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TOMAS BODIN

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Tomas Bodin picture
Tomas Bodin biography
Born April 9th 1959, Sweden

Tomas BODIN's regular job is to play the keyboards for THE FLOWER KINGS but as usual some of these musicians and especially if they are a member of The FLOWER KINGS have too many ideas and one musical life doesn't satisfy them any longer. They need to have a solo project. And seemingly Tomas BODIN also has a lot of good ideas left over. And of course, how could it be any different other FLOWER KINGS members are featured on his albums, regarding the first and last release you can even say that ALL members are featured in some way, it's very typical for the FLOWER KINGS family I guess.

But the music on his solo albums is quite different, it's a mix between Jazzrock/Fusion and Retro Prog, all instrumental. And of course the whole sound is keyboard dominated. I think his albums are very experimental, at least Tomas is trying several keyboard sounds such as various types of organs or synthesizers. He released three albums this far and the highlight for sure is "Pinup Guru" because it's most unequal to other FLOWER KINGS releases, maybe because Roine STOLT is not featured on this one.

So if you like the FLOWER KINGS or heard of Jonas Reingold's solo project KARMAKANIC and liked it, this is a good thing to spend some money. You will get some different stuff but it still remains reminiscent of the FLOWER KINGS not only because their members supported these projects.

: : : Martin Dietrich, GERMANY : : :

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TOMAS BODIN discography


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

3.16 | 61 ratings
An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life
1996
3.44 | 81 ratings
Pinup Guru
2002
3.49 | 82 ratings
Sonic Boulevard
2003
3.75 | 134 ratings
I AM
2005
3.94 | 82 ratings
Cinematograaf
2008
3.98 | 80 ratings
Eggs & Dogs: You Are
2009
3.70 | 60 ratings
She Belongs To Another Tree
2015

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TOMAS BODIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eggs & Dogs: You Are by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.98 | 80 ratings

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Eggs & Dogs: You Are
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars A very well balanced and professionally carried out album with a lot of taste. Michael Stolt, with a surprisingly close voice to Roine Stolt, takes the role of a lead vocal.

The album is stylisticall closed to "Sonic Boulevard" but it's more mature and memorable. After first listening, you will have a better feeling and impression than after "Sonic Boulevard", even though you will feel the same amount of Flower Kings aura coming out of it.

"Private skies" has a certain ELO/Beatles flair to it, no wonder since Tomas Bodin is a fan of ELO. Later comes a nice complex organ/drum dominated section, very symphonic and progressive. "American standards" is very close to Flower Kings but mellow,calm and vocally oriented.

"Silicon bimbo run" is a 21-minute epic that goes for a bit too long but consists of distinctive sections, first one keyboard dominated, then acoutic guitar, vocal harmonies/solo with a slow memorable guitar solo, before getting into a slow/Transatlantic area and translating into a symphonic multi-layered end.

 Cinematograaf by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 82 ratings

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Cinematograaf
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars Cinematograaf was a reason why I got more into Tomas Bodin and started discovering his body of work to realize that his albums can be compared to any other progressive keyboard magician. A keyboard magician is someone who can not only play but also compose great pieces. So for example, Jordan Rudess would not fit here since his solo work is not comparable with other keyboard masters.

Let's go back to Cinematograaf. This piece is full of focus, vintage keyboards, imagination and scenery. Keyboards build up up to 95% all sounds, they are very cohesive, continuous and fluent. There are no flashy moments for art's sake, the music flows nicely from the start till the end. As a result, the playing abilities are less jaw-dropping but better aligned with music. It's incredible how much time must have been spent to build 3 large pieces with multiple layers that build up and only reach climax after first 10 minutes at earliest. There is no dull moment.

You are immersed in the keyboard and vintage world of Cinematograaf from the very beginning without any other disruptive moments or instruments. Indeed, main motives repeat and gradually gain on intensity or richness in sound.

The most used instruments are synths and piano but organ beats all in the climax moments, it's majestic, overwhelming, stately and memorable.

