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MOON SAFARI

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Moon Safari picture
Moon Safari biography
Founded in Skellefteċ, Sweden in 2003

MOON SAFARI started as a figment of our imagination in the late twentieth century. Realized in 2003, we are now casting our first progressive pie of epic proportions, "A Doorway To Summer", into the face of the enlightened world.

Fifteen minutes of rehearsal on a dark February night was all it took to make us feel warm and summery inside. So the following month we entered the local recording facilities in Skelleftea, a small stretch of shoreline in the north of Sweden, and begun scribbling down the blueprint for what would later become a doorway to summer.

The four-track demo recorded that spring was send to Mr Tomas Bodin of the FLOWER KINGS. Our star-struck attitude must have been the convincing factor as he happily agreed to make the long journey north to mix and master the demo in the summer of 2003. The outcome of the collaboration, resulting in great versions of "Doorway" and the booming "Lovely rain", pleased both parties and it was decided then and there that we would record an album, with Tomas himself playing the role of producer.

The band immediately began to gain followers in 2005 with the debut album "A Doorway To Summer." Their ambitions grew with the follow up double album, which included their first epic. As the music evolves MOON SAFARI changes but always maintains their vocal harmony laden, melodic approach to modern Symphonic Prog.

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Lover's EndLover's End
PROGROCK RECORDS 2012
$11.29
$11.34 (used)
BlomljudBlomljud
PROGROCK RECORDS 2012
$13.83
$13.88 (used)
A Doorway To SummerA Doorway To Summer
PROGROCK RECORDS 2012
$11.13
$11.12 (used)
Himlabacken Vol. 1Himlabacken Vol. 1
BLOMLJUD 2013
$12.69
$13.92 (used)
Live In MexicoLive In Mexico
BLOMLJUD 2014
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The Gettysburg AddressThe Gettysburg Address
PROGROCK RECORDS 2012
$14.25
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Lover's End Pt. Iii: Skelleftea SerenadeLover's End Pt. Iii: Skelleftea Serenade
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A Doorway To Summer by Moon Safari (2012-06-05)A Doorway To Summer by Moon Safari (2012-06-05)
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Blomljud by Moon Safari (2008-07-01)Blomljud by Moon Safari (2008-07-01)
Just for Kicks
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MOON SAFARI discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MOON SAFARI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.55 | 205 ratings
A Doorway To Summer
2005
4.11 | 466 ratings
Blomljud
2008
3.88 | 407 ratings
Lover's End
2010
3.93 | 295 ratings
Himlabacken Vol. 1
2013

MOON SAFARI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.55 | 104 ratings
The Gettysburg Address
2012
3.98 | 20 ratings
Live In Mexico
2014

MOON SAFARI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MOON SAFARI Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MOON SAFARI Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.74 | 119 ratings
Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteċ Serenade
2012
5.00 | 6 ratings
The Lover's End Trilogy
2012

MOON SAFARI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteċ Serenade by MOON SAFARI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.74 | 119 ratings

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Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteċ Serenade
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Cylli Kat (0fficial)

5 stars I'm having no luck at retrieving my former Cylli Kat account. So, I'm posting a few of my old reviews, Hope this is okay with everyone. Originally posted 2012-9-15 with some edits added.

And, continuing in my clearly established vein of poorly written reviews:

This band and song might not be to everyone's taste; but I think that this is really an exceptional release. - This song just flows beautifully; there does not seem to be anything forced about it at all. The arrangement is fantastic, the playing is flawless and the lead and harmony vocals and melody lines are wonderful!

This is the PERFECT 25 minute long "pop song" with all the prog you could want!

Initially I got the original Lover's End album when I was in the wrong "head-space" for it , and kind of missed out on how good the album is. But thanks to the tip of fellow progger and reviewer dhsuhaka to check this out on progstreaming, I'm really coming to appreciate this record (and its precursor) quite a lot.

With part III, I'm sometimes reminded (just a touch) of the Dream Academy, A.C.T, Brighteye Brison, Neal Morse/Transatlantic, etc. But make no mistake; this is Moon Safari through and through and this song certainly stands on its own merit.

