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Beardfish - Sleeping In Traffic: Part One CD (album) cover

SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART ONE

Beardfish

 

Eclectic Prog

4.06 | 326 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CCVP
Prog Reviewer
4 stars As good as part two

Beardfish is one relatively new act from Sweden who has gained massive international attention with their 2008 album, entitled Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two, but unfortunately the band was unable to gain any more momentum or steer in the momentum they already had gained with their album because their label, InsideOut, filed for bankruptcy together with SPV, InsideOut's owner, resulting in a brief appearance and subsequent disappearance from the progressive rock spotlight.

Despite that, Beardfish was able to gain some new fans, like myself, who acquired more albums beyond the famed second part of the Sleeping in Traffic. In the first part of Sleeping in Traffic, unlike the second part and the band's newest album so far (entitled Destined Solitaire), the band take themselves much more seriously, meaning that there are very few humorous parts (almost none, actually) and that their now characteristically funny music is absent, which, in my opinion, is one of the great qualities of the album, since most jokes in music albums tend to become unfunny or tiresome as time passes (which is the case in the song South of the Boarder from the Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two).

Another great quality of this album is that the band works their musical ideas extensively in each song, resulting in great music and very coherent, smooth and polished development and transition of musical ideas of each song. Half the songs clock under 6 minutes and that short song length is probably the single most helpful factor when it comes to making a cohere sound, because it avoids the addition of unnecessary or musical ideas, like happened in the second part of Sleeping in the Traffic, which has an abundance of amazing musical ideas that have a rather bumpy transition between themselves, specially in the 35 minute epic Sleeping in the Traffic.

Regarding the songs, musicianship and related features

In their 2007 studio album, Beardfish opted to go for a song oriented album, unlike both their past album (the double album The Sane Day) and their future album (Sleeping in the Traffic: Part Two). So, despite being a concept album, like most of their other albums, the music is not the tying knot of the concept. The songs are quite independent from each other and must be taken individually, no matter how smooth they flow.

The music here is one great example of retro prog with innovation. Clearly inspired by the progressive rock giants, Beardfish was able to, at the same time, deliver an album rooted on the 70's that does not sound derivative or emulative, and their style on this album play an important role on that matter, because their overall smooth approach and use of contemporary elements, together with well placed musical talent without unnecessary excesses, produces a very interesting and satisfying result.

Grade and final thoughts

Sleeping In Traffic: Part One is considered by many, myself included, as the turning point of Beardfish's career. The album is the witness of an overall increase in the band's writing skills and the first step towards a wider vision towards progressive rock; an important album of both retro prog and modern progressive rock. Therefore, 4 stars.

CCVP | 4/5 |

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