Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Moon Safari - The Gettysburg Address CD (album) cover


Moon Safari

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Moon Safari is a great symphonic prog band from Sweden, a land full of great prog bands. They have always impressed me for their highly melodic symphonic rock laced with extraordinaire, stunning four part vocal harmonies. Their second CD Blomljud was the top 2008 album for me. However, there was always this slight fear that their incredible sound was much the result of studio work out. I mean, could they reproduce those intricated vocal arrangements while playing their instruments in front of an audience? Their music is not exactly the most complex in the prog world, and yet it is hard enough for most average musicians. Well, I´m glad to say they answered that question with their first live album.

The Gettysburg Address was recorded during their perfomance on the Rosfest and it is a testomony of their terrific talent, criativity and tastefulness. While their most recent studio album (Lover´s End of 2010) showed they might be concentrating more on their vocal parts than on the instrumental passages, this double CD clearly indicates they are, in fact, an excellent band on its own and capable of very fine vocal-less music. In fact they started the show with an eleven minute instrumental called Moonwalk (a clever collage of several themes from the group). Not bad at all! The keyboards parts are specially inspired, with lots of vintage timbres, as well as several electric guitar lines. They are better musicians than I initially thought they were. And yes, they can reproduce their incredible vocal parts live. They were in fine form that night, perfoming their longest (and best) epics like A Kid Called Panic and Yagur´s Farm. But the highlight of the evening (and the CD´s) was when they finished their set playing the whole 30+ minute suite The Other Half Of The Sky (clearly a prog classic of the new millenium).

Sometimes is hard to believe this a live recording, for everything works right on: the perfomance is impeccable, the sound crystal clear (you can hear every single instrument) and the production is spotless. The kind of live album one band must be proud of. It´s almost 100 minutes of music in total, but it feels like it is much shorter than that. Most of the tracks prove to be as relevant live as it is on the studio and in some cases, like New York City Summergirl, sound better here than on the original version. There is no real lows on this CD: you can hear it form start to finish without skipping single track.

Ok, they might sound too melodic and too "happy", even tacky, for some radicals, but, boy, do they remind me of a time when prog music was also very pleasant to the ears!

I just love this album! Five stars for a five star perfomance of great stuff! Simply essential for any prog lover who also likes fine, melodic songs.

Report this review (#656745)
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'The Gettysburg Address' - Moon Safari (9/10)

Whatever I may have first thought, the classic, symphonic sound of progressive rock is not dead. While I may not always appreciate the paradox by which many bands have regressing back in time in order to be 'progressive', taken on a purely musical level out of context, it's impossible not to see some great bands crawling out of the woodwork. MOON SAFARI is a band many proggers will have at least heard of. Their second album '[Blomljud]' is still hailed as one of the best prog albums of the new millennium, and for good reason. With influence of GENESIS and THE FLOWER KINGS readily evident, MOON SAFARI make some damned fine music within their particular brand of prog, and it's showcased perfectly in 'The Gettysburg Address'. While I'm rarely enthusiastic about live albums (and especially double- disc live albums at that!) MOON SAFARI's recording of their 2011 ROSFest headline is about as close a true concert experience as one can get, without actually being in the theater that night and seeing it live.

At an hour and a half long, MOON SAFARI pull no punches with 'The Gettysburg Address'. Normally, I would condemn a live album for being this length; after all, why make something so long that listeners may need to schedule bathroom breaks in between? In the case of MOON SAFARI, it works, not only because of the music's quality, but because it is an earnest attempt to recreate a 'concert experience'. Many live albums tend to be a 'best of' performance collection from a tour, but the recording here is a single take, appropriately beginning with the ROSFest host mildly introducing the band, and complete with some affable banter in between tracks. Even the band being heckled at one point in the performance simply adds to the feeling of 'being there', and that's not something many live albums are able to pull off.

Speaking of the actual music that goes along with the album, MOON SAFARI's sound is at times a little too cheery and upbeat for my own taste, but there's never a moment where the musicianship and orchestration dips in quality. Especially considering that this is a single take without pause, the sheer precision and tightness of the performance is nothing short of amazing. The opening instrumental 'Moonwalk' and epic final 'The Other Side of the Sky' might be my favourite parts of the show. Of course, none of this material is 'unique' to 'The Gettysburg Address', but this live recording certainly compliments the existing compositions. The recording sound is so pristine that one might be fooled into thinking it's just a very organic-sounding studio recording. That's the magic of 'The Gettysburg Address'; it manages to capture the experience of a live setting, without the setbacks usually suffered by live albums. My only potential gripe is that the performance essentially reprises what may already be heard on a studio release, but the power of everything is emphasized here. Without a doubt, MOON SAFARI and 'The Gettysburg Address' is one of the most impressive life albums I've ever heard.

Report this review (#745410)
Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just finish listening to what is a monumental live CD.

The kind you bring with you on a deserted island. No filler on this one just a fantastic snapshot that captured a moment in time from one of the best band to come out of Sweden.