This is the recapitulation and expansion of the themes originated on the original album brought masterfully to their fruition and conclusion.

My advice: Since you can go to progstreaming and check it out for yourself, you have nothing to lose by giving this song a "test-drive"!!! (Not sure if this is still valid in 2018)

You just might be as pleasantly surprised as I was!!!

4.7 to maybe 5 stars - I'm going to round up for this one. (Hey, it might not be "Close to the Edge", but it certainly kept my attention and made me smile!)

Grace and peace,

Cylli Kat

 Live In Mexico by MOON SAFARI album cover Live, 2014
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Live In Mexico
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Their better live album.

With better sound quality, more consistent songs, and a more precise performance, this is actually the better Moon Safari live album to listen to all the way through. I am not sure if they recorded additional vocals in the studio, or modified the live vocals in some way, but they are perfectly in tune, cleanly recorded, and lush on this album, whereas on "Gettysburg Address" they are rougher around the edges. The band seems better practiced too. But most importantly, all the songs on this album are listenable. While there are no tracks here quite as musical as the two best on 'Gettysburg' ("Moonwalk" and "Other Half of the Sky"), thankfully on this one they left out (most of) the cheese and this album better showcases Moon Safari's song-writing skills. On this album the weakest tracks are actually the two that also appear on the 'Gettysburg Address' live album: "A Kid Called Panic" and "Heartland". Although it seems these are two of the band's own favourites, they are the ones here with more hints of cheese and in fact they are musically shown the door by the rest of the material. "Too Young to Say Goodbye", the opening track, is very well done, with some very nice harmony vocals that thankfully just avoids the cheese, even if it is very light. Moon Safari's vocals at times remind one of the Beach Boys, and their lyrics are often about relationships too, which presents an interesting contrast with the complex, extended and sometimes darker musical tonalities. "Barfly" is an example of this, with tri-tone progressions with dark overtones contrasting with the lighter sing-along lyrics. "Mega Moon" has some great harmony vocals, those tendency to veer into cheese territory is saved by the quality of the harmonies and the underlying musicality. The second disc is even better, albeit shorter. "Crossed the Rubicon" competes for the best track on this album with the long epic that closes it "Lover's End". Both are very musical, with great extended sections. Leaving out 'Kid Called Panic' and 'Heartland' still leaves an album of almost 70 minutes of decent music. The only annoying thing is the banter that the band provides between tracks - I guess they can't help but be a bit cheesy there (same goes for the banter on 'Gettysburg Address'). But on the whole, this is the higher-quality live release. I give this 7.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just enough to garner 4 PA stars.

 The Gettysburg Address by MOON SAFARI album cover Live, 2012
4.55 | 104 ratings

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The Gettysburg Address
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Some great tracks, but sometimes veering into cheese...

