Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

MOON SAFARI

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Moon Safari picture
Moon Safari biography
Founded in Skellefteå, 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.

MOON SAFARI forum topics / tours, shows & news


MOON SAFARI forum topics Create a topic now
MOON SAFARI tours, shows & news Post an entries now

MOON SAFARI Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all MOON SAFARI videos (2) | Search and add more videos to MOON SAFARI

Buy MOON SAFARI Music



More places to buy MOON SAFARI music online

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)

3.59 | 238 ratings
A Doorway To Summer
2005
4.13 | 533 ratings
Blomljud
2008
3.88 | 443 ratings
Lover's End
2010
3.90 | 335 ratings
Himlabacken Vol. 1
2013

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

4.54 | 111 ratings
The Gettysburg Address
2012
4.03 | 24 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)

4.65 | 146 ratings
Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteå Serenade
2012
4.86 | 14 ratings
The Lover's End Trilogy
2012

MOON SAFARI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Himlabacken Vol. 1 by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.90 | 335 ratings

BUY
Himlabacken Vol. 1
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by koresea

3 stars This is the first album of this band I listen to, the first thing I notice right away is that is happy, like veeery happy, like "yes" BUT 10x HAPPIER!!!

Is this a bad thing? I would say no, it's just their style and I have to be in a specific mood to appreciate it, but it can put away some people. The sonority is like classic progressive rock (as I say, getting major inspiration from yes) mixed with some pop-rock feel, this pop-rock sometimes is so strong that sounds like something out of Disney Channel.

Okay, maybe it sounds like I hate it and just gonna rant about the album until the end of the review, but no, there are great aspects in the music of these guys, the instrumental being probably the most impressive, every instrument are played in a very technical and harmonical way, you could see that everyone is competent but no one is really "showing-off" being the coherency of the song an important aspect, awesome.

One aspect that drew attention is that all members sing, and all of them are incredible, always hitting the notes and rhythms, it recalls me of the beach boys, one of my favorite groups.

Some parts of the songs remember other bands like Gentle Giant and classic prog in general. These similarities sometimes are a little too much, transitioning from referential to unoriginal. I know many of my fellow prog-rockers like when modern bands sound like classic prog-rock assembles, but I prefer this to don't cross too much the borders to just give me the desire to listen to the original bands instead of it. If you don't bother with this, just ignore me being annoying.

In conclusion, this is a good album that doesn't bring new things to the table, but that does not need to because what he makes is effective by itself. I recommend it to fans of modern bands who incorporate the old prog-rock style with a more contemporary approach (like Woobler and Haken). 3 Stars.

 Blomljud by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.13 | 533 ratings

BUY
Blomljud
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Saimon

5 stars Review #26: Blomljud

I can't believe I haven't heard this before.

I was moved by how beautiful this work is, every moment of descent and ascent is just perfect. The positive atmosphere the songs create is to be admired. I don't think it's been a long time since I enjoyed listening to an album as much as I did when I heard this. The passion for the melodies, for the percussion, the soft and enveloping vocals of the members of Safari. A true marvel

Lush acoustic guitar work, soaring two and three voice vocal melodies, as well as a virtual sonic cornucopia of instrumental, lead guitar and synth passages help shape Moon Safari's sound. Their music is so uplifting and powerful that it is the perfect accompaniment to our (hopefully) brisk summer weather. Some of the vocal harmonies have Crosby, Stills and Nash-like qualities, and are also reminiscent of other 70s prog rock icons such as Starcastle and Firefall with their truly "angelic" vocals.

Almost every track on this 2-CD set is a true prog rock gem, from the a cappella opening of Constant Bloom to tracks like Methusela's Children, a Yes and Spock's Beard influenced song that features Rick Wakeman-like synth as well as heavier riffing over Steve Hackett (Genesis) inspired lead guitar work. The "flowery" style of Crosby, Stills and Nash oozes through In The Countryside with the vocals and bright, clean acoustic work as well as the haunting vocal and melodic backing vocals. Moonwalk is quite simply the best track this band has ever done ..... Dramatic and building in nature, it speaks of man's quest to explore space and takes on a heavier Uriah Heep feel with heavier riffs and a swirling Hammond organ. Sudden Camel-like tempo changes, Steve Hackett-esque lead guitar work and outstanding melodic choruses help to create a prog rock masterpiece.... ¡¡¡¡Goosebumps!!!! Bluebells brings the first CD to a close and, with its traditional, almost "folk" vocals and vocal riffs, reminds me of Yes' We Have Heaven from their album Fragile.

