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Unicorn - The Weirdest of Tales CD (album) cover

THE WEIRDEST OF TALES

Unicorn

 

Neo-Prog

3.50 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Definitive Unicorn Demo

The third demo from Swedish neo-prog band Unicorn, The Weirdest of Tales, is possibly my favorite release from the band. On The Weirdest of Tales the band kept the undeniable charm of their first two releases, but brought their style to a more mature and developed sound. For this reason, this demo stands as a highlight in their discography.

Unicorn has always been an interesting band for me. Despite the fact that they follow all of the neo-prog clichés and formulas, something about their music has always captivated and entertained me. The superb musicianship along with the charming and upbeat songwriting works perfectly in Unicorn's music. Whenever I'm in a bad mood, I will always put Unicorn on. The uplifting music and lyrics (even if the lyrical aspect can be a bit cheesy) always will put me in a good mood.

As I mentioned previously, the musicianship is great on this demo. Dan Swanö delivers a really solid vocal performance throughout this demo. I think this is Unicorn's finest moment vocally. His drumming is pretty good as well. I don't think Swanö is the best drummer in the world, but his style fits this type of neo-prog perfectly. Peter Edwinzon does a great job on keyboards as always. He is just such an underrated keyboard player. I think that this demo is focused much more on Anders Mareby's guitar solos than any other Unicorn releases. He really shows his chops on The Weirdest of Tales. The bas playing gets the job done, but it's nothing too spectacular. I believe than Per Runesson played bass on this demo, but I'm unsure. There is only minimal information about the lineups of each Unicorn demo.

Another great thing about this demo is the compositional quality. Every song is really great and memorable on The Weirdest of Tales. All six songs have something spectacular about them. It'd be tough for me to pick a favorite song, but there are some standout moments on the album. The opening track, Your Last Denial, has excellent guitar solos from Anders Mareby, as well as a wonderfully crafted saxophone solo played by Dan Swanö (the sax part may be played by Tom Nouga, but I'm unsure. As I mentioned earlier, there is minimal information online about the lineups of Unicorn demos).

Tunes For The Stork is another highlight, and it's probably the best track on the demo. It amazes me that such a spectacular song never made any of the Unicorn full-length albums. Actually, the only songs that made it onto Ever Since are Messenger and Zoetrope. As I mentioned, every song is great on this demo. Every song is a superb example of Swedish neo-progressive rock.

The only real knock that I can give this demo is the production. It sounds very dated and amateurish, but it fits the music well nonetheless. It sounds rather cheap at times, but it's an acquired taste. I personally think that the production gives this demo some of its charm.

Conclusion:

The Weirdest of Tales is an excellent demo by Unicorn, and well worthy of the 4 star rating. This demo always excites me, and I think that this may be Unicorn's best release. This is essential for any neo-prog fan. It's such a shame that this band gets so little attention. They really deserve some recognition for such great music.

4 stars.

J-Man | 4/5 |

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