So many great bands from Sweden. Moon Safari play a vocal-oriented contemporary progressive rock. Some of their tunes are short, close to radio-play length, while many others are extended with multiple parts and lots of dynamics, and a few others are full-length epics. While they have a couple of instrumentals, in most cases the tunes are structured around the vocals and lyrics, often with sing- songy vocal harmonies. Musically, they share some occasional similarities with bands like the Flower Kings (among my favourite contemporary SP bands), Spock's Beard, and the like. However, Moon Safari effuse a more sunny and light-hearted outlook. I started listening to Moon Safari with this album, partially due to the very high reviews it garnered and partially to hear a good sampling of their sound, and this led me to get the rest of their catalogue. Despite this representing well the kinds of music they do, I don't actually think this live gig is the best reflection of their skills. While they largely play the tunes like the studio albums, and the guitar and keyboard solos are very good, the vocal harmonies on a number of the tunes can't match the studio versions, and there are a few places where the timing of the drum fills and transitions also leaves the music a bit rougher than the studio versions. In fact, I think their second live album "Live in Mexico" is overall played better. My other criticism concerns their choices here. For me, there are really two stand-out tracks on this album: the opening and closing tracks. The opener, "Moonwalk", is fantastic, highly musical, and the only instrumental on this album - a joy. The closer, the 31-minute epic "Other Half of the Sky", meanwhile, is the best song of their catalogue (in my opinion), with multiple sections, lots of dynamics, and some great musical sections. Really excellent, very musical. However, the tracks in the middle are not so musical. Moon Safari's singing and lyrics have a tendency to veer into cheesy territory, often upheld by overly light and commercial-sounding chord progressions. "The World's Best Dreamers", "Dance Across the Ocean" and "New York City Summergirl" are the foremost examples of this here (even at times cringe-worthy), but to be honest the affliction also affects many of the other tracks, if with less intensity. Nowadays, when I listen to this album, I only put on the first (opening) and last (closing) tracks, and that's it. The album is worth getting for just these tracks, though - together these two tracks total 42 minutes, which is the equivalent of a full album's worth of great music. If they had just released it as such, I would be tempted to give this almost five stars. But given this is instead a double album, and roughly half the tunes veer into cheesiness, on balance I can only give this one 6.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to mid 3 PA stars.

 Blomljud by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.11 | 466 ratings

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Blomljud
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Modern prog has it's fair share of 'cheesemongers', yet there are few as who are as relentlessly upbeat as Moon Safari.

Hailing from Northern Sweden, this youthful symphonic six-piece first appeared in 2005 with debut album 'A Doorway to Summer', which was produced, mix and mastered by one of the band's own icons, Tomas Bodin of The Flower Kings.

Issued through their own label, the album quickly caught the attention of the prog world, and following several mini-tours and festival appearances the group returned to the studio in 2008, almost three years later, to record this follow-up.

Titled 'Blomljud'(also, incidentally, the name of the band's label), this was considered one of the top prog album's of 2008 by a number of publications and, eleven years and four studio albums later, remains in many people's eyes their definitive work.

Some say they are essentially 'Flower-Kings-lite' - think Druid to the mighty Yes - yet others revel in their unashamedly symphonic glow.

And it's that sort of of record, warm, shiny, all yearning solo's and multiple harmonies, and exactly the kind of prog Roine Stolt has been producing since the 1970's.

But despite a perceived lack of originality, one must give Moon Safari their dues.

'Blomljud' features a rich, multi-layered sound, chiming vocal harmonies and an unshakeable happiness, and exudes the same kind of rose-tinted ambience found in the sun-dappled sixties pop of the Bee Gees and The Beach Boys.

The album's key piece is 'Other Half of the Sky', which the band describe as their first 'true' epic, and at over thirty minutes it certainly is epic.

Split into five different chapters, 'Other Half of the Sky' is both overlong and grandiose, yet it features some wonderful instrumental passages, and even allows the band to rock out with some harder edged guitars and booming percussion. However, much of the half-hour piece is taken up by achingly earnest vocals and gloopy synthesized melodies, and the overall sound isn't helped by a surprisingly thin-sounding production.

The album features two more sizeable epics - the fifteen-minute 'Methuselah's Children' and the near-twelve minute 'Bluebells' - alongside further eight tracks, most of which follow the strong symphonic blueprint.

The major problem, bar the length, is the lack of tone and shade, and the neverending, one-note optimism; the music is rarely anything but positive and shiny, and the lack of counter moods begins to detract from the technical expertise of the band. What made Yes so thrilling was the constant shifting from dark-to-light, and what makes the Flower Kings so are the surprising shifts in mood and tempo.

Both are in short supply on 'Blomljud'.

But there is still much to admire.

Technically, the band are excellent, and despite wrapping everything in a glutinous symphonic sheen, the relentless optimism does shine through. At it's best, like on the epic 'Other Half of the Sky', the music is genuinely inspiring.

A complex and lovingly-crafted slice of keyboard-dominated prog with strong pop-rock and AOR elements, those who have the time, and the stamina, may well adore 'Blomljud', and fans of The Flower Kings, Karmakanic, Yes and Starcastle should seek them out.

