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Simon Says - Tardigrade CD (album) cover


Simon Says


Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 195 ratings

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4 stars Simon Says are a new band to me even though they released their first album in 1995. They're not the most prolific of bands seeming to only release an album every six or seven years. Tardigrade is their third and I'm very pleased to have discovered them with this release. They come from Sweden, a country with so many excellent prog bands already and we can add Simon Says to that list.

The band are excellent players and produce well written and played symphonic prog with many influences. Not least I'm often reminded of their fellow countrymen The Flower Kings as well as glimpses of Yes and Genesis, particularly mid seventies era. Listen to Circles End to hear an instrumental section that could have come straight off A Trick Of The Tail.

Vocalist Daniel Fäldt has a distinctive voice and comes over as one quarter Chris Martin (Coldplay), one quarter Francis Dunnery (ex It Bites), the other fifty percent his own quirky style. Magnus Paulsson's keyboards alternate between vintage and more contemporary sounds making a pleasing combination and a fine player he is too. Jonas Hallberg is an excellent and fluent guitarist showing both Hackett and Howe influences and the rhythm section of Matti Jarlhed (drums) and Stefan Renström (bass) hold things together with ease as well as displaying intricacies in their playing.

Like all great symphonic prog we get the longer pieces which are broken up between a number of shorter ones like instrumental (Strawberry Jam) and sometimes acoustic based too (Beautiful New Day and Moon Mountain). As good as they are it's the longer ones that work best, the highlight being the epic Brother Where You Bound. Twenty Six minutes of symphonic heaven to please even the most demanding lover of the genre. Strong melodies alongside well structured and numerous instrumental sections keep it interesting throughout. A modern day classic for sure!

This really is an excellent album and highly recommended to symphonic fans. So much so that I wouldn't hesitate to buy the previous two albums, if I can ever find them that is.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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