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Life Line Project - Modinha CD (album) cover

MODINHA

Life Line Project

 

Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 47 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
3 stars The Life Line Project was founded in 1988, the name points at the fact that Erik was a teacher who had to arrange a lot of music that was not really his cup of tea. So he started to make his own music that was "his life line project to symphonic rock". Erik writes in the booklet of Modinha (a Brazilian sad song) that the title is the central theme, it changes throughout the album from classic to folk to jazz to metal.

Well, during the years I got a good contact with Erik, as a reviewer of his albums for several progrock magazines, from his very first efforts in the Nineties. But due to a severe illness he got, and other priorities of mine we gradually lost contact, since 2008-2009. Recently I contacted him at Facebook, so after 10 years, I was very glad to hear that his physical illness situation has been stabilized. And that he enjoys drumming jazzrock with his students and recording prog with all kinds of ukuleles (from piccolo and bass to a custom build Les Paul). His latest official CD was the acclaimed Armenia (2013) but I would like to go back in time and have a look at his album Modinha, from 2009.

Listening to Modinha I notice that a lot of the 15 compositions contain fluent rhythms featuring bombastic Hammond organ runs and fat Emersonian Moog synthesizer flights, supported by a propulsive rhythm-section, especially the drumming is very energetic. I was not surprised to read that Erik wrote two songs as a tribute to two legendary names in the progrock history. First Keeper Of The Keys, a tribute to Bob Moog: spectacular Moog sounds, swirling Hammond and swinging piano. And Joy is a tribute to Rick Van Der Linden: it sounds like "ELP meets Europe" with bombastic keyboards and fiery electric guitar.

Along that bombastic ELP/Trace inspired sound, Life Line Project also delivers a lot of variety.

A wonderful build-up from classical (guitar and Grand piano) to jazz in Modinha - Jazz Intermezzo.

A pleasant electric guitar/flute duet in The Chase.

Warm classical guitar (in the vein of Steve Hackett) in the short piece Modinha - Oracao.

Sparkling piano in Song For Lara.

And and a captivating blend of classical and progressive rock in Night On The Freeway.

Also interesting is the use of the distinctive oboe in the dreamy Sonho : wonderful strings and piano and a Roxy Music-like oboe sound. And in Modinha - Final : one of the highlights on this album with beautiful flute play by Erik's wife Elsa, cheerful mandoline and an exciting vintage keyboards sound. And I am very pleased with Jason Eekhout his powerful guitarwork in songs like Dark Procession (heavy guitar play), Stampede (biting wah-wah), Subjective Project (fiery runs) and the exciting track Another Dayride (howling guitar). In my opinion his contributions give Life Line Project their music an extra dimension.

If I compare this new album with the more amateurish recorded music he made in the Nineties, I conclude that Erik's music and recording have very much matured. With the CD Modinha the Life Line Project has delivered a pleasant and varied keyboard oriented progrock album, with a very melodic and accessible sound. I am sure it will please progheads who like vintage keyboards and a blend of symphonic rock with classical - and folk music.

My rating: 3,5 star.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |

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