The second CD continues with a celebration of summer rituals with The Ghost Of Flowers Past. Big and dramatic, with slide guitar work similar to Steve Howe (Yes) and strong mellotron string effects, it also reminds me of classic 70's Strawbs. Yasgur's Farm has a more rocking, fast-paced Klaatu feel and is about the spiritual "awakening" that was a by- product of the Woodstock generation. Lady Of The Woodlands takes on Kansas-like qualities with its mix of heavy riffs, keyboards and violins, and A Tale Of Three And Tree offers a brief acoustic intro before the 30+ minute opus Other Half Of The Sky. With a classic Yes structure, this song encompasses all that is good about 70s prog rock, with endless melodic choruses and instrumental passages; all based on a recurring theme in true Yes style. Tracks like Yes' Close To The Edge and Genesis' Supper's Ready come to mind when listening to this track. The second disc ends with To Sail Beyond The Sunset; a quiet piano and vocal flavoured track that slowly brings the listener back to earth and the realities of everyday life.

Both sides A and B are a true demonstration of how to do a record right, full and loaded with positivity, energy, love, feeling. There are many things that I fully appreciate when analysing an album.

I wish I could develop this review more but the only thing I have to tell you is to listen and feel every moment of the song as if they were the last plays of your life, because the level of this work is MAGNIFICENT.

10/10, 5 stars. Hats off to such a beastly masterpiece.

 A Doorway To Summer by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.59 | 238 ratings

BUY
A Doorway To Summer
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by DangHeck

3 stars Having recognized the album cover to their 2008 sophomore follow-up to this one, Blomljud (currently the 44th highest rated on the site for Symphonic Prog), since what feels like forever, I was looking forward to digging in. And to know that they're from Sweden, my interest can only grow (it's impossible to make "Swedish supremacy" sound unproblematic haha). Featuring once-Flower King Tomas Bodin on keys and synths and co-production, yet another tick for my personal interest in Moon Safari.

Highly melodic and sweet throughout, "Doorway" opens up the album. Nice vocals (reminiscent to British contemporaries Haken's Ross Jennings), and a lovely mix. A beautiful track that even at its softest has a lot to offer musically. It is on this track, around minute 4, that Bodin's feature first(?) resides, providing a beautiful Moog solo (is he also responsible for the melodica here as well?). Very tasteful. What I assume to also be his solo is at the end: phenomenal. Throughout is also some great organ. Another solo, this time guitar, is sweet and light and melodic. Indeed will appeal to fans of "New Prog", in bands like The Flower Kings, Big Big Train or Echolyn. It is the wonderful vocals toward the end that are a great highlight to this track. Classic and complex. This is all right up my alley.

"Dance Across the Ocean" opens with synth lead very comparable to the Styx classic "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" [Or is it "Sing For The Day"?]! Sprawling and big. Once again, I must mention the mix: I love the wall-to-wall production style. And just like Styx, vocals are high priority for Moon Safari. It is evident, and I'm very for it. An epic-sounding, very classic Prog feel. Again, all for it.

Soft and sweet, "A Sun of Your Own" begins. Again, their sonic choices are so satisfactory for me: a classic symphonic Prog fan and a maximalist through and through, sometimes it's hard to feel truly pleased. This song is perhaps a little poppy? Hard to place, though I've been a more recent fan of Power Pop darlings Jellyfish (don't sleep on them, if you're fans of XTC, Queen, The Beatles, etc.) and specifically, I hear similarities here to Jason Falkner. Overall, somewhat static compared to what came before. Still a solid track in its own right.

Then the 25-minute epic, "We Spin the World": and indeed, even in its first 3 minutes, epic indeed! So many emotions and feelings here, and, by then, not even a word had been spoken. I'm just very impressed with this band. Compositional excellence aplenty. On this note, it's impressive that they kept this epic upbeat for the wide majority of it, not needing to 'space out' to cause/will interest to occur. Starting around minute 5 is a not-so-favorite part, but then it... does get better! I can't even place what it is I didn't like, especially as the piece moved and it got more comfortable: specifically around the triumph of minute 8, which is also interesting enough, to say the least [Sorry this is one of those moments where my writing style may cause some pause in reading]. One of the most impressive moments is around 13:40, with Beach Boys-esque a capella loveliness. Again, the vocals are some of the best elements of Moon Safari, and that's saying a lot: they're good all 'round. And finally, nothing to say about "Beyond the Door" but 'purty'.

