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Ruphus - Let Your Light Shine CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

2.90 | 39 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars Ruphus takes yet another stylistic turn on this, their third album. While their 1973 debut approached more of a classic progressive mold ala Yes or (dare I say) ELP, their second emphasizes vocals and bass a tad more and comes off sounding like early neo-prog. This one comes off as an experiment in jazz-fusion with a smattering of new-age sheen, particularly on the opening "Sha ba wah" which reminds me a whole lot of the seventies one-hit wonder known as Silver Convention (remember "Fly, Robin Fly"?).

Gudny Aspaas is back on lead vocals and is the only vocalist other than a few very minor backing bits supplied by the remaining (male) band members. This is a good thing as she has a very warm voice that seems to blend in with the music quite well. The one thing worth noting on this album though is half of it is instrumental, and when Aspaas does sing she quite often offers only wordless vocals so some of her charm from the band's debut is lost here.

That said, "Corner" is an instrumental consisting of a fairly simple piano progression on which the guitarist Kjell Larsen and percussionist Thor Bendiksen build. This one seems like it's about to take off at any given time but never really does, and in the end is a pleasant but unremarkable piece of music. Same goes for "Second Corner" (another instrumental) although Larsen does offer a thread of interesting guitar riffs throughout the middle portion that are quite jazzy and would have sounded even more so had they been played by brass instruments instead of guitar. Bassist/flautist Asle Nilsen, who had a dominant presence on the band's second album, is more subdued on this one except for a few places like on this song where his playing is quite lively and takes center stage toward the end.

Aspaas returns on the title track which sounds an awful lot like the opening song except a bit longer and with more bass. "Grasse" is a brief interlude that sounds more like a sound check, and then the band kicks into their closing "Brain Boogie", yet another fusion number which is mostly instrumental and drags on for a bit too long at more than nine minutes. At some point I began to picture the open-air, free-form jazz concert scene from 'Spinal Tap' although in this case the music would be better placed in a lounge setting.

This is an okay album I suppose, although it did nothing for me personally and I don't really get the impression the band spent as much time and effort on it as they did either of its predecessors. Fans may find this record worthy, but even though there's nothing substantially wrong with it, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone in particular either. That's what is known as a two star album in case you're keeping score at home, and recommended only to fans of the band who may not have heard it yet.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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