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Moon Safari - [Blomljud] CD (album) cover

[BLOMLJUD]

Moon Safari

 

Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 379 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Modern prog is a new beast to me. Prog in general is as well, but I'm more familiar with discographies of bands such as Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, etc...nonetheless, I find that most modern prog doesn't quite have that magical spark of the '70s stuff. Sure, there are excellent moments, songs, solos, etc., but as soon as I put on one of the old discs, there's something there that isn't in the modern stuff. And I usually feel, "Boy, those modern recordings are great, but they don't have -this-, this indefinable greatness."

This review isn't going to try and convince you that, somehow, Moon Safari has grabbed onto that spark and become one with the prog of the '70s. But when I listen to Moon Safari, I don't miss the spark, and that, I think, is even more important. If it sounded the same as the '70s stuff, it wouldn't really be prog, would it?

This album is fun, uplifting, and downright summery. It starts off innocently enough with Constant Bloom, a vocal piece that demonstrates one of Moon Safari's strongest aspect: Their use of vocals. Of course the high vocals stand out here, and they use them frequently, but they have a wide range that they express with their vocal cords. Each member of the band sings, with each member but the drummer doing lead vocals at some point.

The album jumps right into Methuselah's Children, the smaller epic on the album, clocking in at 15 minutes. It pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album, with pleasant chords and keyboards, layered and varied vocals, uplifting lyrics, and catchy music. It also contains two lines of lyrics that I have found particularly uplifting, in the way that they encourage living in the present and not worrying about problems that don't exist:

"Well I don't care anyways, gone tomorrow but still here today" "I guess that what lies in the future will come to me in time"

Just excellent stuff.

The first disc continues strong with "In the Countryside", a nice piece about the joys of living away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whenever this song comes on, I can't help but imagine how pleasant it would be to pack up and get away. It's that effective.

Moonwalk is an excellent instrumental that proves that these guys are more than just excellent vocalists, for it is replete with excellent drumming, keyboard work, and guitars. It leads nicely into Bluebells, yet another uplifting song, this one containing some of their strongest multilayer vocals (my favorite part is the vocal harmony part after 6 minutes). This leads into my favorite song off the album, the varied and excellent "Ghost of Flowers Past", which is an epic way to close the first disc.

The second disc is not quite as strong as the first disc, and the three shorter songs on it are not quite as strong as any of the material on the first disc. Nonetheless, it is held together by it's two longer pieces and is still an excellent listen.

Yasgur's Farm is an ever changing journey through the LSD filled days of Woodstock, containing more great instrumental breaks and singing. Lady of the Woodlands is another catchy song, if it does not go anywhere interesting (although being only 3 minutes, this is not a problem). A Tale of Three and Tree is actually a pretty good piece, but it feels somewhat out of place here, with a more somber feeling and a seemingly darker story. Nonetheless, it's a very short hiccup, as it leads into the excellent "Other Half of the Sky".

At 31 minutes, Other Half is the longest song on the album. It is split into four parts, and is held together quite excellently. For example, at the end of the song is an excellent closing verse, with the simple lyrics "Everyday, I'm loving you more, in every way, I'm loving you more" sung with such ebullience as to make them wholly convincing. However, during many instrumental breaks leading up to this point, the guitar hints at this ending. In this way, the end bit is still new when you hear it at the end of the song, instead of feeling like you have heard it 20 times throughout the epic, yet it fits easily within the piece.

The song is filled with more excellent vocals and instrumental pieces. It is not quite on the same level as the classic epics (Supper's Ready, Close To the Edge, Echoes, Plague of Lighthouse Keepers, etc.), but few songs can make that claim. It is still a superb epic, and a joy to hear whenever it comes on.

The album closes with To Sail Beyond the Sunset, which feels more like an afterthought after all the excellent music that has come before it. In a sense, this works, as the song gives us time to bask in the excellence that is Moon Safari as the album wraps up.

Doing a double album for the second album is a tricky move, but somehow, Moon Safari did it superbly. If they can keep up this quality of song writing and performance, they should be poised to become one of the biggest bands in modern prog. Other than some short low moments on the second disk, this album is near perfect. The amazing thing is that, with just the first disk, this album would earn a five star review, for the music is just that good. The second disk is merely icing on an already delicious cake, and then a scoop of ice cream or two for good measure.

TheGazzardian | 5/5 |

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