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5 stars Thanks for the warning that every album I like isn't a masterpiece. Well ... this is a masterpiece. A fantasic album of jazzrock with a singer, Sylvi Lillegaard, whose vocal achivements is from another world. It's power, it's melancolic, it's .... everything! Sadly this album is only obtainable from antiquestores. Yet. Hopefully it will be released on cd some day.
Report this review (#32770)
Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars The "Inner voice" comes from Miss Sylvi Lillegaard: her voice impact on RUPHUS incredible instrumental developments reminds me Janis Joplin fury meeting Annie Haslam sweetness eh. My favorite female singer may be Sonja Kristina, but this underrated Norway band amazes us bringing Sylvi.

OK, RUPHUS is a chameleon band, I know 3 their studio records that are radically different in style one from the other, still what is preserved is the high music quality : "New Born Day" (1973, **1/2) style : Hardprog ; "Ranshart" (****, 1974) style : YES meets the German keyboards-sympho style, (they are signed by the German Brain label) ala OCTOPUS "Boat of thoughts"; and this favorite focused "Inner Voice" (****1/2), the style here is prog-jazz-rock with some swing beat (few disco beat) and soul vocals.

I know also the double live vinyl with 7 bands: BRAIN (label) FESTIVAL (vol. 1) in Essen - Germany, which side 4 is made by Ruphus probably with "Inner voice" line up. Miss Sylvi and the guys did it again, proving Ruphus is an incredible live act too. By curiosity, side 1 has the bands GATE and NOVALIS; side 2 has RELEASE MUSIC ORCHESTRA (great cut) and JANE; side 3 has MESSAGE and GURU GURU.

Let me say I guess I like more RUPHUS "Inner Voice" than RETURN TO FOREVER "Romantic Warrior" (OOHHH), indeed, because beyond high technical skills, here Ruphus has a European melodic flavor beauty which grabs me. And the fantastic vocals complete the music scope. If you want orthodox prog prefer "Ranshart"; if you want fresh funny material prefer "Inner Voice". By the way my wife that generally don't like conventional prog, do enjoy very much "Inner Voice", it's an uplifting record.

Report this review (#205744)
Posted Sunday, March 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars New keyboardist, new lead singer for Ruphus on their fourth album but the music is quite similar to the fusion sound of their third record 'Let Your Love Shine'. Sylvi Lillegård replaced Gudny Aspaas on vocals and while she actually sings as opposed to what wasd more like scat by Aspaas on the prior record, Lillegård has a decent voice but seems to have rather limited range and at times strains on higher octaves.

Like I said the sound here is quite similar to 'Let Your Love Shine', and in fact on the opening title track I had to check to make sure I was listening to the right CD. The songs on this one are all mature and developed as opposed to the prior record which included a couple of brief transitional snippets of instrumental music as interludes between longer tracks. The more rhythmic and poppish sounds of the latter seventies start to emerge here with songs like "No Deal" and "Left Behind", as they would with just about every other progressive rock band by the time the decade winded to a close.

But the light jazzy vibe is present throughout, particularly on the final two tracks which feature lengthy piano/guitar passages as well as stilted electronic keyboards. Fans of the bands have written rather glowing reviews praising Ms. Lillegård's vocals and the band's mature sound, but I honestly can't really get into this record at all. Musically the production is solid, competent and professional but there is little spark or innovation to draw in anyone other than hardcore fans of the band. And that is the definition of a two-star album, which is what I'm going to say this record is. Recommended to fans only and I should note now available on CD since Pan Records reissued it a few years ago.


Report this review (#298877)
Posted Sunday, September 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great Krautrock/fusion sounding Norwegian heavy prog with similarities to bands as diverse as Jane, Caravan and Heart.

The music is mainly soft mellowish jazzyrock fusion with mostly nice sounding keyboards like fender rhodes and tasteful guitars, accompanied by steady, funky grooves and bluesrock-vocals. Mostly instrumental with lots of build-ups and very capable keyboard and guitar solos.

The band also remind me a bit of dutch fusion band Solution, but the vocals are more bluesy like Frumpy and Heart (heavy and soft singing like Ann Wilson). Only Heart has heavier guitars and Ruphus has more keyboards.

Recommended for those who like the softier, bluesier side of progrock.

Report this review (#2243392)
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2019 | Review Permalink

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