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Beardfish - Sleeping in Traffic - Part Two CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.20 | 760 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This is the second part of 'Sleeping in Traffic' concept albums, released a year after the first part. The music is very intense, fascinating and exceeds my expectation for a follow up album. I would agree on some reviews mentioning profound influences of Frank Zappa and Gentle Giant, but the way Beardfish integrates these into their music is awesome and somehow creates a new beautiful strange music of their own.

'Into the Night' is like a lively welcome to the night (this second part of the concept albums tells the character's story after sunset). The second half of this track is very peculiar, with a carnival-music like section. I love the guitar works in this track (both acoustic and electric). The keyboard work and sound are also great and are really what we expect from progressive music.

'South of the Border' has a lot of musically wit phrases and some Zappa-style spoken (or yelled ?) words. The composition is complex, with many key changes and odd time signatures. This is probably among tracks that showcase the virtuosity of the band member. The solo guitar in the middle of the song has a country mood, with the beginning part quickly reminds me to Steve Howe interlude in 'And You and I'.

'The Downward Spiral / Chimay' is another fascinating blend of musical style : alternative rock in the early part, Zappa- style fusion with irregular time signature (remind me to for instance 'Inca Road'), folk-prog acoustic guitar duet (with great percussion background) and ended by rather heavy melodic guitar.

'Sleeping in Traffic' has to be the main course of this album. It is a great track with almost 36 minutes of intensive music, with a lot of changes of both mood and musical style. I love the vibes in the first 4 minutes intro section : a captivating hi-hat sound followed by dark riff, a bit of to carnival-music and 90's hard rock. The vocal section begins with completely different mood and guitar tone (I like this kind of alternative-rock influence that is stronger in the SIT Part 1), start calmly but then increase the intensity into heavier rock. The guitar duet on around 11th minute is very nice. After several verses of vocal, the beat changes again on around 20th minute to more uplifting and here is one of the merriest part : a few bars of disco section, with a short piece from Bee Gees' 'Stayin' Alive'. The last 10 minutes are again a feast of musical styles similar to that in the intro : alternative-rock, hard rock, carnival music, calming acoustic guitar and then back to harder sublime instrumental closure.

The other tracks have their own unique features. 'The Hunter' is a groovy tune with nice bass line . 'Cashflow' is an amusing and witty instrumental track. Great keyboard work with strange but beautiful sound and syncopation, accompanied by meticulously complex rhythm section.

Overall, this album is stronger in composition than SIT Part 1. The composition writing ability of the band is really impressive. Beardfish makes a very unique, up to date sound and colourful progressive rock, which I think can attract the interest of younger audience to the progressive music. In the modern progressive rock era, I think they should be considered among high-ranked bands. Between 4 and 5 stars, I finally go for 5, to make this album stand out from other newer era of progressive music.

Mark-P | 5/5 |


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