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Tomas Bodin - Sonic Boulevard CD (album) cover


Tomas Bodin


Symphonic Prog

3.51 | 78 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A dramatic improvement over his previous solo album "Pinup Guru." This removes the corniness, incoherence, and some of the improvisational nature of that album. Actually, these two albums should not even be compared as they are very different to each other. "Sonic Boulevard" is a mostly soothing lyric less disc with wordless vocals, world and jazz influences, and of course: it sounds a bit like the Flower Kings whenever Tomas Bodin dominates in both playing and songwriting, especially the Flower Power period. If you are a fan of that band, be glad because most of the band members star here, including Ulf Wallander, the underrated Saxophone player. To sum up, "Sonic Boulevard" is beautiful movie-soundtrack oriented music with emphasis on melody.

Like in Pinup Guru, there is an excellent introduction. This time "The Prayer" is a marvelous little gem with melancholic soaring vocals, restrained atmospheric arrangements. The first real song, "The Hero from Cloud City," is a guitar-oriented composition in the vein of "Stardust We Are" or "Church of Your Heart" from the Flower Kings. "Back to the African Garden" and other songs in this disc focus on easy melodies and very pleasant music. The stronger tracks in this vein are the very cool and jazzy "Walkabout" with its great scatting and especially the masterpiece "Morning will Come" which relies on an excellent motif and shows excellent musicianship and arrangements that perfectly compliments the song. The closer, The Night Will Fall, is a more musically diverse epic and has a cinematic feel.

Overall, this album is not for everyone. It's very gentle and never goes into a fast tempo nor a heavy section. It's very melodic and features some great compositions but I am not sure if it falls under the progressive rock genre.

1. The Prayer (A-) 2. The Hero From Cloud City (B+) 3. Back To The African Garden (B) 3. Pictures (B-) 4. Walkabout (B+) 6. The Horses From Zaad (B) 7. A Beautiful Mind (B) 8. The Happy Frog (B-) 9. Morning Will Come (A) 10. The Night Will Fall (B+)

Zitro | 4/5 |


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