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POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH

Crossover Prog • Norway


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Popol Ace / Popol Vuh biography
Having roots as far back as 1959 with The Scavers and later releasing a single Arman Stumpe Dur Express, this Norwegian quintet that released two albums under the Popol Vuh moniker (a Maya mythology-related name), until they became aware of a German band using the same name, they changed their names to Popol Ace. The group went on to release another two albums before folding at the end of the decade. Musically, they sounded much straigjhter progressive rock than their German mystical homonyms: mellotrons and flute parts , funky jazz-rock and softer ballads were among their usual tricks found in their first two albums (S/T and Quiche Maya) under the Vuh name.

In 75, with the name change to Popol Ace, the group embarked in their most ambitious project the expensive and studio time demanding Stolen From Time, a concept album strongly influenced by Genesis, but too rigidly produced to gather the hoped-for international success. Lead singer Jan Teigen then left the group to become one of the country's leading pop singer and entertainer. The group hired a new vocalist in 78, but their last album is best forgotten by everyone (PV/PA included) and the group disbanded later that year. .

Lately, the full works of this band have been gathered in a 5 Cd box set with all sorts of bonus and unrealeased material, including a live disc.



:::: Bio written by Hugues Chantraine, Belgium ::::

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POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH discography


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

POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 44 ratings
Popol Vuh
1972
3.14 | 18 ratings
Quiche Maya
1973
3.89 | 19 ratings
Stolen From Time
1976
2.00 | 5 ratings
Curly Sounds
1978

POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.50 | 3 ratings
Silently Loud
1976

POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Popol Ace
1973
4.05 | 2 ratings
Cat of 9 tales - Best of 1972-78
1994
5.00 | 2 ratings
All We Have 1972-1978 [Box]
2003
2.67 | 3 ratings
Popoloddities
2003

POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Art of Living
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Alright
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Queen of All Queens
1994

POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Curly Sounds by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.00 | 5 ratings

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Curly Sounds
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars I've accidentally stumbled upon this album while browsing through a few songs by Jahn Teigen on Spotify. It was quite a surprise to find Curly Sounds there considering that I've never seen this album anywhere else so, even though I wasn't expecting much, I almost felt obliged to give it a few spins!

I'll be honest with you, this album is nowhere near as exciting as any of the three previous records but I wouldn't necessary call it terrible either. It's pretty obvious that the times were changing and the band tried to reinvent their sound after their previous vocalist, Jahn Teigen, had left for a successful solo carrier. What we have here is a mix of disco, pop and blues tracks that aren't exactly all that interesting but the great musicianship of the four instrumentalists in the band actually made it a decent spin for me. The new vocalist, Asbjørn Krogtoft, doesn't bring the same mighty personality nor vocal performance to the band as Jahn Teigen did in the past, but his effort is actually rather pleasant at times. The biggest problem with the album is its complete lack of direction with the band trying pretty much everything to reinvent themselves while leaving their glorious symphonic approach behind them.

If I had to pick any favorite track then it would be the ballad Love's Last Ballad, which is as close as the band comes to their glory days of All We Have Is The Past, Between You And Me and Sweet Tune. Mountain Man is probably the best example of the band succeeding in making their new direction work for themselves and I've honestly would have liked to hear a few more quirky tunes like this instead disco tunes like Tango For One. Overall, I can still imagine that fans of Popol Ace would find this release interesting even if just for the reason to brag that they have the record in their collection. Curly Sounds is nowhere near the first three Popol Ace albums and its complete lack of success brought the band's story to an abrupt closure. I would definitely recommend to start with their debut album or Stolen From Time if your not too familiar with the band's repertoire.

**** star songs: Bye Bye (4:35) Love's Last Ballad (4:09) Mountain Man (3:53)

*** star songs: Tango For One (4:13) Jay (4:03) Joe's My Name (4:02) California USA (4:55) Let The Music Turn You On (3:50) Northern Winds (3:49) Wonderland (4:45)

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 Popol Vuh by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.73 | 44 ratings

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Popol Vuh
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Good Norwegian group from Oslo, formed in early-70's out of the ashes of Arman Sumpe Dur Express with Pete Knutsen (keyboards, guitar), Arne Schultze (guitar), Terje Methi (bass) and Thor Andreassen (drums) continuing on Popol Vuh.They were joined in 1972 by singer Jahn Teigen and flutit/sax player Pjokken Eide.The self-titled debut of the band saw the light in 1972 on Polydor.

