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Tomas Bodin

Symphonic Prog

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Tomas Bodin I A M album cover
3.76 | 139 ratings | 19 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I (23:12) :
- The Beginning
- Wheel Spinner
- Day by Day
- Mother's Heart
- Speeder
- They'll Fight for Me!
- Fighters
- War Is Over
- Aftermath
- The Angel of Dreams
- The Awakening
2. A (21:28) :
- Take Me Home
- The Tree of Knowledge
- The Path of Decision I
- The Prayer
- The Path of Decision II
- Close the Deal
- The Path of Decision III
- The Tube of Reverse
3. M (18:43) :
- In the Land of Retrospect, Part 1
- In the Land of Retrospect, Part 2
- Voice Macabre
- Dance Macabre
- The Halls of Future
- The Path of Light I
- The Path of Light II

Total Time 63:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Tomas Bodin / keyboards, composer, arranger & producer

- Anders Jansson / lead & backing vocals
- Pernilla Bodin / vocals (1,2)
- Helene Schönning / vocals (1)
- Jocke JJ Marsh / guitars
- Jonas Reingold / bass
- Marcus Liliequist / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Thomas Ewerhard

CD Inside Out Music - IOMCD 209 (2005, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TOMAS BODIN I A M ratings distribution

(139 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by King of Loss
4 stars This is Tomas Bodin's 4th solo album and by far in my humble opinion, his greatest piece of art. This is a 63 minute suite called "IAM" divided into 3 parts called I, A, M. Easy to figure, eh? ;)

We start with the first part of the album, called I (Hey, I figured it out!) It is of course a great piece of work, nothing short of amazing. Heavily reminiscent of the Flower Kings (of course! What can you expect with 2 other members of TFK?!) The song starts off nice and keyboard-ish and of course the jazzy TFK feel. Nice and smooth, eh? Reminds me heavily of Garden of Dreams (Don't know why?!??!?!???) The song is of course very good and very typical of a TFK album, except there isn't Roine Stolt or Hasse Froberg on it! The usually bad vocals do not really bother me, it is actually pretty good and fits the suite.

Actually rest of the suite pretty much sounds like a TFK album, except that it is much more keyboard dominated than the bass/guitar dominated TFK attack.

Overall, this album is EXTREMELY WELL WRITTEN. An essential for all TFK fans and lovers of this style. Greatly recommended 4.5/5

(Too bad not many people have heard this good album!)

Review by Zitro
4 stars 3.8 Stars

Wow, what an opus! Tomas Bodin shows everyone that Roine Stolt is not the only great composer playing in the Flower Kings. After hearing this album, I realized that Tomas Bodin should have more than 1 minute long interludes as it often happens. Here, he composes something I could call "Rock Opera". This is like a mixture of The Wall and The Flower Kings. A Personal concept album. I AM is divided into three pieces, one for each letter of the title. The Flower Kings sound is present as Jonas Reingold plays the bass in a similar way as he does with the band while quoting some bass lines from Unfold the Future and Bodin who's keyboard playing. I have some trouble liking the singer in the first and third movements.

I - After a long atmospheric intro focused in theatrical vocals, The overture blows you away with an organ workout featuring some blazing synth riffs. A church organ introduces the singer and the song begins. It is overall very dynamic, has some great heavy passages, and the main synth riff is played a few times. The last five minutes are a bit boring though: just vocals under repetitive and uninteresting piano lines. Overall, I find this piece the most enjoyable when it is heavy. 8/10

A - My favourite composition of the three. Beginning with piano like the ending of the last track, it fools you as the song won't be that soft. A distorted guitar plays a mesmerizing and absolutely rocking riff, and the singer sings much better than before, complementing the guitar riffing perfectly. Then, the next part involves jazzy drumming, simple piano playing, and the bass upfront making variations of a bass line from "Silent Inferno". When the singer talks to God, it is another highlight of the album. It starts tranquil with classical piano, but then it gets much more biting. The soft- heavy transformation is really well done! When the classical piano dominates again, it leads to another short highlight: a reference to "The Truth Will Set You Free" with the same riff and bass line, yet improved. The bass line is only 4 different notes in a loop, each note played twice rapidly before going to the next one. The next few minutes take you to the sound of the Flower Kings. The pice continues coherently into a heavier finale. 9/10

M - My least favourite piece, yet a solid epic. After a lot of time given to the singer, th song gets much heavier. I love the bass lines used and the hevy guitar riffs. A guitar solo ends this great moment. A soft piano/vocal section follows and it develops and progresses nicely. Another good guitar solo marks the end of it, and the climax ends the disc. I believe the climax is not very strong and does not capture all the emotion heard in all the three tracks. 6/10

Regardless of my negativity towards M, you should get this album if you like The Flower Kings. This is a beautiful opus that should not be ignored, as well as Roine's solo projects.

