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FREDDEGREDDE

Crossover Prog • Sweden


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FreddeGredde biography
Hailing from Gńvle, Sweden, FREDDEGREDDE is a solo project by Fredrik LARSSON. The young artist initially rose to prominence in the early days of viral video revolution where his great musicianship gained attention on YouTube and generated millions of views on some of his most popular videos. LARSSON's YouTube channel quickly became the number one subscribed channel in Sweden, but even though his viral video success began to fade over time, FREDDEGREDDE was far from a one-trick pony and late 2009 was when we finally got to hear some of the artist's original material. Video versions of songs "Beside Me" and "The Wayfarer" showed clear tendencies towards an eclectic approach to songwriting and featured rapid shifts from emotionally charged ballads to heavy rock escapades.

It took almost two years for LARSSON to execute his lifelong dream of recording and releasing his debut album, but it's clear that the time was well spent since the 2011 release "Thirteen Eight" is one of those rare debuts that only comes once or twice every decade. Not only has the artist managed to make a clear statement of intent but there is also a clear tendency towards fusing the worlds of art rock and pop music. The material shows a versatile approach which, in return, has potential of appealing just as much to fans of art music as to the casual listener.

Fans of epic compositions will find quite a treat right towards the end of the record with the lengthy tracks "Euphoria" and "Time Will Tell", 9 and 15 minutes respectively. Both of these pieces take the listener on wild journeys through mind-boggling landscapes that will sit especially well with fans of progressive rock music. Highly recommended to fans of melodic music fused with modern progressive rock!

Biography by Rune2000

FreddeGredde official website

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FREDDEGREDDE discography


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

4.01 | 30 ratings
Thirteen Eight
2011
4.37 | 27 ratings
Brighter Skies
2014

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FREDDEGREDDE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Brighter Skies by FREDDEGREDDE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.37 | 27 ratings

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Brighter Skies
FreddeGredde Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars Fredrik Larsson is a fresh young multi-instrumental talent out of Sweden who has a proclivity for Drama-era YES but who is unfortunately cursed with a voice like OWL CITY's singer- songwriter Adam Young--"cursed" because, in this reviewers opinion, the OWL CITY singing approach does not match stylistically well with the YES-like music.

1. "Welcome the Bright Skies" (5:45) introduces us to Mr. Larsson's YES-like sound--that is, until he starts singing. "Fireflies" automatically comes to mind (a song I rather like but whose idiosyncratic vocal approach is, I think, better left as uniquely Adam Young's domain). (I know that Mr. Larsson cannot help that his English singing style sounds so familiar to these experienced ears. My point is, I think, that I don't find the OWL CITY vocal approach to fit very well with your choice of bombastic prog music.) A forgettable song that displays tremedous potential. (7/10)

2. "The Autotelic Self" (11:05) The Drama-era YES/Chris Squire bass sound and Trevor Horn voice make this for an interesting song. It is during this song that I am beginning to think that Mr. LArsson's real gift is in the keyboard department--his choices and uses of multiple sounds throughout a song is quite dextrous, confident and masterful. With each successive listen to this album I find myself tuning out the domineering bass and drums to focus on the more interesting keyboard work. Overlooking the too-busy, too-loud drums, and this is quite an interesting, well-constructed song. Even the vocals work tolerably well on this one. (9/10)

3. "Your Life" (3:00) is quite a cute, entertaining (biographical?) journey through the adventures of a young world-traveller. Quite catchy and engaging, if also poppy. (8/10) 4. "This Fragile Existence" (5:50) is a song with just too many layers, too much going on, and not enough consistency to render it engaging much less memorabl--though a brief GENESIS/TONY BANKS section at 4:25 tries to render this hodgepodge song from forgettability. (7/10)

5. "The Tower" (8:21) is probably my favorite song on the album. It has quite a RENAISSANCE feel to it--especially in the bass sound and foundational role of the piano. Quite symphonically constructed and of varied paced, the song's main flaw is in the singing. The singing sometimes feels forced, as if the singer has to rush the lyrics along to keep pace with the keyboard melody lines. The heavy section beginning at 6:45 is quite powerful. Still, the song could benefit from some more instrumental sections--or simply less singing. Reminds me of GENESIS' "Eleventh Earl of Mar" in that it is musically an incredible song over which the singing and lyrics have a negative effect. (9/10)