This was an album of mixed yet always progressive-influenced sounds with ''Hunchback'' being the absolute opener, fairly symphonic with great doses of Mellotron and a great nostalgic style reminiscent of early KING CRIMSON and ENGLAND.''Joy & Pleasure'' sounds quite funky, still has plenty of adventurous moments and is close to mid-70's PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI stylings with an enjoyable atmosphere.A CRESSIDA/FANTASY/GRACIOUS influence is present on ''All We Have Is the Past'', good combination of Mellotron, soft piano, acoustic textures and moog synths in a laid-back track with warm vocals.''Leavin' Chicago'' is very weak, a track seemingly written for promotional purposes, very funky with an evident American flavor, led by the piano of Pete Knutsen.

The British color of the band returns in the flipside with ''For Eternity'', soft Progressive Rock with a FRUUPP/CRESSIDA aura, nice psychedelic guitars, big Mellotron and flute sounds and a strong Classical influence throughout.''Sucklin' Pig'' sees the band turning into a more jazzy- oriented style, completely indtrumental with swirling synths and flute solos, very interesting stuff.The long ''Medicine'' is another fine composition.The heaviest track on the album proposes a good mix of guitar-based Heavy Rock with JETHRO TULL-like flute parts and GENESIS-like moog synth passages.

The album has been CD re-issued many years later again by Polydor and is sure to please all fans of Classic 70's Progressive Rock, despite lacking the killer track.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Popol Vuh by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.73 | 44 ratings

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Popol Vuh
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This debut album from Norwegians POPOL VUH (later POPOL ACE) has been a tough one to track down. Originally released on vinyl by Polydor in 1972 it didn't have it's cd release until 2003. Those copies have been long gone so thankfully it was re-issued again last year. What made me so anxious to get it was the advertised abundance of mellotron and of course that early seventies progressive sound. Well I must admit i'm a little disappointed with it. Half of it is really well done while the other half I would describe as below average. All according to my tastes of course.

"Hunchback" has a fantastic intro with mellotron as the vocals come in. The flute rips it up after 2 minutes then the vocals return. Marching styled drums after 3 minutes as spoken words join in. Good song. "Joy And Pleasure" is almost funky with Wetton- like vocals. Flute too and vocal melodies come and go. Nice instrumental interlude with guitar. Two excellent tracks to start. "All We Have Is The Past" opens with reserved vocals and mellotron. It starts to build but then settles back again. Not a fan at all of this one. "Leavin' Chicago" is a fairly bluesy number. Not a fan.

"For Eternity" has picked guitar and flute early on. It picks up some. Guitar before 2 minutes and vocals follow as it settles. It continues to change. Not a fan. "Sucklin' Pig" is much better. I like the rhythm here with flute. Electric piano before 2 minutes. I'm digging this one. It's my favourite. "Medicine" is nice and heavy with flute over top as the vocals join in. Nice guitar before 1 1/2 minutes that goes on and on.Vocals are back after 3 minutes. A drum/flute melody follows then synths and mellotron. Guitar after 5 1/2 minutes then it settles down. Vocals follow.

3 stars for this one. Maybe they tried to mix things up too much. It certainly has it's moments though.

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 Popol Vuh by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.73 | 44 ratings

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Popol Vuh
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by Moonstone

4 stars Truly a 70's gem.

This is the debut album from Popol Ace(then called Popol Vuh) from 1972. The first time I heard it, it really did not appeal to me, but after bying it some years later, the album have really grown on me, and have become a personal Prog favorite of mine.

For starters it's a great Mellotron album, and a great vocal album. Jan Teigen is one of the great Norwegian Rock-vocalists, and is relentless here. Great drama & power in his singing, almost singing in Opera-style sometimes.

The opening track "Hunchback" is a CLASSIC Progressive tune, blending Jazz and Classical into the rock mix, with fluteparts a la Ian Anderson. Many different tempo changes and timing in this awesome tune, which is my favorite track on the album.

"Joy and Pleasure" is the next song out, a typical 70's funk/Rock song. Not bad, but not so good either.

"All we have is the past" follows, and is a beautiful ballad a la Crimson's "Epitaph" and Genesis' "Seven Stones". Great lushing Mellotron, and excellent, emotional vocals from Teigen.

"Leavin' Chicago" is the weakest track on the album. A kind of Honky-Tonk Blues/Rock tune that's not particulary good.

