects of personal hardship or mysterious happenings have made a perfect fit with the music. Marillions singer Fish also found a way to handle political issues by relating to them in very personal way. Galleons 'From Land to the Ocean' is an almost purely politically themed album, yet the link with the personal or the mysterious aspects of the music is almost completely lacking. Themes like the problems with our economical infrastructure, the lack of political cooperation or goodwill and most of all environmental issues form the basis for the lyrics - yet they are kept abstract like a political pamphlet, which doesn't necessarily form a good basis for emotional musical experience on the part of the listener. This often leads to a lack of connection between the excellent moody neoprog played by the band and the lyrics sung by Göran Fors. Moreover, the fatalistic views on environment and politics are a bit tedious at times. Normally I can remove myself from lyrics that don't strike me as fantastic, but because of the harsh politically charged statements I can't escape them.

When reading other reviews here on the archives it is becomes apparent this album has been the subject of a lot of harsh criticism because of the lyrical content, perhaps a bit too much for my tastes. I just can't help loving the composition of the longer tracks and the album surely has the epic neoprog feel of a real classic of the genre. Therefore I think it would be quite nice if the neoprog listeners who do like the political lyrics or don't bother at all about them would give this album a spin, because I just know this could very well be a rewarding experience.

Conclusion. A very well composed and played neoprog genre-album with political lyrics that can be a bit of a hindrance, perhaps this album would have been a classic of the genre with different lyrics. I'm going to reward it with the big three-and-a-halve rating. Give the opening track 'Three Colours' a spin!

friso | 4/5 |


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