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Jonas Lindberg - Pathfinder (as Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side) CD (album) cover

PATHFINDER (AS JONAS LINDBERG & THE OTHER SIDE)

Jonas Lindberg

 

Crossover Prog

3.75 | 44 ratings

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PH
5 stars JONAS LINDBERG & THE OTHER SIDE exhibit a new CD titled 'Pathfinder'. It would be fair to say, the band's performance is excellent throughout. As the driving force (bass, mellotron, Moog, additional keys, acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, vox), Jonas Lindberg decorates the full sound rather than trying to show his cocksureness. Jonas Sundqvist and Jenny Sandgren are floating around for the impeccable vocal dueling. Michael Ottosson can be heard on Hammond, Rhodes and piano, while Calle Stålenbring provides the guitar work. Maria Olsson with Jonathan Lundberg append their percussion and drums, respectively. Last but not least, Nicklas Thelin who takes over the additional guitar for a couple of tracks (6, 8). Compared with two previous EP's, the full-length 'Pathfinder' is a big step forward. It contains plenty of scope to verify a mixture of adult pop, symphonic prog with AOR traces and jazzy components. Sure, this album sounds both really familiar and fresh. The familiarity comes from a set of represented influences. The freshness arises because of well crafted stylistic changes, amazing twists and turns, melodic splendor and colorful arrangements. The music often travels in a sublime way, yet finds substantial ground. The eight compositions together form a cohesive whole. So you can play this CD without a skip button. Now a track-by-track. Setting the scene for the album, 'Square One' commences with a mellotron flute, until the voice of Jonas Sandqvist comes in. From the musical standpoint, there's apparent debt of gratitude to Sting here, although Karmakanic should help to describe the quirky route. Next up, 'Lost', which really confirms the influence from Sting but heck, there's a bit of Seal in a few spots. This track slinks along on the verses-choruses structure, gradually moving to fine interlude tinged with some lush keyboards, a dose of guitar solo and gentle chants (male / female). After a while, the initial formula gets back, bringing a good completion for the song. 'Peace Of Mind' appears third. Packing a lot of invention into 9:25 min. it sounds like combination of references to Moon Safari, The Flower Kings and Kaipa. The longest chapter on the album includes handling of two lead vocalists and multiple harmonies, topped with awesome guitar courtesy and towering keyboards. There're extensive synths intertwined with fragile piano, the guitar outbursts coupled with the meandering bass lines and precise drums. For me, it's the absolute pinnacle which holds very impressive instrumentation, switching perspectives and intriguing sequence. A title track 'Pathfinder' keeps the orchestral introduction, before revealing a nod towards the '80's era Yes. The album continues by 'Leaving The World Behind' that starts off with frivolous guitar like a truistic country-rock song. But then transforms to a sort of cross between Kaipa and Introitus, with an emphasis on vocals to underscore the similarity. The bombastic swell of content ensures dynamic contrast to the softer moments. All accents are superbly executed, thus giving every part its own identity, catchiness and sensitivity. These proceedings eventually end with the grace bass loops a'la Jonas Reingold (TFK fame). Creating a magical effect, calm and atmospheric, 'On The Horizon' is a kind of glance into the Saga's balladry oeuvre. The hypnotic singing by Jonas Lindberg takes a role of center on this beautiful song. The instrumental piece 'Zenith' embodies a weird hybrid of jazz and heavy guitar riffs. Largely original listening experience - different from what we have heard before. And lastly, tuneful 'Closer To The Sun' that rounds off the album in a fine style. Once again, the musical phrases and themes are developed and renewed. The catchy lead vocals and nice harmonies work in conjunction with the vintage keyboards and sweeping guitars amidst the deep bass lines and strong percussions, allowing each partner to display their dexterity and skill. To get you accustomed to the fact that wonderful journey is almost over, the concluding section resorts to a mild pattern embellished by fragile piano playing. What a finale!.. OK, you have read my statement. The next thing you need to do is visit the group's website. And why are you still here? GO!
PH | 5/5 |

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