My Rating : B-

Review by progrules
4 stars When I bought Tomas' album I took a bit of a gamble because I had no idea of his own work, I was only aware of the fact that he was the keyboardplayer of The Flower Kings. But in fact that was enough because I believe TFK are (one of) the best band (s) ever. I have to say Tomas did not disappoint me with this very special album. It is one of the most complicated progressive albums I know and I had to listen to it many times before I got familiair with the songs. Of course they are all very long tracks but besides that it is still quite tough stuff. But I mean this positively, prog can't be complicated enough mor my liking. Only after more than 10 times playing I got through to the essence of it all. I was very pleased that my respect for this masterpiece grew and grew and is now on a very high level. The only critics I can think of are the endings of in fact all three songs. They are not exactly the highlights of the compositions.

But the rest is so good that I even doubt (once again) between 4 and 5 stars but according to the abovementioned I will have to go for four since progarchives wants us (and I believe with every right) to save the 5 stars for the very very best.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars For the very first time, there are lyrics featured on a Tomas Bodin album. I would say for the best and the worse since some parts are fairly good and other ones pretty much forgettable.

Apart from this new characteristic, the music which is played here is probably the closest TFK one you can expect form one of his solo work so far. There are as well some Genesis synth sounds and of course the Yes usual influence that can be listened to most of the TFK albums as well.

So, globally this is the sum of some of the three bands. Needless to say that the musicianship is brilliant (Jocke Marsh proposing some typical Roine moments as well) but that the album is too much derivative to be catalogued as truly innovative. Still, it is an enjoyable work which is running smoothly on your CD player.

The female vocals from Pernilla (Tomas's sister) are very smooth and gives a certain Kaipa angle to the opening song called I.

The second part of this album starts with a very heavy intro, this was not really expected on a Bodin solo work to say the least. After four minutes of this treat, the music gets back to a more symphonic side, which I prefer to be honest. Sweet vocals and very, very much TFK oriented moods.

The listener is embarked in a TFK ride with quiet parts, some furious electric guitar ones, which are in full accordance with Roine's play and some bombastic organ. I told you, this could have been released on several TFK albums.

When comes the third piece M, I have to say that I almost have disconnected from this album. Too much of the same actually. Still, as I have said, this album is enjoyable but I usually listen to it without really paying too much attention to its content to avoid to have a negative feel like during this review which needed a more in-depth attention.

Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is Bodin's fourth solo album but first with vocals. He's brought a couple of FLOWER KING members with him in bassist Jonas Reingold and drummer Marcus Liliequist who played on the "Paradox Hotel" album. I don't know why but i'm not having much luck with these FLOWER KING offshoots, well except for THE TANGENT but I look at that as more of an Andy Tillison led venture. Anyway there's lots to like here but also lots that I don't enjoy.

"I" opens with what sounds like wind chimes as reserved vocals join in.The music kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. Good section. Powerful organ before it settles with reserved vocals before 5 minutes. Female vocals before 8 minutes then it kicks back in. It settels again this time with male vocals before 9 minutes. Great sound 11 minutes in. The guitar lights it up 15 1/2 minutes in, synths follow as they trade solos. A calm after 18 1/2 minutes with spoken words and keys, then female vocals return.

"A" opens with piano but some heavy guitar comes in quickly then vocals.This really reminds me of KING'S X just not as good. It settles with piano and flute 4 minutes in. Light vocals a minute later. A fuller sound 10 minutes in. Tasteful guitar 13 minutes in then we get some female vocal melodies a minute later. Kicks back in around 16 minutes. Piano and spoken words in the background ends it. "M" opens with reserved vocals and piano. Drums and guitar join in as it builds to a full sound. Sampled mellotron after 3 minutes. A nice heavy sound before 4 1/2 minutes. Check out the bass 7 minutes in and the guitar that follows.That's the best part of the album for me. It settles before 12 minutes with reserved vocals and piano. Guitar comes in then flute takes its place. The guitar is back before 15 minutes with organ. Vocals are back.

Good album with some outstanding sections.