There are a few moments where modern electronic beats or ambient sounds appear, which is supportive. References to Vangelis or Jarre may come to mind and fans of their music will like them.

However, the best of Banks and Wakeman is also to be heard, Banks' taste in keyboard layers and Wakeman organ hooks are represented.

My favourite track is a dramatic 'A Spanish ballerina" due to its church organ climax and slowly built cresciendo. The starting analogue ARP makes you think of Jarre, however there is a beatiful array of other synthesizers getting more dramatic with classically sounded drums underlined by pianos in the background. Synths play the lead.

Between the 10th and 14th minute the beautiful and intensive climax supported by orchestral sounds peaks, later replaced by classical acoustic piano.

"Six six six" is a more modern piece with similar characteristics but more soundtrack spirit. Great church organ and Wakemanesque moves appear after the 12th minute. The pieceful ending with traces of Banks results in a movie-like epic dark closing underlined by church bells.

This album at least has catapulted Tomas Bodin among the greatest keyboard artists in progressive rock because it proves that Bodin is not only a very capable player but also an suprisingly gifted composer and arranger.

Welcome to the work of highest keyboard calibre.

 I AM by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.75 | 134 ratings

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I AM
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars A progress for progressive Tomas Bodin in terms of compositional abilities. The music is not only flashy or majestic, there are enough good, creative and developed moments. There is a good balance between instrumental craftmanship and songwriting. A trilogy of compositions (I,A,M) could be seen as autobiographic and personal. The mighty triumvirat is a concept that will be reused on a next album, Cinematograaf.

IAM is one of the most complex Bodin's work with vocals, melodies and tons of keyboards. While I don't necessarily need vocals in TB's music, they are not disruptive at least, here.

The A part of the album has very good piano and organ work. The M part has a very present guitar that goes hand in hand with the typical organ sound of TB. This is also unusually heavy composition for TB.

TB has developed a complex and progressive work with IAM that needs several attempts before growing on you.

 Sonic Boulevard by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.49 | 82 ratings

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Sonic Boulevard
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The main difference between Pinup Guru and this one is the presence of guitar that creates a fuller sound. We even get a pair of saxophones in one track.

Guitar makes the sound logically a bit closer to Flower Kings, also it is less pompeous.

"The hero from cloud" is a sum of all instrumental Flower Kings powers with memorable and elegant guitar solos, plenty of keyboard prog hooks but also tight rhythm section. "Back to the African Garden" has an interesting semi-African beat married with progressive rock feeling. There is a great Yamaha CP* sound to it. Jazzy guitar and chops are unmistakenly belonging to Mr. Stoilt.

"Picture" is a nice contemplative effort. Excursions to R&B are audible in "Walkable", the groove and laid-back feeling are evident. "A beautiful mind" is another reflective number without any violent drums.

As a result, the album is recommended to all Flower Kings fans as well as jazz progressive rock. Keyboard fans will be pleased too, however, there are other albums with keyboards more in the foreground such as Cinematograaf or Pinup Guru.

 Pinup Guru by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.44 | 81 ratings

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Pinup Guru
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Quite a strong debut real debut by Tomas Bodin, the keyboardist of Flower Kings. The album focuses on powerful, sometimes majestic keyboard sounds, advanced playing and less on memorable compositions.

You can hear organ, with a typical colour for Tomas Bodin. Some synths remind Flower Kings. Hammond, Moog and Mellotron are amptly used, the combination of Mellotron and organ is captivating! Piano can also be heard.

The strongest cuts are the first two tracks and the last epic. The first track, an anthem, is very pompeous, majestic and has a clear motive, dominated by church organ. The track is called "Sodium Regale".

The second, much longer number is "What's going on" is not particularly cohesive but it showcases a myriad of styles and instruments from a typical Flower Kings, mid 70's, new age Tomas Bodin, electronic and ending in an equilibristic keyboard, bass, drum evil trio.

