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POWERPLAY

Hasse Fröberg Musical Companion

Crossover Prog


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Hasse Fröberg Musical Companion Powerplay album cover
3.88 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. My River to Cross (10:14)
2. The World Keeps Turning (4:10)
3. The Final Hour (12:29)
4. Waves (5:19)
5. Venice CA (5:01)
6. Is It Ever Gonna Happen (7:57)
7. White Butterfly (2:30)
8. The Chosen Ones (7:39)
9. Godsong (5:34)

Total Time - 59:33

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Hasse Fr?berg: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Anton Lindsj?: Lead guitar, backing vocals
Kjell Haraldsson: Keyboards, backing vocals
Thomsson: Bass, backing vocals
Ola Strandberg: Drums, backing vocals


Thanks to Anthony H. for the addition
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HASSE FRÖBERG MUSICAL COMPANION Powerplay ratings distribution


3.88
(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
12%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (35%)
35%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

HASSE FRÖBERG MUSICAL COMPANION Powerplay reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Powerplay' - Hasse Fröberg Musical Companion (7/10)

The name of Mr. Hasse Fröberg is already well known in prog circles, specifically the ones prudent enough to look past the seventies. The Flower Kings are undeniably one of the most successful and revered bands in the modern progressive rock scene, and even had Fröberg decided to make a Top 40 pop hip-hop record, there would still be a degree of respect for this man and what he's contributed. With the Hasse Fröberg Musical Companion, there's no question that he is broadening his sights, so Flower Kings fans looking for 'more of the same' will find themselves disappointed. I can't quite say that the Musical Companion's music fits my taste too much, but I can't deny the tight precision and skill of these guys.

"Powerplay" is the sort of album that I may have dismissed, had I stopped at one listen. To tell the truth, by the end of the ten minute opener "My River To Cross", I felt confident in the fact that- despite Hasse's illustrious past- the Musical Companion was just another progressive-styled act playing a melodic brand of pomp rock that I could not get into at its best. It's reasonable to assume that I returned to "Powerplay", and with each listen, I was surprised to notice things I would have otherwise overlooked. Stylistically, "Powerplay" is a mesh of polished 'AOR' melodic hard rock, filtered through a progger's ambition. It's easy to take melodies for granted in this sort of music, but Fröberg's skill with catchy hooks really shines here.

Hasse Fröberg and his company give an incredible performance here. Although few riffs here impress on their own, the band's chemistry gives "Powerplay" a vibrance I rarely hear in melodic rock. Much of the songwriting here is fairly straightforward, but each of the musicians flesh it out a bit with plenty of details that reward the persistent listener. Not to mention, Hasse's voice is great as well, with but a touch of gravel to give character to his otherwise entirely clean voice. With the possible exception of the energetic "The World Keeps Turning" and uplifting "The Chosen Ones", I wouldn't say that the songwriting is excellent overall, in spite of some powerful melodic writing. Paired with a near-mechanical sense of overproduction, "Powerplay" often lacks the organic lustre I hear much of in The Flower Kings, and would have probably lacked it entirely, were it not for the excellent cast of musicians. "Powerplay" might not go beyond what has already been done in rock music for many years, but fans of Hasse Fröberg and tight melodic hard rock won't find themselves disappointed with this one.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#782334) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 05, 2012

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
4 stars It is easy to say who's Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion if you know what's been going on the Prog world in the last 20 years. Hasse Fröberg is the vocalist and guitarist from the Swedish band The Flower Kings, one of the bands responsible for bringing the Prog back in the 90's.

Back in 2008 The Flower Kings froze their activities for undetermined time, while Roine Stolt founded Agents Of Mercy and released 3 albums. Hasse gathered some friends to form a new band and in 2010 they released their first album Future Past (2010). To tell you the truth I was completely unaware of his 'solo' work till their second album Powerplay (2012) was sent to me. The band is formed by Hasse Fröberg (vocals and guitars), Anton Lindsjö (guitars and vocals), Kjell Haraldsson (keyboards and vocals), Thomsson (bass and vocals) and Ola Strandberg (drums and vocals).

Powerplay (2012) was released in April last year by Reingold Records, owned by The Flower Kings bassist Jonas Reingold and the sound engineer and producer (with Hasse himself) on the album is Tomas Bodin, keyboard man from TFK. As you can see TFK is like a big family, record company, producers and etc.

It's very easy to see The Flower Kings influences on Powerplay (2012) and that wouldn't be different, Hasse is an important part of the band. The first track 'My River To Cross' has the amount of energy and style to easily been put on a TFK album if they were not on a break at that time. I would say that the difference between the two bands is that Musical Companion is a bit more Rock n' Roll, the old 70's Rock, sometimes. Like I said, it is very hard not to compare this album with what The Flower Kings does. Of course Hasse songs are not the same as Roine Stolt (the main writer in TFK) and you have many new nuances in Powerplay (2012) because of the other musicians involved, but many times it seems we're listening a very good cover band from the original.

The difference lies in tracks like 'The Final Hour', especially in the final part and because of the guitars from Anton Lindsjö. 'Waves' is also a very different track. I guess my favorite track is 'Venice CA' for its 'light' and good mix between the melodies and the catchy chorus. In 'Is It Ever Gonna Happen' we have a good amount of TFK again, the good part. In 'The Chosen Ones' we have the best moment of Kjell Haraldsson and his keyboards.

It's not that Powerplay (2012) is a bad album, it is not. In fact, it is a very good album. And it would be exceptional to have it in The Flower Kings time off, but as soon as this album was released The Flower Kings announced their return and it's a bit complicated to pay attention to Powerplay (2012) when you have the original band with a great album like Banks Of Eden (2012) is.

It's quite hard to review this album without the comparisons, especially to me, a fan of The Flower Kings. I realize that it's unfair, but it is what it is and Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion drinks in all the fountains TFK drank too and it's impossible not to compare both.

Some might say that having two albums with members of your favorite band and with high quality being released in the same year is a very good thing. They're probably right! Stop thinking about it for a while and just enjoy Powerplay (2012) and you'll be just fine.

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#936121) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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