The Swedes have excelled at making this kind of prog for a long while now, and despite their flaws one, once again, does give Moon Safari their dues: sickly sweet they my be, but they do it damn well.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2016

 Blomljud by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.11 | 466 ratings

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Blomljud
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Quinino
Special Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #17

Joy, what a joy, double joy, extended joy, 1:45:35 of joy !

Global Appraisal

It's difficult to recall any other band that puts me in so high spirits and on this album they excel in that vein. Happy, sunny, positive, so joyful and supremely well played as you can get. As I read somewhere it's like a marriage between Yes and the Beach Boys, can you imagine?

Goodies

Five swedish young guys give a masterclass of composing/performing of so higher level that you ask yourself if there is any justice in this world: this music should be on the charts all around the world and as far as I know is scandalously so little recognized, even here on PA.

The ever present vocal harmonies are a must, tasteful and sophisticated, receiving contributions from all the musicians; the album begins with all 5 singing a-capella a short track that appropriately sets the tone for the whole record, very vocal.

Plenty of electronics, keys and effects, don't overshadow the acoustic and in a modern way pastoral general feeling conferred by the presence of guitars, piano, accordion, etc.

 Himlabacken Vol. 1 by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.93 | 295 ratings

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Himlabacken Vol. 1
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

5 stars Yeah, another Moon Safari album and another which raises the bar even further. So much sugar can be heard there, that's true. I'll give you that. But the same as I can listen Prog Metal only sometimes (not in the mood, too tired at times), so is this music not for every occasson.

Melodies, harmonies - it flies around, graduating in each song. Changes in tempo, strong bridges ... one of those Proggy bands I can always sing along. Makes my night driving on highway so much energic (safer), as it keeps me awake. Because there is so much energy coming out of these progheads from Sweden. The best so far (and it's 2018 at the time of writing this review, so 5 years and nothing. Fortunately that long EP is a thrill.)

 Live In Mexico by MOON SAFARI album cover Live, 2014
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Live In Mexico
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With Moon Safari having consolidated their shift of sound from the 1970's Symphonic influenced Prog of their beginnings to the more modern style of Lover's End and Himlabacken, this their 2nd live album concentrates completely in this last period's music, not featuring any songs from their 2 first albums. Nothing wrong with it, while some people may find their latest releases a bit too 'poppy', there is a lot of quality and good taste in their recent music, perhaps hidden in the sweet and accessible melodies and arrangements, which need some uninhibited listens to reveal their beauty, and in any case the song selection here focusses on the most Proggy side of it.

The album was recorded during their performance at the Baja Prog Festival and drummer Tobias Lundgren who was at the time expecting a child with his wife was replaced by Mikael Israelsson who does a very good job. The band sounds better live than what I have heard in previous performances, the accumulated experience is showing up, and they seem to be a bit more daring in their playing and singing arrangements. We get 2 songs which were already present in their previous live 'The Gettysburg Address', 'A Kid Called Panic' and 'Heartland' from Lover's End, but for the rest all are songs which had not been released live yet.

The album starts with 'Too Young To Say Goodbye', one of the highlights from Himlabacken, followed by the great 'Heartland', played a bit slower than in the 'Gettysburg' gig. 'Barfly' and 'Mega Moon' from Himlabacken follow, showing the more modern approach with strong Innuendo-era Queen influences. Yes, more 'poppy' but great songs anyway and 'Mega Moon' at nearly 9 minutes can hardly be called a pop song, and the many vocal layers are nicely performed live.

'A Kid Called Panic' was also already included in 'Gettysburg' but it's such a nice song that I don't mind having it again. Then comes one of my favourite songs of Lover's End, 'Crossed The Rubicon', 11 minutes of bliss where they show once more that their multi-vocal talents are not just a thing of the studio. So glad that they have released this great song in a live album.