6. "Shining" (4:02) is another song of wonderful musical creativity that, unfortunately, suffers from the over-/domineering presence of singing and mismatched lyrics. The singer's approach often reminds me of one JON ANDERSON in the way these quite unusual and unexpected lyrics are sung in quite unexpected places and ways. (8/10) The album's finale and longest song, the epic, 7. "Ocean Mind" (18:24), opens with three minutes of well-crafted symphonic prog bombast. Once the vocal does finally enter, it begins with some admirable restraint while some YES/STARCASTLE-like music fills the background (foreground and wings, too!) Again, the instrumental presentation may be a bit too busy. A softer section in the seventh minute has a TREVOR HORN/YES/BUGGLES feel to it (a feeling I'm revisited by A LOT during this song) before the music returns to a heavier instrumental section. Great keyboards and powerful drumming throughout--though the volume and activity of the drums at times detract attention from the other instruments. The song, unfortunately, wanders all over the musical spectrum without revealing (to me) its purpose or soul. The acoustic guitar backed gentle section in the fifteenth minute is nice, though the reverb and singing style forces that Adam Young/OWL CITY feel upon me as much as ever. The denouement of the final two minutes again leaves me wondering, confused: Is this supposed to be a "Supper's Ready" or an Elton John song? (7/10)

FreddeGredde is a band that I look forward to following in the future as I can see great potential if young Mr. Larsson decides to learn to use a little more restraint--to give more power to the subtleties and incidentals and not so much to the bombastic. He certainly has command of all of the elementals of great prog. Now to learn pacing and more mature presentation.

A 3.5 stars album (between "good" and "excellent") that shows tremendous future potential. I do recommend progsters give this one a listen as I believe Mr. Fredrik Larsson may be destined to contribute great things to the prog lexicon.

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 Brighter Skies by FREDDEGREDDE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.37 | 27 ratings

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Brighter Skies
FreddeGredde Crossover Prog

Review by UnsaltedCatfish

5 stars Prog is a genre driven by progression, hence the origin of its name. It is a label driven to push the boundaries of the music we listen to and redefine our standards of good music. The more ambitious music listeners become desensitized to the music around them, after many years of constant exposure, and thus are on an endless search for something that separates itself from the rest. In the underground music community, experimentation has practically become synonymous with high quality music. However, sometimes we just need a reminder that the core of writing music is something fairly simple: good songwriting. Therefore, I introduce to you "Brighter Skies" by FreddeGredde; a progressive rock album that doesn't introduce anything new for the genre, but is a refreshing blend of all its pre-established traits.

"Brighter Skies" contains all aspects we have all come to know the prog genre for such as unconventional jams, tempo changes, odd time signatures, shifts in dynamics, instrumental layering, and un-linear song structures. While many would argue that this is a major flaw, I refute that it is actually the album's biggest strength. Fredrik Larsson - under the name FreddeGredde - has clearly listened to a fair share of progressive music and has learned to use it as a weapon. You can hear a clear passion for the genre as a whole, almost as if the music is made to be a homage. The music has a very accessible nature to it; this is an album that could easily find itself bringing in many new prog fans but still impressing the veterans listeners, establishing a perfect middle ground between catchy hooks and varying complexity. The guitar is lighthearted in tone yet flaunting in technique, the keyboard is a driving force yet conveys subtlety, and the vocals are easy on the ears yet rhythmically shifting.

Although the general elements and concepts behind the album are fairly standard for the genre, one way that "Brighter Skies" greatly differs from its brethren is its tone. Progressive music has never had a large disposal of emotional conveyance in its arsenal, most of the time resorting to a sinister or epic atmosphere. Of course every once in a while an emotional or somber tune roles around, but there is one form of expression that is always oddly neglected. However, FreddeGredde unearthed this fossil and has revealed his discovery to the world: a little thing called happiness. This album is all sunshine and rainbows; prog has never been the type of music to put a smile on my face, but this is one time that it has. From the moment the first song "Welcome to Brighter Skies" starts, you quickly get a taste of what's in store, from the upbeat tempo to the bright chimes, merry piano, comforting acoustic work, gleeful singing, and just complete lack of abuse of sharp notes. The mood is very consistent without ever becoming stale; there are songs such as the jolly and festive folk-inspired "Your Life" and the mellow and ethereal piano driven "The Tower" adding variety but still maintaining equilibrium. If you are unsure that you will like this, give the first two tracks a try, as they encompass the key components of "Brighter Skies" as a whole.

