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Simon Says - Tardigrade CD (album) cover


Simon Says


Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 216 ratings

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4 stars Tardigrade is Sweden's Simon Says 3rd album spanning the last 13 years. I have not heard the other two but found this to be a very good disc. Fans of The Flower Kings will enjoy this but I would put the feel of this album more in line with Magic Pie. This doesn't have the all out sonic assault that Motions of Desire has but instead varies its tempos quite often. To coin a much used phrase around here, Tardigrade has a very "70's feel" but the modern production really brightens up the whole package.

There are 10 songs here, ranging from 29 seconds to 26 and a half minutes. The three long songs make up 50 of the total 74 minutes, while some of the shorter ones are obviously just noodling. Not anything bad or distracting, but they do mess with the flow a bit. The full on songs feature plenty of guitar and heavy keys while the rhythm section is very capable. You could make a case for this being neo-prog but I suppose the slant is more symphonic. Stefan Renstrom, who is the bass player and is credited with some of the keyboards is the main songwriter. He penned all of Brother Where You Bound? , the centerpiece of the album (no, it has nothing to do with Supertramp). This song is a wild ride with large chunks of hard hitting and fast prog and will give you epic fans plenty to sink your teeth into. Daniel Faldt's vocals are good and have no quality that will turn people off, but they aren't the most dynamic you will hear. If English is his second language, which I assume it is, he does a very credible job with very little accent. Jonas Hallberg gets plenty of space on his guitar and throws in many very nice solos.

If your CD collection has a bent toward the many Swedish stalwarts putting out great prog nowadays, this will be an excellent addition to your collection. So that means it gets four stars. Good stuff.

johnobvious | 4/5 |


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