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4 stars Classic 70's progressive rock reminding me quite a bit of CAMEL at times with some succulent instrumental breakouts and lovely 70's warbled sounds. Music is soft and yet quite dynamic with some great musicianship. Songs are all rather short (4 min range'ish) but do still seem to satisfy the listener without sounding to abrupt in conclusion. Although albums contains dual guitarists, LOTUS still remains a heavily symphonic album with some choice guitar stabs and solos throughout. Still freaks me out a bit that such a great album is not commented on more often... IMHO a great album!

Report this review (#31199)
Posted Friday, June 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "You can play any note you like, but you've got to know why you're playing it."

So says Chico Lindvall, guitarist of Lotus. Good advice for up and coming guitarists who are obsessed with speed playing. I cannot believe this fabulous instrumental album has but one other review.

This is a monster of melodic, grooving fusion instrumentals. What a shame that these Swedish lads never reached a wider audience. Their material is compelling and well played, they sound like an early version of what are today referred to as "jam bands." This is one of those vocal-less albums where the individual playing is colorful enough that you never miss singing.

The remastered CD versions includes 5 live bonus tracks recorded in 1975 along with a band history. As the bio says, if you enjoy energetic dual guitar rocking fusion played with obvious joy, you must hear Lotus.

Report this review (#120058)
Posted Saturday, April 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars.

This great fusion album out of Sweden starts off strong with Eelass-Ooles, which gives a good taste of what you can expect throughout the album. The songs are short for fusion tracks averaging about 2 to 3 minutes each, however this is certainly not a bad thing as the songs follow a unique and progressive format. Most of them will start with the band playing a jazzy hook that makes the song stand out well. The hooks are generally guitar driven, though Ungersk Dans uses keyboard for the same effect. This format gives each song a unique feel to a pretty general sound. Whenever I re-listen to this album and a new song comes on, I always find myself thinking "oh I love this one". Having an album that does that is a rare thing.

After these hooks the band will solo and the jazzier feel of their sound will take over. All of the musicianship is great in each song and is never weak. Despite the short structures, the songs still sound complete and whole. Each one ends properly and not too suddenly. Standout tracks include Eelass-Ooles, Mac, Ungersk Dans, and Chicos Shuffle, but all of them are pretty good.

I'd recommend this album to any fan of good fusion, though it probably will appeal to those who go for Symphonic/Art Rock as well.

Report this review (#121861)
Posted Sunday, May 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars LOTUS were a Jazz / Fusion band from Sweden who put out two albums in the mid- seventies. This is their debut from 1974. Tom Hayes describes them this way : "There's a unique charm contained within the melodies that are distinctly Swedish and recall bands such as TRETTIOARIGA KRIGET, KEBNEKAISE, AUTUMN BREEZE and KULTIVATOR". Two lead guitarists, bass, drums, piano and organ round out the sound of this five piece band. I really like the picture of the band on the album cover because it reminds me of my friends and I when we were younger just hanging out having a good time. 9 of the 10 tracks were composed by the two guitarists, while the keyboardist created one song.

"Eelas-Ooles" has an aggressive intro with the guitar and drums really standing out for me. Organ takes the lead after 1 1/2 minutes. "Bonnalat" features relentless drumming and check out the guitar 1 1/2 minutes in. "At El-Yago 9-3" is the one I like the least although I do like the organ to end it. "Zero" is much better with some great guitar. Organ takes over the lead role for a minute. "Mac" is a guitar led tune with some nice bass. "Musen" is really the only laid back song on here.

"Ungersk Dans" is the song the keyboardist composed and he leads the way with his organ before keys and bass come in sounding really good. "Gatta Gatta" has a good raw sound to open as the guitar and drums lead the way as the organ floats in the background. Great song. "Marschvals" sounds amazing, especially the guitar solo that goes on and on to end it. "Chico's Shuffle" reminds me of the DIXIE DREGS early before the piano arrives a minute in as the bass throbs. The guitar then comes in lighting it up. Chico by the way is Anders (the main guitarist) nickname. I like the story in the liner notes of him playing as a guest at this pub and blowing everyone away with his loud and ripping blues styled playing. He was 16 years old.

This is an energetic Jazz / Fusion album with a unique charm.

Report this review (#227053)
Posted Thursday, July 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars First excellent album from Swedish band LOTUS. The band plays a type of jazz-fusion prog of easy listening with well elaborate instrumental passages. Probably this 'easy listening' effect be due to the fact that although is a jazz fusion band, their sonority is plenty of energy, and besides this they demonstrate some latin music hints in the style of CARLOS SANTANA , a bit of FRANK ZAPPA moods and in certain moments I feel sharply a proximity to hard rock in the WISHBONE ASH ( this last trace due the presence of 2 guitars which plays sometimes in unison sometimes in counterpoint ... a good example as in track 5 "Mac") another possible influence is the rhythm blues in the molds of THE ALMAN BROTHERS BAND ( listen track 2 "Bonnalåt"). The track 7 "Ungersk Dans" brings some "hints' of R.I.O something very common in Swedish bands like Kultivator and (of course) SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA. The best moments are : Track 1 "Eelass-Ooles" , 5 "Bonnalåt", 7 "Ungersk Dans" already mentioned and Track 8 "Gatta Gatta". My rate is 4 stars !!!
Report this review (#930468)
Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 | Review Permalink

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