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Lotus - Vera O'Flera CD (album) cover



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4 stars Not quite as good as their great debut, but still a very good jazz-rock album.

In this effort Lotus lets the jazzier side of their music become much more prominent. Gone are the seemingly too short song structures that I loved about the debut. Tracks average around 4 minutes here as opposed to 2.

However fans of the debut need not be dissappointed, as the musicianship and songwriting is just as good as it was there. The album just relies more on the standard extended jazz-rock jams and indulges on them much more often. For this reason I wouldn't call it a classic, but I'd still call it a great addition to any jazz-rock collection.

Great for those who enjoyed jazzier side of the debut, or fans of jazz-rock in general.

Report this review (#121862)
Posted Sunday, May 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Vera is one burnin hot instrumental album.

Their debut self-titled album of two years prior was great and I gave it four stars. I think I like this second one even better. Whereas the first album's shorter punchier songs were more immediate the marvelous Vera is more mature. These songs are longer with more room to expand, slightly more refined, moving more towards jazz fusion but no less exciting. This album ROCKS and the playing is incredible. All of these guys, but especially guitarist Chico Lindvall, have to be some of the most criminally under-rated musicians of their day. I keep having to lift my jaw back up after it hits the floor. But, this is not just a technical noodle-fest, the songs are very pleasing and emotional. As Chico said, "you can play any note you like, but you have to know why you're playing it." Exactly!

We start with the longest song "Dance Hall Frenzy" at near 8 minutes with a mid tempo groove. The jamming begins as the solos are traded back and forth from guitar to keys with ease. The bass is well to the forefront on this recording and the drums not so overwhelming, kind of the opposite how they do things today when you generally hear all drums and whimpy bass. Next is "Conflicts" and this is mostly a keyboard showcase with the big bass again. "Poor Man's Beat" picks up speed and keeps rolling, first with keys and then Chico lets rip with the electric. We even get a funky bass solo in this track! "F-ck, I Give Up" is next (title edited for modesty!) and features some nice alto sax, piano, and acoustic guitar in a laid back traditional jazz mode. "Rain" begins with piano mimicking the sound of falling rain I suppose. Just after two minutes the band comes roaring in and we get some wild solos over driving rhythms. Some of the nuances this drummer pulls off just thrill me. "For Jenny" is a short expressive guitar showcase (electric and acoustic) no doubt inspired by someone special to Chico. The man can play magic. "The Fountain" is a very tight jazz rock number. "Bah Bah Little Lamb" is a strange one-minute joke that shows the boys may have toked up a little before the session. "Red Whortleberry Jam" is an even shorter acoustic guitar ditty to close the regular album.

Two bonus tracks are included on the 2004 reissue. "Oh No I Give Up Again" is another acoustic solo piece that is quite nice. "Last Rehearsal" sadly appears to be just that. A poorly recorded live studio piece that was likely their last jam? It features a nice Chico solo. Very sad that this marvelous group made only two albums.

This is an album that deserves a proper reissue. The 2004 DYM version sounds OK but features a criminally lame slip cover and nothing else! They don't even give you an inner sleeve for the disc. Just the outer cardboard cover.

Report this review (#130120)
Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
4 stars Lotus was a Swedish five piece band with additional musicians on saxophone, piano, bass and drums. In 1974 they released their eponymous debut album, in 1976 followed by this second effort entitled Vera O'Flera, the CD release (Duck Your Music label) contains two bonustracks. During my first listening session I was blown away by Lotus their melodic and jazzrock oriented sound and the skills of the musicans of this unknown band: a swinging and powerful rhythm-section, an excellent guitarist (an often flowing and fiery style) and an outstanding keyboardplayer who reminds me of Jan Hammer and Chick Corea but he's not a copycat. Especially the wonderful soli on the synthesizer and the sparkling work on the piano (from jazzy to classical) are really stunning, what a talent! The 11 songs on this CD (running time around the 40 minutes) sound tasteful and varied, this album should be embraced by the many jazzrock aficionados on this site, a big hand for the unknown Swedish formation Lotus!
Report this review (#178824)
Posted Monday, August 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars LOTUS were a Jazz band out of Sweden who released two studio albums in the mid seventies. I reviewed the debut back in 2009 and was quite impressed at the time and I also spun it about a year and half ago confirming that it's still a 4 star album in my universe. "Vera O'Flera" is album number two from 1976 and it sounds different from the debut. They've dropped from a five piece to a four piece with the second guitarist leaving. There's also a new bassist and drummer. No organ this time around which is huge to the sound as the keyboardist sticks to synths and piano. We do get some guest sax on just one track I believe.

I'm in the opinion that this one pales in comparison to the debut. The synths are very annoying and prominent but I do like the electric piano. We get vocals on one track and it's less than a minute long in this traditional sounding "ahem" song. There's not one song that I like all the way through but there certainly many, many good passages where the guitar or electric piano solo over top mostly. Sax on that fourth tune which is light and jazzy. No thankyou. The second and third tracks have a lot of energy and the latter has a bass solo in it.

Pretty much every song has synths going off like there's a fire somewhere but if your into that kind of thing along with high energy fusion you might want to check this out.

Report this review (#2737434)
Posted Thursday, April 14, 2022 | Review Permalink

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