Clearly a concept of sorts, in the least, through to the end, just a very sweet and optimistic album. Very whole, it is a more than solid debut.

True Rate: 3.5/5.0

 Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteå Serenade by MOON SAFARI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.65 | 146 ratings

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

Review by VanDerProg

5 stars This one of the best songs ever written. Moon Safari really blew it out of the park with this track. The song is very different and has many great moments throughout it. I don't think a song has ever blown me away as much as this one does. One thing that stands out is the incredible vocals throughout the song. The rest of the musicianship is also top notch and is outstanding. When people look back at the early 2010's this song will be remembered as a classic. Overall this song is truly magnificent and is a must for anyone who likes progressive rock!
 Blomljud by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.13 | 533 ratings

BUY
Blomljud
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by ElChanclas

3 stars Blomljud is the 2nd studio album released by Swedish progressive rockers Moon Safari and even though it lists 11 different tracks (2 cds) the album feels like a whole with flowers being lyrically speaking common ground throughout the almost 2hrs of "happy" Symphonic prog. I'm using the prefix happy because this album sounds just like that, happy - bright - positive, and I know that for the band's fans the vocal harmonies are a highlight and definitely signature for their sound, but sometimes it is a little too sweet and sticky, almost like listening to Christmas carols? to put it this way? this is the album that I play when I'm with my twin boys (6 years old) in the car heading to Karate or soccer, and they love it, it has that infant-like feeling and I blame the vocals for that. If the listener can get over that fact, then the musical experience here is simply phenomenal in every single aspect, all of it, really amazing!

CD 1 opens with the first vocal harmonies in Constant Bloom, setting the theme and melodies for what's to come and what the listener can expect from the start and up until the very end. Methuselah's Children is the first epic of the album, clocking almost 16 minutes, full of synth layers (Moog, Hammond, Mellotron) and regular piano, a constant in the band's music, very tight and accurate rhythmic section and beautiful guitar work, both electric by Sandström and acoustic by Åkesson, the musical blend is really catchy and they accomplish to create ear worm melodies for every song. Five musicians that sing and sing well, that's why the vocals are sometimes even more important than the music itself, you can sometimes hear how the instruments are placed in the back while the vocal harmonies take over, like if the vocals were doing a guitar or piano solo, this is the best way I've found to describe how this band works, at least to my unprofessional ears. A couple of rhythm changes, nothing too complex but enough to be embraced by prog fans. In the Countryside is a folky tune very inspired in the late 60's early 70's scene, sounding more like a time-evolved Beatles or Beach Boys tune, lots of textures and instruments involved, again flawlessly played and put together. The vocals reach a high pitch here, sometimes being a little overwhelming but, again, if the listener enjoys that aspect or either can separate those vocals from the music, then it is a very enjoyable song. Moonwalk blends in bringing some darker and harder feeling, resembling sometimes that intense hammond sound proper of early Purple and Heep portraying the various influences that impacts this band's song crafting. Little more space-psychedelic rock than the previous tracks without abandoning the positive vibe of the concept and relying once more on the beauty and peacefulness of the melodies. An instrumental track with great guitar licks and piano marriage, giving birth to one of my favorite segments of the record. Bluebells was the song that made me listen to this album again and again, the vocal harmonies are the highlight, but less sweet and much more memorable. Opposite to what happens in the rest of the album this track is solely composed and written by bass player Johan Westerlund, and sometimes it does sound like something taken out from Sargent Pepper's, smartly twisted and more grandiose than the aforementioned. The Ghost of Flowers Past closes the first CD resuming all textures and melodies experienced and heard in the previous 40 minutes, delivering probably one of the best moments of both cds, both musical and lyrically speaking, the guitars are spectacular, again. CD 2 opens with one of the more eclectic passages in the record, the song Yasgur's Farm, more up tempo and playful preserving the same brightness and melodic approach, guitars sound louder in the mix than before or at least that's the overall sensation when listening to the structured shredding, really really good. The "Christmas carol-like" vocals arrive towards the end of the tune, short and precise and nevertheless beautiful. Lady of the Woodlands is the first of the two shorter tracks in record, and to be honest I'm glad is only 3 plus minutes? please don't interpret my comment as something negative, the track is as good as the rest of the album, it is just too sweet to do some unnecessary prolonging. Drumming is a highlight here, precise and with perfect volume. SKIP The enormous epic Other Half of the Sky consists of almost 32 minutes of cotton candy symphonic prog divided in four parts: I - Written in the stars. Acoustic arpeggio, hopeful vocals and melancholic piano prepare the listener for take off, no seatbelts needed. The designed track does exactly what it is supposed to do to grab the listener for that amount of time without letting him get overly sugar coated. Yes, some mid-hard classic symphonic prog with nice guitars, amazing bass lines and even some dark synths to guarantee the grip. Colorful Floyd-style break near half of the trip and back to dreamy arpeggios. Mainstream pop music with hints of folk, Canterbury and symphonic?I like to call it wife-friendly prog. I really like the guitars here, they make their way without too much announcement but leave their print all over the place, in one way or the other, same as the synths, never too complex never too simple. Unquestionably the best half hour of music I've heard so far from the band. There is some sourness under all that sugar, it is there and they let you taste it here and I appreciate that, and embrace it. To Sail beyond the Sunset is the chosen track to their first double album? SKIP