Other numbers have occasional light moments but are not memorable and developed enough. They are pleasant to listen to but not adorable enough. Of note is the piano number "My beautiful neighbour" with clever notes.

"The final swig" has a jazzy twist to it and fully show the playing potential of the keyboard/bass/drum trio without any guitar disruptions.

The album is worth exploring but you won't be longing many listenings, likely.

 Cinematograaf by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.94 | 82 ratings

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Cinematograaf
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars In 1996 Tomas Bodin (known as The Flower Kings keyboard player) released his first solo album entitled An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life. Meanwhile he has produced six other solo studio albums, his latest effort from 2015 was entitled She Belongs To Another Tree. To be honest, I am not up to The Flower Kings their music, but a fellow EManiac recommended me his fifth solo album. He said that he was sure that it would please me, as a fan of Seventies Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. Well, indeed, I was very pleasantly surprised during my first musical encounter with Tomas Bodin solo, indeed this is interesting for EManiacs.

1. An Ocean in Between (13.50) : After a sound collage and a spacey climate with soaring synthesizers (in the vein of Larry Fast his early Synergy music), we can enjoy wonderful Grand piano that turns the sound into a warm blend of classical - and electronic music. Then a shifting mood that to me sounds as a variation on On The Run by Pink Floyd, but more subdued and featuring pleasant synthesizer flights. After a sumptuous interlude with orchestral keyboards the final part delivers a beautiful blend of Grand piano, synthesizers and flute-Mellotron.

2. A Spanish Ballerina In Love (19.37) : First an ominous atmosphere with tasteful synthesizers, especially the lush strings-sound is wonderful. Then again we can enjoy a blend of Grand piano and synthesizers, gradually the sound turns into more bombastic with majestic swelling keyboards and in between sounds like the didgeridoo. The music culminates in an experimental part, followed by sumptuous keyboards with snare-drum, church organ, sparkling Grand piano and choir-Mellotron eruptions, a delicious, mouthwatering vintage keyboard sound.

3. Six Six Six (18.34) : After soaring keyboards and swelling synthesizer the music features bombastic synthesizers and a propulsive rhythm with hypnotizing drums, followed by a lush blend of percussion and synthesizers. The rest of this captivating composition contains a flood of exciting moments: from majestic Grand piano, heavy choir-Mellotron and a propulsive rhythm with flashy synthesizer runs and church-organ to sensational Keith Emerson inspired synthesizers, wonderful work on the Mellotron (flute ' and choir section) and a dreamy final part with Grand piano, synthesizers and Mellotron.

What a captivating blend of electronic music and symphonic rock, highly recommended.

 She Belongs To Another Tree by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.70 | 60 ratings

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She Belongs To Another Tree
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

5 stars Thomas Bodin continue where he has left out with his latest project, but this time it's even more ambient, electronic oriented while keeping some soundtrack feel. The music display some various atmosphere from the melancholic classical piano to the more upbeat techno output and finally to the intriguing and dark passage taken from a horror film no too far from Goblin. All those transitions are flowing together smoothly with some beautiful textures, and despite the absence of vocals and rock instruments, it never gets boring. This music don't come from a happy mind but more from someone that is looking for the truth in another world as strange as it can be. The techno and electronic soundscapes approach will appeal to those who enjoy electronic music between Goblin and Vangelis. We are very far from Flower Kings here, but we can recognize the keyboards sound of Thomas Bodin, especially in some songs of the Swedish band. Some may found some ambient parts a bit too stretch out, but to me, Bodin always keep things interesting with some smooth tempo changes and a sense for the melody throughout this dramatic journey of experimental soundscapes. How funny a dark and melancholic album can do some good to you, that's the magic of the music, i guess...
 Sonic Boulevard by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.49 | 82 ratings

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Sonic Boulevard
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars For a third solo album Bodin was actually heading for an album, much more ambiental compared to his previous ones and based on a limited budget, originally intented to be sold via the internet.After three weeks of hard work Roine Stolt was called to share his opinion.He proposed Tomas to record the album in a proper way, because he thought it was too good not to end up in a physical form.The record company offered the green light and Stolt was of course among the participants of the recordings as where also Jonas Reingold, Hasse Bruniusson and Zoltan Csorsz.Anders Jansson was recruited to sing the vocal parts and an experienced JJ Marsh was offered the main guitar role.''Sonic boulevard'' was released in 2003 on Inside Out and features another three guests on sax and percussion, among them was Ulf Wallander, sax player on Nya Ljudbolaget's sole 81' album and a regular participant on The Flower Kings' albums.

