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Fruupp - Seven Secrets CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 117 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars Fruupp went into the studio with six songs prepared, but decided to call the album Seven Secrets because that sounded more mystical - The Seventh Secret, the final track which was tossed together in the studio, is a stupid throwaway filler track involving aimless guitar noodling and narration in a goofy fake "old man" voice; the only nice thing I can say about it is that it lasts for barely over a minute and then is, thankfully, over.

Unfortunately, it seems that not only were the band short of seven songs, but the six songs they had simply aren't of the standard of their excellent debut. Maybe it's just that the musicians seem to be going through the motions this time around - particularly guitarist Vincent McCusker, who was such a presence on the debut - but the songs seem unenthusiastic and weak in their performance, without the energy or emotional peaks of the debut. Furthermore, compositionally they're just plain slack, and often just end up with the band noodling in one particular musical mode or another. The nadir of this is probably towards the end of White Eyes, in which the band end up just playing smooth cocktail jazz for an extended period of time.

Whilst there are still occasional flashes of talent on this album, I feel that I have to mark it harshly because of the way said talent is so wasted. The fact is that the songwriting and performance on this album falls far short of the standards set by Fruupp's debut, and short of the standard that any mid-tier prog group of the mid-1970s would expect to be able to muster. Other reviewers have described Fruupp as being a "frustrating" band, and as far as this album goes I'm inclined to degree - there's so many places where it could be absolutely brilliant had the band just put a bit of effort in and refined and developed their approach more, but they fail to, and as a consequence whatever flashes of enjoyment there were in the album soon end up being killed off. Even the best song on here, Elizabeth, suffers from being drawn out too long and not really going anywhere; I like it when I start listening to it, then I wonder when they're going to move on to something else, then I realise they're just going to bang on in this vein for several more minutes, then I get bored and angry at them.

If the album gave me the impression that anyone involved in the project was actually making an effort, I'd give it two stars like a shot, but due to the lack of enthusiasm and vigour it exudes I'm going to give it one.

Warthur | 1/5 |


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