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 Thirteen Eight by FREDDEGREDDE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.01 | 30 ratings

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Thirteen Eight
FreddeGredde Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Fredrik Larsson is one of those artists that YouTube helped them spread their own music.A Swedish native, originating from Gavle, he learned to play multiple instruments and by the age of 20 he started taking singing lessons.Since 2008 he had been posting personal videos on YouTube, his fame slowly arose and exploded with a fantastic 8-min. medley of 32 popular songs.In 2010 the time to put his own musical vision on tape had come and by the summer of 2011 the whole process was completed, resulting ''Thirteen eight'', originally released on bandcamp under the moniker of FreddeGredde, followed later by a digipack CD.The title of the album refers to the 13/8 time signature he often used throughout the recordings.

Anyone having watched the impressive medley of Larsson on YouTube should know what to expect from this Swedish talent, except you should throw in the technical vision of progressive music.Big part of the album contains short tracks with maybe the greatest number of twists and turns you can find around, but the material is not complex, on other hand this is a compilation of dense Art/Pop Rock tunes amazingly connected under a Heavy Rock sophistication.Bands like PROFUSION, A.C.T and SEVEN STEPS TO THE GREEN DOOR are the best comparisons.Imagine COLDPLAY, JAMES BLUNT, DREAM THEATER and BEARDFISH tunes all condensed in 3 to 4 minutes, fast-paced songs with some slower, atmospheric parts added for good measure.All instruments are played by Larrson with the help of one David Schlein on drums and you will hardly realise that this is actually a one-man effort.Fantastic mix of instruments and voices and a clean production offer the musical aspects of Larsson at their very best.Influences from Acoustic Pop, Pop Rock, Fusion and Neo/Symphonic Prog, all are present in limited number of minutes to display catchy hooks, virtuosic instrumentals, memorable melodies and powerful guitar/keyboard solos.A couple of tracks, ''Euphoria'' and ''Time will tell'', just proove the talent of this man, who can also compose long pieces of modern Progressive Rock with orchestral, poppy and Metal influences.No surprise, these tracks are led by multiple variations with an even deeper instrumental technique and stunning vocals by Larrson, characterized by dominant guitar runs, symphonic keyboards, acoustic lines, Fusion moments and, yes, endless breaks and changing tempos.

This one belongs among the top albums of the year and among the very best (almost) one-man projects around.Fascinating Heavy Prog with an incredible number of influences and beautiful vocals.Highly recommended, needless to say.

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 Brighter Skies by FREDDEGREDDE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.37 | 27 ratings

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Brighter Skies
FreddeGredde Crossover Prog

Review by FieryEmblem

5 stars This is my favorite album of 2014 so far! I've been a fan of the Swedish solo artist FreddeGredde's proggier compositions since his early YouTube releases, and while his debut album had some great material, there were also many uninteresting tracks that I wouldn't consider prog at all. This has certainly been adjusted with this second album, because what we get is only seven tracks, no fillers, and they are (almost) all very prog, very creative, and just a pleasure to listen to. I can hear similarities with Moon Safari, Frost*, A.C.T, IQ and early Dream Theater, but also classics like Gentle Giant and Genesis, and it all lands in something entirely unique.