Review by The Quiet One
4 stars ''I Am the keyboardist of the Flower Kings'' said Tomas Bodin

'I Am' while being my first Tomas Bodin solo album that doesn't mean I didn't know what was coming from it. It's unmistakably in the vein of Tomas Bodin's main band, The Flower Kings, as well as similar to the recent release of Karmakanic, 'Who's the Boss in the Factory?'. However like all seperate projects by Flower Kings' members there's always some slight differences in sound, but in composition you really can't expect any differences: huge symphonic sound full of influences from 70's Prog bands, lots of instrumental passages and time changes, excellent musicianship, and the classic crescendo finale, all making up the modern symphonic prog stereotype.

Anyhow, like most solo projects, the artist shows what he really is capable of, both as a songwriter and a player, so all those who thought Tomas' playing on the Flower Kings was rather okay-ish, this album will change your mind completely(it did for me). You can still listen to his usual aspects, his soft and atmposhperic mellotron soars and the Wakeman-esque synth solos, but there's more to that now: he presents lots of piano playing which is truly fantastic varying from jazzy tones to simple beautiful notes, and there's also plenty of organ which reminds of Andy Tillison's great playing, all in all making a more diverse playing compared to his playing on The Flower Kings which is essential but rather lacking of greatness and diversity.

Anyways, when it comes to Tomas' song-writing it really isn't that different from that of Roine's with the exception of the less quantity of up-lifting melodies which are replaced by hard rockin' passages which The Flower Kings doesn't feature many, and that's why I relate 'I Am' with 'Who's the Boss in the Factory?' by Karmakanic since both share that similarity: they present a darker edge to that symphonic sound that The Flower Kings are known of. Anyways, it's just a slight difference, you can still expect lots of melodies and soloing very ala Flower Kings.

Overall 'I Am' is your typical new wave of Symphonic Prog subject, but it's probably one of the best of that! Just three outstanding epics comprising the whole album wtih magnificent playing and memorable melodies, which is another difference to the incosistency of The Flower Kings which abound of filler in some their albums.

If you don't like The Flower Kings and the like, this won't change your mind at all, it's more of the same, but someone who enjoys that style will surely find this release an excellent one. Essential if you're a fan of the ''New Wave of Symphonic Prog''.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I am...pleased that I acquired this tripartite exercise in excess for mere sum of two dollars and ninety-seven cents. Tomas Bodin is one of my favorite keyboardists, and this album is excellent in terms of execution and performance. Myriad solos fill up these expansive three tracks, but Bodin is gentlemanly enough to not dominate the spotlight. While the keyboard work is far flashier, the lead guitar is generally more interesting. Where the album fails is in the departments of composition and vocals. As the parenthetical titles may indicate, these three tracks are not composed of musically flowing related ideas, but are seemingly assembled piecemeal from both good and bad ideas. Epic track lengths may impress some progressive rock fans, but I am not fooled- without proper transitions, a twenty minute piece serves an album better as five more credible four-minute opuses. Nevertheless, even that is not this albums most atrocious flaw- that shame is borne by Anders Jannson. No joke- the lead vocals spoil whatever is good about this album. That said, fans of The Flower Kings will likely find quite a bit to love.

"I" Instead of maneuvering directly into flashy keyboard aerobics, Bodin allows the beginning of the album to breathe, using light percussion and one of the stronger vocal moments of the entire project. Predictably, however, Bodin unleashes a synthesizer solo two minutes in over a straightforward rock beat, but takes a break to allow for some excellent blues-rock guitar interpretations. The sudden church organ and subsequent piano both introduce new sections without respect for any manner of transition. When the vocalist returns, his painful voice is no longer shrouded in effects, and his Hasse Froberg imitation is almost painful. The feminine vocals are certainly pleasant comparatively speaking, but they are very soft in the mix. But this guy's grungy shrieking is absolutely dreadful- why Bodin enlisted this individual to sing at all on his ambitious project is beyond me. Halfway through, and again without transition, a giddy little segue interrupts the flow, completely with that awful dentist's drill synthesizer tone. When that's done, it just quits and an organ picks up. Toward the end, there's a segment that's a jumbled mess of loud noises and drums. Perhaps invoking Yes's "The Gates of Delirium," the music becomes suddenly quiet, and an ethereal, peaceful piano and airy feminine vocals rise up, much in the vein of "Soon."

"A" An unrelated piano bit introduces the second track, but the initial verses occur over heavy guitar riffs. Following the hard rock music, the piece shifts into something akin to the jazzy meanderings of The Flower Kings, and the vocalist has a deep voice that sounds a wee bit similar to Roine Stolt's. The bass is by far the most intriguing constituent of this rather lengthy passage (and with Jonas Reingold in this role, what else can one expect?); the keyboards are light and enjoyable, but don't hold my attention nearly as much as the rhythm section. After quiet piano music and some rather competent vocals, the music morphs into a bluesy cuisine, with an appropriate bass line and organ holding it down while crunchy guitar handles the lead. The shrieking and other high-pitched vocalizing sounds artificial and downright annoying. Again, with nary a transition, the piece becomes hard-rocking, and then noisy before a quiet conclusion containing a subdued, backmasked voice.

