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Fruitcake - Room For Surprise CD (album) cover





3.76 | 48 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars So far I was only familiar with Fruitcake thanks to a song on a Cyclops sampler more than 10 years ago. Already then I noticed the melodic content was high and this band could be a lot in my style of neo prog.

Lately I ran into this one and can't say I'm disappointed at all. First song is immediately a very nice example of the melodic style I was talking about. Time to go is a slow, dark song of considerable length with dominant keyboard sounding intruiging and interesting (3,5*). Next is Tall 'n Dark, a song in a higher tempo with a funny keyboard tune in the beginning, later on followed by a good instrumental phase (3,5*). Third up is Keep the Light, first song with vocals by Siri Seland, the female singer, obviously a woman with a somewhat dark voice making the song more gloomy than it already sounds on itself. Nice guitar in this one. Also here some good keyboard, I like the way Siri handles this through the songs, the melodies are significant in all of them and certainly in this one (3,5*). 4th is the title track and third in a row of shorter length. Somehow Fruitcake manages makes these seem longer than they last which means the songs are compact and I like that. Room for Surprise is nevertheless the least of the first four I have to say, probably because of lack of great melody like in the first three (3*) (sorry to keep mentioning the melodic aspect but along with composition structure melody happens to be my main objective in prog music and music in general by the way). Touch the Sky is by far the longest on the album and is almost of epical length clocking nearly 10 minutes and then I usually expect quite a bit more from such songs. Pal Sovik is the vocalist in this one and he is very present in the first few minutes after which a pretty long instrumantal part follows with both keyboards and guitar alternatingly present. Even though the composition is how I like them this song doesn't really stand out as much as I hoped for, yet the best so far (3,75*). After this the two shortest songs of this release, Hunting old ladies is the only instrumental of the album and in fact one of my favourites (3,75*) and Golden age, a very short average song for Fruitcake standard until a bit of nice guitar saves it somewhat (3,25*). Last two are fairly long again, around the 8 minute mark. First is The famous hill is one of those typical Fruitcake tracks with recognazible keyboardtunes frequently reappering. Here we are back in the vein of the first song, at first pretty slow but half way down getting more up tempo, the song is very acceptable in the end (3,5*). A whisper is the closing act of the album. Here Siri is the vocalist again singing much clearer than in Keep the Light. This is the second longest of the album but somehow it doesn't really matter how long the songs are with this band because other than in most cases with me I don't detect much quality difference between the shorter and longer songs. This last song is also somewhere around 3,75 stars making it hard for my overall judgement.

I let the consistency do the job here and this is a very equable album so that means no songs to skip which is important to me and therefore I give 4 stars though 3,5 is more the reality. It's hard to compare this band to another but if I have to name one it would be Thieves Kitchen although Fruitcake is obviously much more accessible.

progrules | 4/5 |


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