Songs by song:

1. Welcome the Bright Skies A very welcoming opening track for sure! I notice many similarities between FreddeGredde's first album and this second one, and one is the structure and feel of the opening tracks. "Lonely Starlight" on the debut was full-on prog, but was still accessible and had a coherent flow throughout the track, and most of it was in a 13/8 time signature. All the different themes came back together at the end, making a very tight composition. This new opening track has a very similar structure, with a lot of different themes that flow together, mostly in 15/8 this time, and it's all tied together with the majestic "it all comes together" ending. Both albums have very strong openings, and I like them equally but in different ways. My rating: 5 stars

2. The Autotelic Self This is the rocker of the album, the most "prog metal" one. But it's still warm and full of synths and layers, separating it from most other modern prog metal, which tends to feel generic and forgettable. But this one is far from that! Clocking in at a little more than 11 minutes, it goes through a wide range of moods and styles, from crazy instrumental sections reminiscent of Images & Words era Dream Theater, to beautiful piano and acoustic guitar breakdowns, to mandolin based "folk" sections. This track has it all, and it all flows extremely well! It might be the highlight track of the album. My rating: 5 stars

3. Your Life After two mostly up-beat and intense tracks, this is a welcomed breather. Based on classical guitar and mandolin, it gives a folk/Irish vibe, with almost sing-along qualities, except that there is no repetitive chorus that sticks with you on a first listen. Despite its soft and accessible sound, there's some "prog" to be found here, with 5/4 and 7/4 time signatures and a longer solo section that's alternating between the guitar and the mandolin. The solos are accompanied by an increasingly powerful choir, which creates a pretty powerful climax considering the type of song it is. It's a little odd among the other tracks on the album, but on it's own, it's a pretty little track. My rating: 4 stars

4. This Fragile Existence Is the title possibly a reference to "This Falling World" from his previous album? Musically, they have similarities as they both feature large contrasts and breakdowns, and swiftly go through several moods and ideas (maybe more so than usual, even by FreddeGredde's standards). The stand-out features of this track are the complex vocal harmonies, which at times remind me of Queen and other times of Gentle Giant. It's overall a very playful composition, and the adventurous nature of it always manages to make me smile. My rating: 5/5 stars

5. The Tower This is the second calmer track of the album, and is more ambient and cinematic than anything he has done before. Starting with only piano and accompanying synth pads, it gives off a cold and wintery vibe, but as the song goes on, it slowly changes back and forth between positive and sad in a very tasteful way. It's prog and it's got the high amount of variation that FreddeGredde is known for, but it's more atmospheric and slower paced. The ending is just extremely beautiful, probably the highlight of the entire album. My rating: 5 stars

6. Shining Another shorter song in-between the epics. It's probably the most pop on the album, with a very catchy chorus that you can sing along to even on the first listen. It's got some prog moments though, some interesting time signature changes, and a cute mandolin based bridge. A solid track, but one more for a casual audience rather than the hardcore prog fans. My rating: 3-4 stars

7. Ocean Mind And finally, the 18 minute epic. This one is difficult to process, because there is so much going on, and though I love a majority of it, there are some sections that don't grab me entirely. The instrumental sections are the highlights for me, as they are VERY adventurous and crazy, going from jazzy sections to metal to I-can't-even-describe-it. Again, I think the closest resemblance is early Dream Theater. My rating: 4 stars

All in all, definitely warmly recommended to fans of prog!

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 Thirteen Eight by FREDDEGREDDE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.01 | 30 ratings

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Thirteen Eight
FreddeGredde Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fredde Gredde aka Fredrik Larsson is a swedish band (musician) who release the debut album in 2011 named Thirteen eight. Well, a very nice surprise this album, crossover prog bordering in places with prog metal, with emphasis on vocal parts but aswell the instrumental section are very well played and written. Fredrik Larsson done almost everything here, from composing the entire music, he playing here besides guitar, keyboards , bass the vocal duties are provided by him, only the helping hand is coming from drums department offered by David Schlein. Long album, little over 70 min, with pieces from 3 to 15 min, elaborated instrumental parts, clean good vocals, nice interludes between keyboards and guitars, nice bass lines, what elese a winner release for me. Tracks like opening Lonely Starlight, This Falling World, Stardust or the great ending 15 plus Time Will Tell are very strong, showing that this musicin know bussines. I'm really curious in what direction he will go on the second release, if will be a second offer or it will remains a one shot wonder. Anyway, prog rock/metal with lot to offer, similar in places with bands like A.C.T, Cap Outrun both bands from Sweden aswell or those with this kind of aproach. Easy 4 stars, the album coming in a nice digipak format with nice artwork and whole package is great.

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Thanks to Rune2000 for the artist addition.

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