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Moon Safari - Lover's End CD (album) cover

LOVER'S END

Moon Safari

 

Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 359 ratings

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oddworld
5 stars For some, this was a long-awaited release...but not for me, since I'd only learned of Moon Safari this year;) As hard as I tried not to, I went into this expecting Blomljud 2, and I did not get it. Upon a few more listens, though, everything clicked, and there is not a weak track on the album. Lover's End Pt. I is a really cool, laid back song with almost a sixties type feel to it, and an extremely catchy chorus, which is no surprise; they have a real knack for that. The second track, A Kid Called Panic, seems to be everyone's favorite, and all I can say is...same here! There are some influences or at the very least reminders here of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and REO Speedwagon at times in the intro and the verse, but then it's just pure Moon Safari by the end of the bridge. The lead vocals switch from Petter Sandstrom to Simon Akesson, with Simon's strong, gorgeous, perfect voice being lifted from bridge to chorus by the rest of the choir, and they do it in a minor key which gives me chills every time I hear it. Then there's the chorus that everyone's been talking about. How do they do it? Towards the end of the song when they revisit the structure of the verses, it's just piano and Simon's singing. The lyrics, combined with Simon's pristine vocal tone and something else, perhaps just the inflection he sings with, makes this the most theatrical part of the album, and you can really feel how sad and broken or main character is by this point. The chorus from Heaven is sung twice more, and then there is another section of harmonies that is just too good for words. There will probably only be a few times in your whole life that a musical passage will bring you to tears and give you chills at the same time, but this part is definitely one of them. Southern Belle and The World's Best Dreamers are also very solid tracks, and just a great pleasure to listen to. New York City Summergirl is a great one too, and reminds me of the end of Styx's heyday with a little splash of European flavor, which works very well. The ending is unexpected as well, and very well-thought out. Heartland was one that they let us sample before release, and I didn't quite get it. The main synth riff was very catchy, but it took a few more listens to get this one for me. Excellent song, with a little hint of Jethro Tull's Cross-Eyed Mary at times. Very well done! I knew from the Facebook sampler that Crossed the Rubicon was going to be a bombshell, and I was right. It's not enough that these guys can write a killer melody, but then they deck it out with complex and gorgeous harmonies and the result is just stunning. This is my second favorite song on the album. Lover's End Pt.II, as another reviewer said, does come across as something they just threw in for fun, but it does earn its place on the record. If The Beatles and Queen were to write a song together, it would sound quite a bit like this. Overall, I wouldn't call it the musical adventure that it's predecessor Blomljud is, but really, would we want that every time? There is no 'Methuselah's Children' or 'Bluebells' on this one, but there doesn't need to be. They simplified it just a little bit this time around, and it works. I think they are smart enough to know that less is more, and they can write amazing songs no matter what the subject matter is. Vocally...have mercy! This is the only band in the world that I don't want to sing along with when I listen to them, because every listen to those singers is as wonderful as the first time I heard them. There are now three albums, and while I consider each one of them one of my heroes, I have to say that with the songwriting team of Simon Akesson, Petter Sandstrom and Johan Westerlund, we are always going to get amazing songs with years and years of replay value. On a personal note, it's very rare that you hear bands of this caliber who will interact with you. I've contacted three of them on Facebook to let them know what I think of their music as well as to ask a few questions, and they were all cool enough to get back to me with answers and to thank me for being a fan. Thank you for everything, Moon Safari. It is and will always be a treat to hear you!
oddworld | 5/5 |

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