I like my symphonic dirtier, I would rather recommend this album as an outstanding pop album, with phenomenal musicianship, tons of catchy and memorable melodies, and spectacular vocals, but not as a symphonic prog album, not there for me. Still recommend it for curious music nerds like me. THE END

 Lover's End Pt. III: Skellefteå Serenade by MOON SAFARI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
4.65 | 146 ratings

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

Review by Gorgut Muncher

3 stars The first thing that shocked me about this album was its rating. 79% 5 stars is absolutely ridiculous. While I don't think this is the best prog EP of all time like this site says, it's without a doubt one of the best modern prog epics I have EVER heard. It's beautiful, it's charming, it's positive, it's gentle and sweet. The whole song has a very nostalgic feel that makes you imagine yourself at the end of a great and long adventure, filled with satisfaction. Main influences would be The Flower Kings and Neal Morse, but this is unsurprisingly better than anything those artists have made.

It is truly a landmark of symphonic prog and it's definitely essential to every prog collection. Loved every second of it. Five Stars.

 Lover's End by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.88 | 443 ratings

BUY
Lover's End
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by jasper

5 stars An absolutely beautiful masterpiece of modern prog. The first song I heard from Moon Safari was A Kid Called Panic, the second track on this album. I was immediately struck by its theatrical, anthemic nature, and hard-hitting lyrics, accompanied by gorgeous piano riffs and vocal harmonies. Clocking in at just under 14 minutes, A Kid Called Panic is the longest song on Lover's End, but despite its significant length it still left me wanting to hear more, so I was inspired to give a listen to the rest of the album. I am so glad that I did. The piano intro of the album's first track, Lover's End Part 1, feels like the overture of a musical, syncing well with the theatrical energy that drew me into A Kid Called Panic. The song is clearly destined to be at the beginning of the album. It's a strong set-up, successful at drawing you into the wistful universe that the record resides in. The instrumental outro transitions seamlessly into A Kid Called Panic, which despite its beautifully depressing content, is where the energy of the album begins to rise. This energy peaks with a key change at the end of the song, and culminates like an exhale into the calming acapella of the beginning of track three, Southern Belle. The harmonies in Southern Belle evoke the melancholic side of the Beach Boys, with a modern twist. This track is the second-shortest on the album, but is able to pack an unexpected amount of emotion into its small package. Tracks four through six (The World's Best Dreamers, New York City Summergirl, and Heartland) have always felt like the weakest on the album to me, but that doesn't mean they're bad at all. Rather, it speaks to the strength of the other songs. In terms of the contour of the album, the energy picks up across this set of songs, providing a nice reprieve from the heaviness that much of Lover's End contains. Much like the first two songs on the album, the last two tracks functionally feel like a pair to me. Crossed the Rubicon is both the second-last and second-longest on the album, and functionally serves as a climactic point. With this track, Moon Safari continues to provide an astounding sense of contour and story. Crossed the Rubicon is shaped in a way that keeps your interest across its nearly 10 minute length, working together with confessional, turning-point lyrics, lush instrumentals, and the group's signature harmonies to form the powerful climax Lover's End deserves. The album wraps up with a bittersweet 2 minute outro track named Lover's End Part 2. Staying true to the wistful feelings established throughout the record, Lover's End Part 2 beautifully concludes the album that drew me into the magical world of Moon Safari. I would recommend this album to both prog listeners and non-prog listeners alike, because not only is it tastefully musically complex and thoughtfully constructed, its also ridiculously pretty.
 Blomljud by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.13 | 533 ratings