"For eternity" is great, mostly instrumental parts and very little singing. Excellent Mellotron-Chello and flute here, in a very atmospheric piece.

"Sucklin' Pig" is a Jazzy, psychedelic rock instrumental in 7/8 rythm. Cool Fusion-drumming and psychedelic jazz playing on Rhodes piano and on flute. Great tune.

"Medicine" is the final track, and is a hard rock/Prog/Psych song with lots of atmosphere and cool psychedelic guitar solo to great effect. Awesome singing again from Teigen, and Mellotron on many of the parts. Epic.

I can only give this album 4 stars because the album is not excellent the whole way through, but the songs that ARE good, are really good ones. I recommend all Proggers to give it a listen.

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 Stolen From Time by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.89 | 19 ratings

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Stolen From Time
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars Unlike my previous nostalgic reviews, like those of City Boy or Chase, Popol Ace is actually a rather recent addition to my album collection. I was introduced to this wonderful treasure of early Norwegian Prog while on my way to the Oslo Prog two day festival exactly a year ago. Still, it's really difficult for me to talk about this band's music without somehow feeling highly nostalgic about their sound. I guess that nostalgia can come in many different shapes and forms without necessarily being nostalgic to begin with! Sometimes all it takes is a few familiar notes, a certain melodic hook or just the use of a Mellotron!

This was the third out of the four Popol Ace albums and the first they released under the name Popol Ace. This occurred immediately after the band found out that another German band was baring the name Popol Vuh. The name change clearly brought out a new spark within the quintet, which is quite notable on Stolen From Time. Ambitions were set high not only in the songwriting and music arrangements but also in the long studio time that was demanded during the production of the album. Stolen From Time is a thematic piece of music where the nine different tracks are played out like nine chapters of the same story arc with smooth transitions between some of the sections.

The album features a wide range of sounds and direction, although this time it manages to keep the overall style distinguishable and unique, unlike the band's debut album which played a definite homage to blues rock of its time. Mr. Bigalow is probably the album's most eclectic piece of music with interesting guitar and keyboard arrangements but I wouldn't say that it's the most progressive moment that Stolen From Time has to offer. The opening three tracks is where the band shines the most while the rest of the material might take some time to get accustomed to. Still it's those exact compositions that make this album such a magical experience for me!

Sweet Tune is a gorgeous ballad that relies equally on Arne Schulze's guitar and Jahn Teigen's vocal arrangements, the result is beyond anything I can put into words! Sleepwalker is probably my least favorite of these compositions but it doesn't say much considering the high overall quality of this record. I Can See Tears is a haunting ballad which clearly was inspired by Genesis while the 8+ minute album closer Suicide mixes best qualities of ELP, Kansas and Focus all in one performance!

Stolen From Time is simply a gorgeous piece of Progressive Rock history that more people should take the time to experience! I'm honestly surprised by the current forgotten status of this album which makes me very sad. Stolen From Time gave me so much pleasure over the last year that I just have to return the favor!

***** star songs: Bury Me Dead (5:57) Today Another Day (5:39) Jester (3:58) Mr. Bigalow (4:13) Sweet Tune (5:02)

**** star songs: Soft Shoe Dancer (4:42) Sleepwalker (5:24) I Can See Tears (6:01) Suicide (8:20)

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 Popol Vuh by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.73 | 44 ratings

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Popol Vuh
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Unlike my previous nostalgic reviews, like those of City Boy or Chase, Popol Ace is actually a rather recent addition to my album collection. I was introduced to this wonderful treasure of early Norwegian Prog while traveling to the Oslo Prog two day festival, exactly a year ago. Still, it's really difficult for me to talk about this band's music without somehow feeling highly nostalgic about their sound. I guess that nostalgia can come in many different shapes and forms without necessarily being nostalgic to begin with! Sometimes all it takes are a few familiar notes, a certain melodic hook or just the use of a Mellotron!

This was the the band's debut release under the name Popol Vuh. Released by Polydor in 1972, the album became a minor hit in Norway but that was as far as the popularity of the band spread. Quite unfair considering the great album that it actually was! Yes, the music can sometimes get into a blues sounding jam and the huge versatility between the different compositions does make this release sound highly uneven as a whole. Still, there's really no denying that Popol Vuh were at the right time, but unfortunately not in the right place with their musical ambitions. Compositions like For Eternity and Medicine bear a clear resemblance to Foxtrot, which was released by Genesis during that same year. Unfortunately this was before the time of globalization and Internet was around, meaning that the word of mouth had to carry the band's music to different regions in order for it to be acknowledged by a wider audiences and that just never happened for Popol Ace.