The vocals, the harmonies, the instrumentation wow 5/5 . This one definitly belongs in the same elite group with Yes 's Yessongs, ELP's Welcome Back My friends, GG's Playing the Fool, Tull's Bursting out

a most have without questions

BTW I would love to see them at the Terra Incognita festival next year what a treat it would be :)

Report this review (#802899)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars The more Prog (and music in general) you listen, the harder it is to feel pleasantly surprised by something new. Some would say "new", as they would deem Moon Safari's work as 70s nostalgia feverish dream. Not me though, I am Moon Safari's fanboy for almost five years now (their Blomljud reached my hands in late 2008, my first year of intentional Prog listening) and even after hundreds of listens (of mostly Blomljud, but to (not so much) lesser extent also first and last albums), I am not tired of them. Nope, not at all.

So introductions are over, how exactly this album stands in my mind ? As perfectly executed gig with both glamour+solid substance underneath all the polish. It has the good ol' combination of melody+complexity, which is winning combination almost all the time.

Whether you like MS or not, their expertise on their respective kinds of instruments can't be denied. Their approach to melodic element of Prog groundbreaking in context of modern vintage Prog (and there's no denying of this, they're not ashamed and as well shouldn't be, because they're good at what they're doing. Not just that, they're perfect in this respect).

Earlier today, I was listening a bit experimental Avant-like Synth based group. It was fine, I was entertained, I enjoyed the innovative approach (different one), although my musical tastes lie usually elsewhere. But now it's late, I am tired after long day of doin' stuff (you know) and right now, this music is exactly what I need. It helps, it soothes nerves, but still that part of my brain which needs "quality" (one of reasons why I listen Prog) is satisfied too.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this gig is pinnacle of Moon Safari's 8 years effort.

Report this review (#1002500)
Posted Saturday, July 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars By the time of the release of "The Gettysburg Address" Moon Safari had already established themselves through their studio albums as an outstanding creative progressive rock act for the 21st century. The question for perhaps some people at this time, given their unavoidably low level of gigging, was could they cut it live? This live album recorded at Rosfest in 2011 emphatically answers that question with a big "Yes". With the addition of the third Ĺkesson brother, Sebastian, on keyboards and vocals, the band had the full armoury to re-produce their studio sound live. This album showcases their musical and vocal excellence in a way that is faithful but not reverential to the original recordings. This is a live concert recorded in front of an appreciative and knowledgeable crowd, with the great atmosphere transferring through to disc. The band bravely take on the epic "the other half of the sky" and, with just a small amount of pruning (pun intended!), completely pull it off. In fact, all in all, this version is probably even better than the original with Simon's final sung note of "last" guaranteed to send shivers down your spine! If you're new to the band, this could be a good place to start but please don't wait too long before buying their other albums!
Report this review (#1070690)
Posted Saturday, November 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Some great tracks, but sometimes veering into cheese...

So many great bands from Sweden. Moon Safari play a vocal-oriented contemporary progressive rock. Some of their tunes are short, close to radio-play length, while many others are extended with multiple parts and lots of dynamics, and a few others are full-length epics. While they have a couple of instrumentals, in most cases the tunes are structured around the vocals and lyrics, often with sing- songy vocal harmonies. Musically, they share some occasional similarities with bands like the Flower Kings (among my favourite contemporary SP bands), Spock's Beard, and the like. However, Moon Safari effuse a more sunny and light-hearted outlook. I started listening to Moon Safari with this album, partially due to the very high reviews it garnered and partially to hear a good sampling of their sound, and this led me to get the rest of their catalogue. Despite this representing well the kinds of music they do, I don't actually think this live gig is the best reflection of their skills. While they largely play the tunes like the studio albums, and the guitar and keyboard solos are very good, the vocal harmonies on a number of the tunes can't match the studio versions, and there are a few places where the timing of the drum fills and transitions also leaves the music a bit rougher than the studio versions. In fact, I think their second live album "Live in Mexico" is overall played better. My other criticism concerns their choices here. For me, there are really two stand-out tracks on this album: the opening and closing tracks. The opener, "Moonwalk", is fantastic, highly musical, and the only instrumental on this album - a joy. The closer, the 31-minute epic "Other Half of the Sky", meanwhile, is the best song of their catalogue (in my opinion), with multiple sections, lots of dynamics, and some great musical sections. Really excellent, very musical. However, the tracks in the middle are not so musical. Moon Safari's singing and lyrics have a tendency to veer into cheesy territory, often upheld by overly light and commercial-sounding chord progressions. "The World's Best Dreamers", "Dance Across the Ocean" and "New York City Summergirl" are the foremost examples of this here (even at times cringe-worthy), but to be honest the affliction also affects many of the other tracks, if with less intensity. Nowadays, when I listen to this album, I only put on the first (opening) and last (closing) tracks, and that's it. The album is worth getting for just these tracks, though - together these two tracks total 42 minutes, which is the equivalent of a full album's worth of great music. If they had just released it as such, I would be tempted to give this almost five stars. But given this is instead a double album, and roughly half the tunes veer into cheesiness, on balance I can only give this one 6.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to mid 3 PA stars.

Report this review (#1824318)
Posted Friday, November 17, 2017 | Review Permalink

MOON SAFARI The Gettysburg Address ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of MOON SAFARI The Gettysburg Address

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.