''Sonic boulevard'' of course does not sound as a low-budget production after the fully professional recordings, but it does not sound either like the initial descriptions commented by Bodin himself.It does sound most of the time like a lost THE FLOWER KINGS album, pretty reasonable when you think that the whole band-family was playing on this.Though Stolt appears only in a pair of tracks, Marsh appears to wear his shoes and delivers some beautiful melodic and jazzy guitar moves in the album.I guess the ambiental description goes for the lack of bombastic orchestrations and the powerful grandieur, which appears every now and then in a FLOWER KINGS album.Otherwise ''Sonic boulevard'' follows more or less the same musical values, except it sounds a bit more closer to old-fashioned Symphonic Rock ala KAIPA or DICE, as the music is full of Classical preludes and interludes, Mellotron waves and intelligent guitar work, all executed in elaborate arrangements.Dreamy textures and long instrumental orchestrations offer what any lover of Classic Prog can dream of.There are only a few tracks, which escape the rule, and come either with a Lounge profile with atmospheric keyboards, piano and sax plays (like the closing ''The night will fall'') or with a more pronounced jazzy taste, which still hold a deep sense of melody (like ''Walkabout').But the most symphonic tracks are the ones that win the race here, very nice and refined arrangements with beautiful keyboard variations by Bodin and a trully crafty guitarist like JJ Marsh.

More tight than ''Pinup guru'' as a whole, this time the reason a Bodin album loses some ground is the abscence of dynamics.Not a trully serious flaw though, as the arrangements are mostly well-worked and clever.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Sonic Boulevard by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.49 | 82 ratings

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Sonic Boulevard
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Tomas Bodin is keyboard player with The Flower Kings, and this is his follow-up to 'Pin Up Guru' which came out in 2002. Initially his idea was to create a low budget album to sell through the internet where he could experiment with different styles without having to worry about budgets. Having given a copy of the work in progress to Roine he was told that the album should be released properly. He has been joined by Roine and other musicians, so that it isn't a solo album in all respects of the word. The result is an album of lengthy 'songs' which is quite dreamy and almost Floyd-like, with a lot of keyboards and some guitar.

But while it works quite well as background music I can never conceive of it being any more than that. When listening to it intently the attention soon starts to drift and it is hard to overcome the urge to just eject the CD and put on something with a bit more bite to it. I am sure that there will be times when this will be the correct music for whatever I am doing, but it will not be just sat and listening to it.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, Feb 04

 Pinup Guru by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.44 | 81 ratings

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Pinup Guru
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

2 stars Tomas is of course keyboard player with The Flower Kings and this is his debut solo album. His aim was to produce an album that was similar in fashion to The Nice or ELP so he brought in band mates Jonas Reingold (bass) and Zoltan Cs÷rsz (drums) to assist him in achieving this. While I agree he has gone some way to being able to do that, the album is still lacking in many respects. There are times when he has got it very right indeed, such as on "Harlem Heat" where he recreates the gospel atmosphere and vibrancy, but there are times when I was just wondering what was going on.

There just aren't enough melodies on the album to maintain interest throughout. There is no doubting that all of these guys are very fine musicians indeed but it takes more than skill to be able to produce a killer album and when it is an instrumental work it is even more difficult. Some of the Floydian touches are quite good and as a background album it is quite pleasant but certainly for me it could never be anything more than that.

Originally appeared in Feedback #70, Oct 02

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

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