Tracks like Joy And Pleasure and Sucklin' Pig rely on groovy instrumental arrangements which some people will consider to be the most progressive moments of this album. I, on the other hand, consider the two ballads All We Have Is The Past and For Eternity performed beautifully by Jahn Teigen, to carry the magnitude that is required to be called prog. It's a pity that his voice is not exhibitioned in all of its glory throughout the rest of the album, but this would change over time.

A great debut album by one of the forgotten heroes of Progressive Rock-era of the '70s that should not be missed out on!

***** star songs: All We Have Is The Past (4:29) For Eternity (5:36)

**** star songs: Hunchback (4:08) Joy And Pleasure (3:32) Sucklin' Pig (4:22) Medicine (8:02)

** star songs: Leavin' Chicago (3:53)

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 Stolen From Time by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.89 | 19 ratings

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Stolen From Time
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by 1967/ 1976

4 stars Not 100% Prog "Stolen From Time" is a good album in Classic Rock field. But also in Prog Rock field "Stolen From Time" not cut a poor figure. The style is a bluesy Rock with symphonic arrangements. But the final result is a good Rock. Piano and keyboards are the dominant instruments with good insertion of guitars and good vocals. The drums is mixed too high and for this motive this album sound so much Rock.

In general the songs are good also today but "Mr. Bigalow", the more famous song of this album because a good radio hit also today (and that I have listen to radio various times), is a strange southern rock/ AOR. For the rest good POP as Fruupp or Beggars Opera with less Prog tendencies and more POP bluesy treatment.

So, if Classic Rock please you, I think that this album is an interesting album for your discography. But also for true Prog discography this is a good album.

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 Cat of 9 tales - Best of 1972-78 by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
4.05 | 2 ratings

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Cat of 9 tales - Best of 1972-78
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is an excellent compilation of Popol Vuh / Popol Ace. I have reviewed each individual album that make this compilation. "Hunchback" represents the band experimentation with combined styles of classic rock and symphonic prog. The opening part reminds me to the music of Khan "Space Shanty" backed with excellent vocal of Jahn Teigen which is similar to John Lawton (Lucifer's Friend, Uriah Heep). This also uses mellotron / long sustain keyboard as background. What surprises me is that this track has excellent flute work as excellent as Thijs Van Leer of Focus. The interesting part of this track is when there is a narration just before the song ends. The music of this album is very similar in nature from one track to another. "All We Have Is The Past", for example, is in similar style with others. Performed in relatively slow tempo, the interlude part reminds me to the structure of King Crimson's "I Talk To The Wind". I think the flutework that makes me think that way. The vocal style reminds me also to PFM especially in "Chocolate Kings" album.

"Music Box" is my best favorite track from the band. It reminds me to my childhood when this track was popular in my country. "Between You and Me" is a nice ballad with excellent piano, touchy melody line with powerful voice of the lead vocalist. "Queen of all queens" is an excellent classic rock song with distinctive guitar work. "Dark nights" is also not bad at all. It flows with piano as main rhythm section. "Mrs. Randalie" demonstrates he band's adventure into symphonic prog music. I like the bass lines for this track. Duration-wise this track is like typical prog tunes with 8 minute duration.

This band is good in combining various instruments to build a compelling nuance of the music created. "For Eternity" may fall into this category. With nice introduction of acoustic guitar and keyboard, this track moves in crescendo from long acoustic guitar - keyboard duets. The opening part reminds me to the psychedelic adventures, supported with ambient and nice melody. It also gives symphonic nuance that brings beautifully into lyrical verses. The first singing part gives a nuance similar to seventies music like Trapeze (Glenn Hughes band prior to joining Deep Purple). I like the interlude part with two guitars play intertwiningly with the support of mellotron work. Oh yeah, you might sense an influence of King Crimson as well right here with this track.

For those who have not known the band before, this compilation is recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

"I'm sitting in a music box , I'm making songs - wanna know what for? Is there really more to tell , or haven't you really had before? Oh . uuuhhhh . who can tell? Oh .. in the end it won't make us different. - Music Box by Popol Ace

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 Stolen From Time by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.89 | 19 ratings

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Stolen From Time
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Unlike the debut album "Stolen From Time" is less progressive especially in the structure of the song as well as music textures. The band tried to keep up with what was happening in the market in terms of rock music releases. The album opener "Bury Me Dead" is a nice outfit using piano and keyboard as the foundation of the music, augmented with guitar work. Vocal quality is similar with Barry Palmer of Triumvirat. As opening track this one sets the overall tone of the album. For those of you are so longing for classic rock music, you might consider having this CD in your collection.