The closing epic this time is 'Lover's End Part III: Skelleftea Serenade', it's also very nice that they included this wonderful 25 minute piece in the setlist. A proof that Moon Safari are still to be considered as a true Prog band, despite those who may be despising them for becoming too accessible, sweet or cheesy. No Sirs, Moon Safari are a true Prog Rock band, they just do it their own way in the 2010's and that's a good thing. Their music is best enjoyed in studio recordings, but it's nice to hear that they call pull it our nicely in live performances too.

 Lover's End by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.88 | 407 ratings

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Lover's End
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I've told you before that from now on Moon Safari would have a strong relationship with the Akesson family.In 2009 a third Akesson member joined the band, it was Sebastian, who would contribute on vocals and take over some of the keyboard parts for the upcoming album ''Lover's end''.It was some sort of a biograhical concept on the band's timeline from the early beginnings to the point becoming a well-known Prog band.It was released in 2011 on the band's own Blomljud Records.

More or less you should actually know what to expect from a Moon Safari album, with this effort they come as close as it gets to the NEAL MORSE-linked SPOCK'S BEARD years, so do not expect something original, the two bands sound very similar in stylistical terms, especially when Moon Safari insist on displaying sweet polyphonic harmonies throughout the album.But the band's music is still excellent, ranging from THE BEATLES to the classic sound of YES and GENESIS, despite the ultra-clean production organs and Mellotrons are heavily used in Symphonic/Pop Rock arrangements.You won't find any true epic in this album, ''A Kid called panic'' comes close to the 14-min. mark and all other cuts are less than 10 minutes, showing that the band was heading for a different approach on this album.In fact I think this is the most vocal-dominated effort by Moon Safari thus far and all these harmonies come with multiple voices.The instrumental background though is extremely cohesive to say the least, always melodious and delicate but very far from cheesy or accesible, filled with piano, synths, guitars and, wow, those incredible flute strings.You could accuse the band for becoming a bit pompous and too elegant at times, but dramatic tunes and atmospheres are not absent, there are plenty of great symphonic soundscapes in this work, suitable to all symphomaniacs' tastes.

Moon Safari always produced both sweet/elaborate and dramatic music, this one apparently crosses the line towards the more elegant side of the band.Still a very consistent work of Symphonic Pop/Rock with countless interesting instrumental moments and melodies.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Live In Mexico by MOON SAFARI album cover Live, 2014
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Live In Mexico
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Nrwhmr

5 stars This, the band's second live album, sees Mikael Israelsson deputising on drums for Tobias Lundgren as they play the Baja Prog Festival.

Like their previous live album, "The Gettysburg Address", the songs are performed in a way that is faithful but not reverential to the original recordings. Whilst the former album showcased the band's live strengths in an admirable way, this new recording shows that they have matured and developed as live performers, as a result of their enhanced gigging experience. This is particularly reflected in the boldness of the arrangements, with the band not afraid to go for a subtle sound in places where others would push the power button.

There are many highlights but especial mention must be given to "cross the rubicon", which is beautifully performed, showing that "powerful" does not have to mean "loud". This song is one of many that demonstrates that the unrivalled vocal prowess of the band is a live, and not just a studio experience.

If you're new to the band, this is not a bad place to start, although it is very difficult to represent the breadth of the band's output even on a double cd.

For UK based proggers, I would recommend catching MS joint headlining with Lazuli at the end of November.

 Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteċ Serenade by MOON SAFARI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.74 | 119 ratings

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Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteċ Serenade
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by poslednijat_colobar
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Moon Safari ultimate symphonic prog work.

This is their best studio release to date, in my opinion, despite not being studio album, but just EP. Here, in Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteċ Serenade their music evolved to a new level of musicianship and songwriting. The musical ideas are developed and connected to one another with precise musical way. The parts of the composition are varied and intriguing. The progressive pop parts are again here, but they are not static and simplified as in all the studio albums; in Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteċ Serenade they are vivid, powerful and energetic, and you would like to listen to them again and again. The sound and the structure of the composition is developed in the traditions of best symphonic prog epic examples. First and only masterpiece edge for Moon Safari to date!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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