"M" Melancholic but trite lyrics begin the third and final piece. The whiny vocals grating out this dreary beginning are an absolute pain to hear. When the pseudo-emotional first four minutes have expired, the music adopts its rock visage. In many respects this passage sounds like a harder-hitting version of Bodin's main band. The final composition is the least interesting- it drags on as the vocalist drags it down. That long sustaining note at the end is one of the silliest things, and the piece is cut off without any proper sense of finality.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A progress for progressive Tomas Bodin in terms of compositional abilities. The music is not only flashy or majestic, there are enough good, creative and developed moments. There is a good balance between instrumental craftmanship and songwriting. A trilogy of compositions (I,A,M) could be seen ... (read more)

Report this review (#2287324) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, December 14, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The truth will set me free... Since I heard "A" here in PA, I tried to find this album to be able to listen to him, after all it is a solo project of Tomas Bodin, who though not my favorite keyboard (I do not like very playful in their keyboards the Flower Kings), certainly had something to o ... (read more)

Report this review (#503606) | Posted by voliveira | Monday, August 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Funny how I just finished my Pain of Salvation's BE and I got the urge to jump right to this CD at once. Maybe because the former CD ends with exactly these words 'I AM'. Although they are both great concept albums and from Sweden, and seem to be with obsession with these words, the two concepts a ... (read more)

Report this review (#241524) | Posted by terryl | Saturday, September 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Tomas has pulled out all the stops for his forth solo album. I wasn't sure if I liked it at first, and a 63 minute suite is a lot to take in all at once (it is split into 3 tracks, and each is subdivided into various parts, but it is still a cohesive single piece). The thing I had the most trou ... (read more)

Report this review (#216609) | Posted by infandous | Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars ...and remember......''fake it until you make it''. Well, Bodin seems to have made it nicely with this album. The quoted text is from the first page of the sleeve, where he talks about ''human hostile tempo'' of the 21st century and how people are intoxicated by it and about his ''bemuse ... (read more)

Report this review (#142981) | Posted by Eerichtho | Tuesday, October 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Since this was my first album I bought from direct influence of this sight, I found it quite fitting that this would be my first review. But what can I say that has not already been said about this album? Not much since most of it has been covered, but perhaps I can put my own spin on it. T ... (read more)

Report this review (#118659) | Posted by mothershabooboo | Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Huge disc without a doubt some will be of the best thing than it leaves east year as far as progressive rock talks about, huge in all the necessities, as I title indicates the Spanish, I I am, if it is his form of expression with reaches immense of very deep dimensions I wonder myself if the N ... (read more)

Report this review (#88648) | Posted by Shelket | Friday, September 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Previous Tomas Bodin albums, to me, have been very good. More so Pin Up Guru than Sonic Boulevard. They, however, didn't compare to The Flower Kings material Tomas is normally associated with. They had the same musical vibe, but the overall products I found were still a few meteres apart. That is ... (read more)

Report this review (#69242) | Posted by | Monday, February 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I disagree with a couple of the reviewers. I think the vocals are fine, not the best but it doesn't take away from this fine CD. Funny how all the Flower king solo adventures are pretty stinking good huh? I liked this cds right off. It didn't take 3 or 4 listens like some others. Too bad it sk ... (read more)

Report this review (#51839) | Posted by | Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I agree with the first two reviewers, particularly the statement that this CD is meant to be listened to and not neccessarily duscussed. The vocals are probably the only negative I can point out on this record. They seem strained and don't fit very well with the feel of the CD. Small price to pay ... (read more)

Report this review (#41920) | Posted by Trafficdogg | Sunday, August 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Excellent cd, excellent vocals, excellent musianship, excellent lyrics, excelent concept... you can hear lots of bands in this one, like for example yes, pink floyd , deep purple. Its like The flower kings, but better much better =P I love progmusic, this cd is a must have GREAT CD !! BUY IT NOW ... (read more)

Report this review (#37990) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Tomas has pulled out all the stops for his forth solo album. I wasn't sure if I liked it at first, and a 63 minute suite is a lot to take in all at once (it is split into 3 tracks, and each is subdivided into various parts, but it is still a cohesive single piece). The thing I had the most t ... (read more)

Report this review (#37106) | Posted by | Monday, June 20, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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