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

SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC: PART TWO

Beardfish

 

Eclectic Prog

4.19 | 513 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
4 stars Into the light

Beardfish is a Swedish band that has garnered a significant amount of praise in the progressive community the last few due to their last few excellent albums. The band's quirky, symphonic, jazzy, eclectic style has captivated the ears of numerous listeners throughout the past few years. In 2007, the band began a two part concept album titled Sleeping in Traffic, with an interesting theme of a man who fell asleep in traffic and then traveled through various, humorous, quirky, and interesting dreams before re- awakening on the epic 35-minute title track featured on this album, Part 2. The band has crafted an album full of interesting styles amalgamated into an epic album, full of interesting lyrics, great themes, and some really fantastic music.

One of the first things that stuck out to me about this album was the rather interesting and humorous concept. Usually I don't pay a lot of attention to the lyrics, other than picking up on a few poetic lines here and there that I like. However, on this album, I couldn't help but listen to these lyrics. At points, they are truly hysterical. Most notably on an album favorite of mine "South of the Border," the band has truly created some rather interesting sections of lyrical melody. Interestingly the band does not just stick this often ridiculously silly theme through the entire album ("HE WAS GAAAAAAAY!!!" does not reflect the entire album), but actually delves into a somewhat more deep theme at spots, most notably the lengthy title track. Overall, this interesting and quirky theme oddly fits in with the mood of the music, displaying the band's great competence with their music.

Of course these odd lyrics are not backed by simple music. The band has shown an incredible knowledge of melody, composition, rhythm, and arrangement on the album. From the xylophone intro/ending to the complex keyboard parts to the great rhythmic work and fantastic bass and guitar work, the entire band really pulls their weight and makes this album move along really well. Even on the 35 minute epic, the band doesn't slow down, not seeming dull or uninventive at any point on the album with this highly creative and engaging music. The band even has the taste to spice their music with interesting arrangements of classic themes and songs (including the classic Bee Gees "Staying Alive," among others). From quirky keyboard parts adding a great flavor to the music or the guitar lines, which often fuse countless genres, from country influence to funk to metal to rock to R&B and so much more, the whole musical aspect of this album is truly amazing. The complex melodies and enticing harmonies add dimension to the music, accentuating the theme as you traverse through the driver's dreams. Overall, the music aspect of the album is truly incredible, making the album even more wonderful as you travel through the band's wonderful skill and ability throughout the album.

Overall, this album is a truly spectacular display of modern progressive rock. From the quirky concept to the complex music, the whole album is brimming with progressive greatness. Saturated with symphonic influence yet tinged with countless others, I can see why the band is filed under Eclectic not Symphonic. As far reaching as bluegrass and as interesting as jazz or pop, the album truly has an incredible repertoire of influences going into to its formation. The band weaves melodies with harmonies and complexity with beauty, meshing their countless influences with carefree progressive bliss, to make for a truly spectacular album. In the end, the album is certainly one of my favorite new finds. 4+ stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |

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