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Tomas Bodin - I AM CD (album) cover

I AM

Tomas Bodin

 

Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 105 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars ''I Am the keyboardist of the Flower Kings'' said Tomas Bodin

'I Am' while being my first Tomas Bodin solo album that doesn't mean I didn't know what was coming from it. It's unmistakably in the vein of Tomas Bodin's main band, The Flower Kings, as well as similar to the recent release of Karmakanic, 'Who's the Boss in the Factory?'. However like all seperate projects by Flower Kings' members there's always some slight differences in sound, but in composition you really can't expect any differences: huge symphonic sound full of influences from 70's Prog bands, lots of instrumental passages and time changes, excellent musicianship, and the classic crescendo finale, all making up the modern symphonic prog stereotype.

Anyhow, like most solo projects, the artist shows what he really is capable of, both as a songwriter and a player, so all those who thought Tomas' playing on the Flower Kings was rather okay-ish, this album will change your mind completely(it did for me). You can still listen to his usual aspects, his soft and atmposhperic mellotron soars and the Wakeman-esque synth solos, but there's more to that now: he presents lots of piano playing which is truly fantastic varying from jazzy tones to simple beautiful notes, and there's also plenty of organ which reminds of Andy Tillison's great playing, all in all making a more diverse playing compared to his playing on The Flower Kings which is essential but rather lacking of greatness and diversity.

Anyways, when it comes to Tomas' song-writing it really isn't that different from that of Roine's with the exception of the less quantity of up-lifting melodies which are replaced by hard rockin' passages which The Flower Kings doesn't feature many, and that's why I relate 'I Am' with 'Who's the Boss in the Factory?' by Karmakanic since both share that similarity: they present a darker edge to that symphonic sound that The Flower Kings are known of. Anyways, it's just a slight difference, you can still expect lots of melodies and soloing very ala Flower Kings.

Overall 'I Am' is your typical new wave of Symphonic Prog subject, but it's probably one of the best of that! Just three outstanding epics comprising the whole album wtih magnificent playing and memorable melodies, which is another difference to the incosistency of The Flower Kings which abound of filler in some their albums.

If you don't like The Flower Kings and the like, this won't change your mind at all, it's more of the same, but someone who enjoys that style will surely find this release an excellent one. Essential if you're a fan of the ''New Wave of Symphonic Prog''.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |

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