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Simon Says

Symphonic Prog

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Simon Says Ceinwen album cover
3.33 | 40 ratings | 4 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hey! (1:57)
2. Under The Seal (6:12)
3. A Bedtime Story (11:33)
4. Devonian Forest (3:45)
5. Pilgrim's Progress (5:52)
6. B.A.J.S. Radio (8:21)
7. Kadazan (15:53)

Total Time: 53:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Daniel Fäldt / vocals
- Nils Stenström / electric guitar, piano
- Stefan Renström / bass, acoustic & electric guitars, flute, keyboards, arrangements, co-producer
- Ola Johannson / percussion

- Kenneth Magnusson / keyboards, arrangements, co-producer
- Pia Gustafsson / vocals (1)

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

CD Bishop Garden Records ‎- BGR 02.1995.01 RM (1995, Sweden)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SIMON SAYS Ceinwen ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SIMON SAYS Ceinwen reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars This group is part of the second wave of 90's Swedish invasion along with the more neo- prog Galleon and Twin Age. Simon Says , however is much more along the lines of Anglagard and Landberk in terms of sound but more in the neo-prog in terms of songwriting (are you following me? ).

I have finally recuperated this CD (lent to a friend in 97 and thought to be lost - the friend too if he had not reimbursed me) and I gather that it has been out of print for so long and is really nowhere to be found. On with the music then, as the rather short intro leads you to two of the better tracks Seal (6 min+) and Story (11 min+) full of typical sounding Swedish prog therefore full of Mellotron and (rather irritatingly) Banks-like organ chords. Then comes a weird and rather useless track in between the Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk modes and another average two tracks before come the 15 min+ finale Kadazan that happens to be another highlight of this album. The instrumentist are rather credible and the vocals is typically what you might expect from this stuff - sounding somewhat like Valinor's Tree (a band which shares one or two members with SS but not the singer).

This album always got less spinning time (before its 7 years loss) than other early 90's Swedish group and it is no wonder because it is far behind AnglaDotenBerk anfd was quite derivative. I am even more severe now that I have re-listened to this album in the past five days - so it only gets three stars in my book but it should please many neo-progheads.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars I was a little surprised to learn this is a rather hard-to-find album, and even more so when I read recently the band was still (or once again) together and may release another album. They have also popped up occasionally on compilation recordings, most recently on a couple of Musea projects.

The first time I heard this album I was immediately taken by the Genesis lyrical and Yes arrangement influences, but even more so by the almost obsessively heavy use of various analog keyboards (including mellotron), and by the intense bass. The vocals are closer to bands like the Flower Kings and the Tangent, giving the album both a nostalgic symphonic feel and a modern bent at the same time. I don’t know much about these guys, but what I’ve heard from their two albums tells me that they are vastly underappreciated. This is an excellent album that’s worth picking up if you can find it, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see one of the retro prog labels reissue it someday soon.

The opening track is a bit misleading, as it tends a bit more toward King Crimson with its slightly jazzy and discordant tones, but “Under the Seal” is pure symphonic with a wash of intricate keyboards and percussion. The lengthy “A Bedtime Story” reminds me very much of the Tangent’s “A Place in the Queue” with its wandering story-telling vocals, rolling drums, and playful keyboards. The lyrics are a bit depressing and morbid, but that of course is not unusual for those Nordic types who don’t get enough sunlight during their long dark winters, and the presentation is peppy enough that I don’t really feel like slashing my wrists or anything, so no harm done.

“Devonian Forest” is a symphonic-meets-electronica instrumental with some spacey keyboards and electric piano setting up the listener for the folksy “Pilgrim’s Progress”, which is easily the most interesting and memorable track on the album. Again the message is a bit gloomy, but the acoustic guitar and relaxed keyboard (plus some flute) make for a pleasant backdrop to the mystic tale of a searching journey – “Grains of sand in the wind, we gave of our time as years went by - with no one telling us why”.

“B.A.J.S. Radio” has an eighties feel to it with more contemporary percussion and vocals that are closer to Men at Work than to traditional symphonic rock. This is an odd inclusion that doesn’t quite fit the rest of the album, but again the bass and keyboards make it a pleasant listen.

The finale is “Kadazan”, an epic length blend of percussion, improvisation, copious keyboards, and some superb drum work. The lyrics again tell of some sort of mystical experience, but the long instrumental passages are the real treat here. I have this one on a travel compilation CD, and it’s really great to listen to while traveling over a long stretch of open highway across the sparsely populated Midwestern United States. I can imagine it would be even more intense driving across a winding Swedish countryside.

This is a rather obscure record from a little-known band, but they shouldn’t be. Their two albums are both outstanding blends of traditional symphonic rock and more contemporary neo sounds, and this one in particular is highly recommended to collectors of unusual progressive music. Four stars.


Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars On the other hand, maybe it wasn't so good idea to descend (move from 2008 to 2002 to 1995). Or maybe it was a good idea, as I left the "worst" as a final piece of this prog puzzle. To be honest (so I'll go straight to the point), there are some good elements, that will be finally turned into something special in later releases, but so far, it's like mild drink, not containing enough alcohol to make you drunk (in this case, drunk with good feeling of satisfied mind). We know that it will turn from sour taste to full bloom, but not here. It's half like acoustic and even it has some good solos, interesting ideas, there is too many void spaces that simply does not work.

3(+), not this time.

Latest members reviews

3 stars (3,5 stars) -In spite of presenting in his first studio disk "Ceiwen", a quite approximate musical conception of "Tardigrade", which deserving the maximum note from me , a mixture among the sound of "modern" bands, such like THE FLOWER KING'S & SPOCK'S BEARD, with influences of monsters of ... (read more)

Report this review (#307413) | Posted by maryes | Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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