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Roine Stolt - Hydrophonia CD (album) cover

HYDROPHONIA

Roine Stolt

 

Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 104 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Zitro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 3 3/4 stars

A well-produced jazz fusion album that features the guitar as the prominent instrument. All songs have imagery of oceans or anything undersea instrumentally (since there are no vocals in this album). Roine handles not only the guitars, but also the bass and the keyboards very well. The production is excellent, and it contains Roine's guitar playing at his best.

Cosmic Lodge is a fine starter with the main theme played in the intro, then going into longish jazz-fusion soloing. I love his keyboard work too here, with powerful church organs near the end. The main theme closes this very interesting song.

Shipbuilding has some of the best melodies of this album and is overall pretty catchy. This is a pretty accessible track, but unfortunately doesn't grow on you.

Litle Cottage of the Sea is a bit longer than it should be. It's just an extremely mellow theme repeated over and over and developed to death. The bass playing is surprisingly good though (IT's not Roine's main instrument)

Wreck of HMS Nemesis is the best song in the album. The main theme is played again with variations until a chilling riff is played 4 times, which is followed by an amazing musical theme. If only the album was as good and focused as this intro. A great guitar/sax/keyboard short-epic of jazz-fusion that doesn't lose momentum in its long duration.

Bizarre Seahorse Sex Attack is surely a strange name, and the song sounds a bit lighthearted. This is a Zappa-styled jazz rocker with influences of Flower King songs like Unorthodox Dancing Lesson and Circus Brimstone. If you don't like those influences and Frank Zappa, you may not like this, but you can't deny the guitar work is phenomenal.

Oceanna Blue Dolphin is a beautiful laid-back track with a good sense of melody.

Nuclear Nemo is the hard-hitting "in your face" dynamic song and is an instant classic and the last highlight of the album. The main riff is incredibly menacing, and I love the guitar/sax frenzied playing. The second half is mellower, but is developed into a powerful finale that ends up on a fade-out.

Hydrophonia is worthy of being the title track as it contains good melodies and impressive song arrangements. This song is less jazzy and more symphonic in style and sounds like a track that could have made it in The Flower Kings' Space Revolver.

Lobsterland Groove is driven by a very addictive and danceable groove. The instrumentation is very well laid out and offers a vast array of musical ideas. I just love this song.

Seafood Kitchen Thing is the heavy and epic finale of the album. IT brings the album to a close finely, but i get a bit tired of the recycled Cosmic Lodge theme all over the song, and I don't like the heavy intro with the woman's screams (or orgasms?).

Overall, a very well-executed jazz-fusion instrumental album. If you are a lover of jazz fusion and/or masterful guitar playing dominating the music and/or a Frank Zappa fan, I highly recommend this album.

Highlights: Wreck of HMS Nemesis, Nuclear Nemo, Hydrophonia, Lobsterland Groove

Let Downs: Little Cottage By The Sea.

My Grade: B-

Zitro | 4/5 |

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