"Today Another Day" is composed in the same vein like opening track. In this song Jahn Teigen (vocals) demonstrates his quality voice with a firm accent that makes the music is quite enjoyable. Guitar provides its solo at the background and never been exposed as soloist. The song changes its style into bluesy one in the middle of the track - or minute 4:00 to be exact. The guitar portion is now quite apparent. "The Jester" is another classic rock tune combining guitar fills, keyboard and energetic voice. Jahn Teigen proves his voice which works well at high notes - followed with excellent keyboard work. "Soft Shoe Dancer" is good composition with bluesy style, nice vocal. This song provides good break for the album. It's an enjoyable song that represents 70s music. "Sleepwalker" concludes the album in medium tempo rock music combining guitar and keyboard and good vocal quality.

It's definitely a good album that suits those of you who want to make a complete collection of 70s music which typically called as classic rock.

"Nothing is useless. Even a spoilt clock shows the right time twice everyday!"

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 Quiche Maya  by POPOL ACE / POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.14 | 18 ratings

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Quiche Maya
Popol Ace / Popol Vuh Crossover Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Journey to the Past or Living in the Past?

What music that surrounded you when you grew up? What would be your reaction if you listen to the music 30 years later? Do you feel like a journey to the past or you feel like living in the past? In my case, I feel both. The fact that I'm spinning back the music (or even hunting the CD like hell until I got it in my collection of CD!), is like a journey to my past. But when I'm listening to it I feel like living in the past. And I always feel excited whenever I'm listening to music which was written in the 70s which practically most of them has some prog elements in it. At that time I did not know the term "progressive" yet and any rock music was just "rock" - no further categorization which one fall under which category. I just accepted whatever flew into my ears and try to digest it. As for the case with Popol Vuh, I was not aware about this album at that time. The first time I knew about the band was a compilation cassette produced by our local music magazine which was very famous, i.e Aktuil. The cassette was labeled "Rock Vibration 2" with the opening track "Music Box" by Popol Ace. Wow! This track had blown me away at first spin. I started to wonder who this band was and found practically nothing. Hello, it was 70s, my friends! There was no internet and information was not distributed in proper way. Only decades later - I think it was 2000 or 2001 I found this album. Oh, finally I found vintage band Popol Vuh / Ace!

So "Music Box" is the connector why I was hunting this CD and luckily I got it from local music store. Hey, Jakarta rocks and progs man, don't underestimate people who live in "rest of the world" countries like Indonesia (which you might know only our beautiful island of Bali). Our passion for music is very high and we have many rock communities with strong passion for rock and prog music. When I listen to "Music Box" I always remember vividly the 70s period where our rock passion was at the top like right now. "Music Box" is a wonderfully crafted ballad rock with great melody line, excellent acoustic guitar fills and singing style.

"I'm sitting in a music box , I'm making songs - wanna know what for? Is there really more to tell , or haven't you really had before? Oh . uuuhhhh . who can tell? Oh .. in the end it won't make us different.

Oh .. my friend.what a mind boggling lyrical verse and touchy melody backed with wonderful acoustic guitar fills. The lyrics also tell about the wondering of a musician who is ready to write music but he doesn't know yet if the music has already been created by someone else. What a great meaning from great song "Music Box"!

Actually, when I purchased the CD I didn't really care about other tracks because I only chase "Music Box" and it would justify the investment - money wise! But some tracks are also in fact good ones to enjoy. "Between You and Me" is a nice ballad with excellent piano, touchy melody line with powerful voice of the lead vocalist. "Queen of all queens" is an excellent classic rock song with distinctive guitar work. "Dark nights" is also not bad at all. It flows with piano as main rhythm section. "Mrs. Randalie" demonstrates he band's adventure into symphonic prog music. I like the bass lines for this track. Duration-wise this track is like typical prog tunes with 8 minute duration.

I can consider that this album is really good. Those of you who love classic rock and symphonic prog - well, sometimes the band sounds a bit psychedelic too - you may enjoy this album as well. I put my neck that you would definitely love "Music Box". Guaranteed. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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