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Fruupp - Modern Masquerades CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.24 | 113 ratings

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2 stars After cutting The Prince Of Heaven's Eye, Fruupp was suddenly forced into a line-up change when keyboardist Steven Houston found religion and left to be replaced by John Mason. Despite a presumably more worldly addition to the band's sound, and a helping hand from King Crimson star Ian McDonald, Fruupp was unable to overcome its critical flaws for its fourth and final album.

Modern Masquerades must have been recorded in a real rush because it hit the stores just three months after its predecessor, and as one might guess, there isn't really too much of a progression in the group's sound. Peter Farelly's vocals are occassionally hopeless (particularly on the opener Misty Morning Way), there are a fair number of pleasant passages that usually get lost in the murky big picture ... the midsection of Masquerading With Dawn has a nice ominious build up first on guitar and then on keyboard, the 10 minute Gormenghast has moments of Camel-esque splendour and the closer Sheba's Song has a swinging jazzy jam and some nice shifts in dynamics ... but all too often this is lost amid large chunks of unapetisizing filler. The album is rounded off by a touching piano/strings ballad Why and the upbeat ditty Janet Planet, which are, somewhat shockingly, both the least progressive and the most memorable tracks here.

While this record is marginally superior to The Prince Of Heaven's Eye, it is nowhere near as strong as Fruupp's finest effort, the debut Future Legends, which merely emphasizes the fact that Fruupp never fulfilled its potential. There are scores of prog bands one should turn to before coming to this lot. ... 46% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 2/5 |


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