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Fruupp - The Prince of Heaven's Eyes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.23 | 151 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Fruupp's third album 'Prince Of Heaven's Eyes' is their 2nd release for the year of 1974 (busy lads), and whilst lacking in much of the free-spirited instrumental excursions of the previous 'Seven Secrets' album, displays a fresher, more up-dated sound. Immediately noticeable is keyboardist Stephen Houston adding a string ensemble to his regular organ/pianos set-up and lacing many of the arrangements with it. The majestic and grandiose guitar soloing of Vincent McCusker have taken a back seat for this keyboards-heavy adventure but bassist Peter Farrelly persists in playing his bass like a lead-guitar (no bad thing) and drummer Martin Foye has a great sense of dynamics and knows when to hold back or let loose. I suppose you could say I like the way these guys play. A lot. Now, I spent my birthday money for a pristine LP of this, but I didn't get the accompanying booklet which many copies contain. I figure the concept is of a young man going out on his own to discover the world and grow - maybe a tad twee and innocent, but sweet and original. Houston composed six of the eight tracks here (probably explains the keyboard dominance) although 2 tracks composed by McCusker are possibly the album's high points - 'Knowing You' is a lovely ballad featuring a touching passage where Houston's oboe is put to good use, and the lengthy 'Crystal Brook' is inspired, with an almost jazzy mid-section where Houston's subtle organ solo over a rumbling rhythm creates a tranquil atmosphere. I actually liked the way a previous reviewer described the opening track 'It's All Up Now'. Credit goes to band for successfully conveying the feeling of this young man setting off into the big, wide world. 'Prince Of Darkness' is an eccentric little tune of under 4 minutes, with galloping horses and a unique collage of sounds underpinning much of it. 'Jaunting Car' is possibly the weakest track, something akin to a romp through the country-side with a piece of straw stuck between the teeth..... 'Annie Austere' is a heavier track, and is the subject's love interest. Foye's drumming to the fore. 'Seaward Sunset' is a pretty piano/flute piece with an angelic sounding Houston on a very high falsetto vocal and the album's epic closer, 'The Perfect Wish' is almost 10 minutes of upbeat symphonic prog with classical flavours and a triumphant finale (.....and they all lived happily ever after.....). Actually, I really go for the heady jams of Seven Secrets a lot more than this, but Prince Of Heaven's Eyes is still worthy of 4 stars.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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