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Fruupp - Modern Masquerades CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.24 | 113 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Modern production techniques.. At last!

For their final album, Fruupp encountered their first significant line up change, with Stephen Houston departing, to be replaced by John Mason. Additionally, rather than produce the album themselves, this time King Crimson's Ian McDonald was brought in to perform that role.

While the overall sound is familiar, being particularly reminiscent of the previous Prince of heaven's eyes (POHE), McDonald does bring with him some early Crimson-esque influences. The closing section of Misty morning way for example has the dominant mellotron sound which will forever be associated with ITCOTCK.

Here, the upbeat style, which made POHE so much more enjoyable than its predecessor, is mixed with the intricate prog sensibilities of the first album to create something rather enjoyable.

McDonald's production give the album a vitality which was noticeably lacking on previous releases, the instrumentation here being far better segregated, and much cleaner. On tracks such as Mystery might, the atmosphere is decidedly rich and invigorating. If only McDonald had been employed from the start, the whole story could have been different.

Sheba's song is the only track here which sounds as if it has been extended beyond what is warranted, the rather dull jazz interlude being superfluous.

In all, an album which shows that Fruupp could have been much more than ultimately they ever were. I think the overall reason why the band never established themselves as a major prog act is that they failed to come up with a signature piece. It is very difficult to name one track by them from any of their four albums which stands out as the band's masterpiece. They made enjoyable prog which has rightly received a certain amount of recognition in recent years, thanks in no small part to sites such as ProgArchives. I think though, on balance the limited recognition they have now achieved is about right.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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