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Frogg Cafe - Frogg Café CD (album) cover


Frogg Cafe


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.73 | 46 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I've to say, after listening to the song offered here for download, I was immediately fascinated by FROGG CAFÉ's blend of styles, a sort of retro prog with some reminiscences to GENTLE GIANT or ZAPPA to mention just two of their numerous influences. Especially this album here, their debut is my favourite one although both follow-ups are great as well, but IMO it's more coherent than "Creatures" and more versatile and sophisticated than "Fortunate Observer.". The cover art alone is remarkable - a very well done persiflage of clichéd "Roger Dean-style". But let's talk about the music we find here.

The opener "Deltitnu" is already a great instrumental mix of jazz-rock with folk-ish fiddling presented with an amazing freewheeling complexity. Apart of the great violin there is as well the excellent bass playing worth to mention. "Old Souls" is continuing in this style more or less. After a more quiet and retained beginning the song takes a very interesting direction with compelling violin play, some acoustic moments and a few slightly odd-timed bars as well. Finest prog done the way we (that means retro prog fans like me) love it so much. Great as well the two parts of "Candy Corn" - trumpet meets violin before the vocals are coming in with a more quiet and dragging vein. Here the already mentioned slight reminiscences to GENTLE GIANT. Part two has a melancholic trumpet solo followed by a great jazzy section with Bill Ayasse's awesome violin play on top of it. Next track "While You Were Sleeping" is again a bit melancholic one, it starts with alternating violin and electric guitar accompanied by piano, around 3:20 it changes to a cool swinging "bar jazz"-section and at 5:00 the whole thing has been garnished by a great guitar solo. Really a very enjoyable and versatile song, just marvellous! "Old Man" starts as a symphonic prog song with slight folk-ish influence very much in 70's style before it's changing to a Latin jazz style at around 4:15 with keyboards and brass. Finally again a wonderful guitar solo. As the previous one worth for 5 stars! "Space Dust" presents a bit monotoneous melody by keyboard and violin in the beginning, then a quite odd and furious middle part before the initial theme is picked up again. A very intricate track dominated by violin and excellent as well. "Questions Without Answers" is closing the album in a more quiet and acoustic vein with violin, piano, acoustic guitar and rhythm section. Towards the end there is an excellent guitar solo reminiscent of ZAPPA. Very nice melancholic song and another one I'd rate with 5 stars.

As a SUMMARY I can say that their debut is a very well done album sounding much more homogeneous than their second one and IMO worth for 4 ½ stars. Highly recommended to all fans of 70's prog or ECHOLYN for example!

BTW I'd like to say many thanks to my co-reviewer Danbo for introducing me to this great band.

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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