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Frumpy - By The Way CD (album) cover

BY THE WAY

Frumpy

 

Eclectic Prog

3.30 | 47 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After disagreements over musical directions of the band, founder member and main character of the band, keyboardist Jean Jacques Kravetz left the band and released a solo album (with vocalist Inga Rumpf singing on one track). This was a major blow, since his heavy Hammond frills were the Frumpy´s trademark up till then. Although he did came back in time for the recording of their third LP his input was minimal in terms of songwriting, Rumpf taking much of the that role herself. The presence of another keyboards-man, Ervwin kani suggests he did not played on all tracks, although there is no way to find out which ones, if that´s the case. Anyway, By The Way is a much more guitar based record than their previous efforts. Strangely on some CD editions guitarist is not mentioned, making some people believe, wrongly, that Inga Rumpf took all the guitar duties (she did played some acosutic guitar on this album though). But all the electric guitar oarts are played by the same Rainer Baumann as before. The difference now is that he had much more room to expand his skills and he does that very well, by the way (no pun intended).

As for the songs, themselves they are a little more simpler and more "radio friendly" (for the time) than their previous works, with Rumpf´s vocals reaching a new level of versatility and range. She does remind me of a german version of Babe Ruth´s great Jenny Haan. But there´s just enough keyboards here to satisfy most old fans. And it kind of showed new paths this band could travel if they had stick together. Unfortunately this was not to be, Frumpy breaking up soon after this album was out. Rumpf, Kravetz and bassist Karl Heinz Schott joining forces for their next project, the equally interesting and good Atlantis (sadly still not here on PA).

Although different from the two previous CDs, By The Way proved Frumpy could manage a very fine record without the "Kravetz sound". All songs are good and there was more experiments (specially on the guitar parts), with songs like Release and Singing Songs proving that they had all the chops and talented needed to be on par with the best hard rock bands of the time. It is only a shame they never realize their full potential as an international act, nor got the recognition they surely deserved.

Rating: if PA was a hard rock site this would be a 4 or even 4.5 stars rate, but as it is I can only give it 3,5 stars, Very good but not really essential in terms of prog music. If do like the style, however, you should check out this forgotten gem.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |

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