BUY
Blomljud
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by Abandoner135

5 stars Blomljud, officially stylized as [blomljud], the 2008 second album by Swedish progressive rockers Moon Safari, is an album sure to satiate the palate of progressive music fans looking for a modern band that uses influences from the genre's classic era whilst also forging a truly unique piece of work. Although taking influence from Genesis, Yes, The Moody Blues, and even the Beach Boys, Blomljud thankfully never stumbles over itself to become a mere carbon-copy of its forefathers. Instead, the band use these predecessors as a mere "rough sketch", or inspiration, for the music herein. Petter Sandström and Simon Åkesson are credited as the main songwriters on the album and they enlist a host of musicians to flesh out their vision on Blomljud. The vocals (sung entirely in English) are uplifting and brimming with positivity, and the band use their Beach Boys-esque harmonies to create a rich and welcoming vibe. Several of the members take on vocal duties and this gives a nice variety to Blomljud. The entire album feels sunny and summery, which makes perfect sense considering its title translates to "flower sound" in English. This is no Van der Graaf Generator or King Crimson record, and never reaches the extreme dark corners of music that those artists typically delve into. In terms of instrumentation, there are lots of plucky acoustic guitars, rich keys/synth, a few overdriven electric guitar lead lines and flourishes, and some especially solid backing instruments including drums, bass, and various percussion. The instrumental highlights on Blomljud are absolutely the abundant and multi-layered guitar work and the hauntingly beautiful keyboards. The acoustic guitar is particularly reminiscent of Steve Hackett/Mike Rutherford/Anthony Phillips on the classic '70s Genesis albums. These are terrifically competent musicians but, admiringly, they never feel the need to overstay their welcome or show off for the sake of stealing the limelight. Perhaps the biggest strength of the album is that it never starts to creep into boring or unnecessary territory, despite Blomljud's lofty runtime (104 minutes). Each note and segment are carefully composed and have a reason for existing amongst the subtext of each track, even on the album's epic, the nearly 32-minute, "Other Half of the Sky", which effectively leaps and weaves through countless segments and moods like a modern-day "Supper's Ready". Overall, this is a fantastic record worthy of being deemed a classic amongst progressive music. The adept instrumentation, lavish vocals and sheer composition skills of Moon Safari on Blomljud are incredibly impressive and showcase their distinct strengths as a cohesive unit. Don't be put off by the length of this album--it's so strong that it never truly seems as long as it is and will most definitely warrant repeat listens. Strongly recommended for fans of Genesis, Yes, Styx, the Beatles and the Beach Boys.
 A Doorway To Summer by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.59 | 238 ratings

BUY
A Doorway To Summer
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Every since progressive rock gestated into its own distinct genre in the 1960s very few attributes have maintained it as a unified genre with a few exceptions like time signature complexities, extended playing times and oft convoluted thematic developments but it seems that another attribute would be that prog tends to dwell in darker places and is the antithesis to the chipper happy vibes of the much simpler pop world. Despite prog tending to lurk in the shadows though there is no hard and fast rule that it be the case so it often comes as a surprise when a band chooses to take the characteristics of prog and fuse them into the prog equivalent of sunshine pop and perhaps no band has done it quite so successfully as Sweden's MOON SAFARI.

This band that formed in Skelleteå in 2003 caught the prog world's attention with its debut A DOORWAY TO SUMMER which doubled down on the symphonic prog sounds of classic Genesis, Yes, Camel along with more eclectic values from Gentle Giant as well as some of the crossover features of bands like Styx and Saga. Founded by keyboardist and singer Simon Åkesson, guitarist / singer Petter Sandström, bassist Johan Westerlund, guitarist Anthon Johansson and drummer Tobias Lundgren, the band was lucky enough to catch the attention of keyboardist Tomas Bodin of The Flower Kings who would end up producing this debut album which saw the dawn of what i often deem the sunshine prog movement of the 21st century, a style of warm, uplifting and even sappy prog that would inspire bands like Big Big Train and other pop infused crossover prog bands that love to bathe in mellotron symphonies.

Although MOON SAFARI's music offered diverse styles on A DOORWAY TO SUMMER there are a few underlying characteristics. Firstly the extensive use of lush acoustic guitars, keyboard and mellotron rich soundscapes that offer silky smooth backdrops for the compositional structures that alternate in happy major chords with just a touch of minor additions for contrast's sake but mostly what makes MOON SAFARI stand out are the intricate five part vocal harmonizations that fit somewhere between the pure pop of The Beatles and the more eclectic avant-garde workouts of Gentle Giant. It goes without saying that the emphasis of MOON SAFARI's approach is to craft instantly infectious melodies that excel in crafting a nice magazine cover beach house listening experience that would provide the perfect soundtrack for the more adventurous Airbnb crowds.

Somehow eschewing from falling into the world of neo-prog, MOON SAFARI sounds as much contemporary folk as it does symphonic prog with slow dreamy acoustic guitar strum sessions punctuated by crafty synthesized cloud covers and soaring emotive electric guitar works that evoke the likes of IQ, Arena and other neo-prog artists but never quite fall into that camp. A touch of harmonica adds an oft missing aspect in prog and that's a more intimate feel that evokes some of the characteristics of busking blues artists on the side of subway station entryways. This is music that is designed to push all the happy triggers with sing-along lyrics in extremely complex harmonic arrangements. For those who are adverse to the epitome of vocal sappiness, this will make you scurry into the dark like a cockroach once the lights come on. For those who can handle the musical equivalent of prozac, this stuff is for you!

While i usually prefer my happy music in the world of pop with 60s bands like The Turtles, The Beach Boys or even The Mamas & The Papas, i have to admit that when a band pulls off an album of this sort that works on every level i simply can't dismiss it because it's too cheerful. The songs may have irresistible endorphin emitting melodies that take you to some Kumbaya happiness camp but it's hard to not be impressed by the beautiful composiitons steeped in heavy prog workouts and those extraordinarily precise and emotive vocal harmonies that raise the whole thing to an entirely different level of musical aptitude. What sounds like a recipe for disaster in writing actually is pulled off quite well as the variations of piano rolls, dramatic organ runs and alterations between lush pastoral sequences and more heavy rock outbursts provide an hour's worth of thoroughly entertaining prog workouts. While the band is most famous for the following "[blomljud]," this debut A DOORWAY TO SUMMER does indeed provide the most gleeful musical expressions of escaping the long Swedish winters and entering a happy world in full bloom where even the wildlife is dancing like they were in "The Sound of Music."

 Blomljud by MOON SAFARI album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.13 | 533 ratings

BUY
Blomljud
Moon Safari Symphonic Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Blomljud is an album which wears its influences on its proverbial sleeve, namely Genesis and Yes. But below the surface is a debt to the baroque soft rock of the 1970s and early 1980s, so alongside the soaring indulgences of symphonic prog, Blomljud includes innumerable nods to the California sound, to Brian Wilson, the Association, the Carpenters, Ambrosia, and many more. The guitar solos echo Steve Hackett and Steve Howe, but Steve Lukather as well. And there are even down-to-earth lyrics (a bit too down-to-earth in some cases; e.g., "hey pretty baby, it's gonna be alright," which admittedly sounds better in context).

You will not mistake Blomljud for the Beach Boys - - not even the multi-layered vocal sections - - yet for all of the complaints about Genesis and Yes "going pop" or "selling out" in the 1980s, there's more pop sensibility on Blomljud than on 90125 or even Invisible Touch. And it's nicely integrated across what is otherwise very clearly a neo-prog record.

But this brings up two substantial shortcomings of the album. First of all, it's a hundred minutes long, which is why there's so much room to integrate all of that sunshiny goodness. There's plenty of quality material here, but not a hundred minutes' worth. So there's a fair amount of repetition and elongation, which waters down the proceedings. Secondly, there's the neo-prog thing: Moon Safari slips into the clichés of "golden era" prog-rock too often for my taste. I love the analog synth patches, the time signatures, the bass-drumkit interplay - - all of it - - but while it doesn't come across as perfunctory, it strikes me as obligatory, which I regard as regrettable given the tremendous talent at work here.

However, be this hero-worship, it's creative hero-worship. There are more then a few unique and oddball moments on Blomljud which remind the listener that this isn't your average bunch of wannabe proggers; these are not only musicians, but evidently, students of music as well. And they sound like they're having a lot of fun.

Blomljud is a sprawling affair which might've benefited from an outside producer. On the other hand, it may be a necessary, warts-and-all stage in this band's development.

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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.