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TOMAS BODIN

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Tomas Bodin biography
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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  • A I AM, 2005

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Sonic BoulevardSonic Boulevard
Inside Out U.S. 2004
Audio CD$16.70
$1.99 (used)
I AmI Am
Inside Out U.S. 2005
Audio CD$18.92
$9.98 (used)
An Ordinary Night in My Ordinary LifeAn Ordinary Night in My Ordinary Life
Import
Inside Out Germany 2003
Audio CD$36.40
$17.99 (used)
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  • Festival Crescendo on 21 Aug 2014

TOMAS BODIN discography


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

3.12 | 41 ratings
An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life
1996
3.43 | 57 ratings
Pinup Guru
2002
3.51 | 54 ratings
Sonic Boulevard
2003
3.76 | 98 ratings
I AM
2005
3.89 | 58 ratings
Cinematograaf
2008
4.00 | 53 ratings
You Are (as Eggs & Dogs)
2009

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TOMAS BODIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sonic Boulevard  by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.51 | 54 ratings

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Sonic Boulevard
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 Pinup Guru  by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.43 | 57 ratings

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Pinup Guru
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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 Csörsz (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

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 Pinup Guru  by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.43 | 57 ratings

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Pinup Guru
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars During the second half of the 90's Bodin was caught in the storm of The Flower Kings's constant studio albums, live performances and various commitments.However his first album was licensed by the German/American label InsideOut and was re-released in 1999.In 2002 Bodin eventually returned with a second album on Inside Out, ''Pinup Guru''.It was the first album recorded at the keyboardist's own studio, featuring a reduced line-up with only recent The Flower Kings' bassist and Karmakanic's founder Jonas Reingold and drummer Zoltan Csorsz, who had also joined The Flower Kings around the time.

The second offering by Bodin can be split in two sides.The first half of the album is consumed in a bombastic Symphonic Rock style with full-blown synths, church organ and Hammond organ in the forefront, heavily influenced by the virtuosic side of E.L.P. and very close to the likes of Russians LITTLE TRAGEDIES.The arrangements are well-crafted with a balance between very technical acrobatics and more refined textures with a few melodies added for good measure.Among these nice keyboard exercises there are also plenty of Electronic touches with more spacey synths and a slight Neo Prog attitude in a pair of rhythmic lines.Nevertheless the long opening tracks are very good and characteristic of Bodin's talent.The second half shows a turn into more Prog/Fusion realms and, while the music remains technical and in a high level of execution, it does not sound as inspired as the first half, while at moments it even sounds a bit abstract or tasteless.The addition of electronic loops, choirs and even some Mellotron just confuses the style and the mix of Electronic Music, jazzy interludes, Classical vibes and modern technology ends up to be rather inconsistent.Even so these pieces also contain some nice moments with alternating atmospheric and grandiose themes, while a solid and powerful rhythm section is always present throughout the album.

Another strong effort by Bodin, which actually lacks coherence.The first half of the album deserves several spins and it's a great example of contemporary Symphonic Rock, the second one has its moments, maybe the diverse styles presented should have been more tightly connected.Recommended overall...3.5 stars.

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 An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life  by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.12 | 41 ratings

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An Ordinary Night In My Ordinary Life
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by fuxi
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I thoroughly enjoyed Tomas Bodin's 2002 album PINUP GURU, which included the best examples I'd heard of instrumental, keyboard-driven symphonic prog since the mid-1970s heyday of BRAIN SALAD SURGERY, THE STORY OF I and RICK WAKEMAN'S CRIMINAL RECORD. I wish I could say exactly the same about THIS album, released six years earlier, but unfortunately I cannot.

To be honest with you, AN ORDINARY NIGHT... certainly has its moments, and I think I'll be listening to the second half of the album for years to come. But throughout the first three or four tracks Bodin seems to be sleepwalking. Whenever he digs up his (fake) church organ, he merely uses it for effect; never for a special reason. Far too often he descends into B-movie soundtrack mode or cloying sentimentality. "Three Stories", the mini-epic which concludes the album, dissolves into a bolero which is obviously inspired by E.L.P.'s TRILOGY, but the bolero ends with a whimper, not with a bang... Besides - what's going on with Bodin's song titles??? "Entering the Spacebike", "Daddy in the Clouds", "In the Land of the Pumpkins" etc.: they mean precisely nothing.

It seems by the time of PINUP GURU Bodin had far more energy. His melodies became more inspired, his solos sounded much more urgent.

Nevertheless, even on AN ORDINARY NIGHT you'll find appetizing solos in the vein of Wakeman, Emerson, Moraz and Banks, accompanied with brio (sometimes in true "Classic Yes" style, as only the Flower Kings know how!) by Messrs. Stolt, Eriksson and Salazar. If you're a Flower Kings completist, you'll want this. But if you want to start with Bodin at his instrumental best, I suggest you try PINUP GURU first.

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 Sonic Boulevard  by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.51 | 54 ratings

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Sonic Boulevard
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Third solo album of Bodin issued in 2003 just a year after Pinup guru named Sonic boulevard. On this album Bodin manage to make the music not so similar anymore with his mother band TFG, here we have some symphonic jazz arrangements but melted with sax elements, it gives a nice atmosphere. Melodic album with again helping hand from 2 TFG musicians, Sonic boulevard to me is little less intristing then previous work, mainly because is to diverse and has no precise direction, still good but no fantstic moments overall. The keynords is of course good with jazz elements and symphonic touches. 3 stars, good but no near excellent.

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 Pinup Guru  by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.43 | 57 ratings

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Pinup Guru
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 for sure

Tomas Bodin needs practicaly no introduction, he is one of the most well known and respected keybordists in last 15 years and more. Everybody knowns that he is an important pawn in The Flower Kings musical machine, but also has a solo career. He is helped here by his mates from Flower Kings, Csörsz and Reingold , so I can say he keeps it in the family. The album has all kind of ingredients from symphonic prog with jazzy hints, eclectic moments, but on every piece Bodin his keybords sound great, vintage with some great moments and quite complex arrangements.Also the bass work and drum chops are excellent on some tracks like on What´s Going On?, 13 min of shiney moments and maybe the best piece of the album. So, not much to add, this Pinup guru released, I forgot to say it, in 2002, his second offer is among his best solo works and has plenty of great moments who will please a wide area of fans, from symph prog lovers to jazz fusion ones.

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 I AM by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.76 | 98 ratings

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I AM
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by voliveira

4 stars The truth will set me free...

Since I heard "A" here in PA, I tried to find this album to be able to listen to him, after all it is a solo project of Tomas Bodin, who though not my favorite keyboard (I do not like very playful in their keyboards the Flower Kings), certainly had something to offer me.

And here it is: "I AM", an ambitious project who Bodin treats the delicate subject of God (delicate for some, but not for me, who worships in spirit and in truth) through different points of view: philosophical, religious, scientific ... the letters do not matter much, as I'm more interested in music.

That in turn is exceptional. The album consists of three epic strong (we could see it as an extended version of the structure of "Close to the Edge" or "Relayer"), each named after a letter of the title (ours that he had lot of work to name the songs ...).

"I" begins with some strange sounds before the vocals enter. These grow to 2 minutes until the song explodes into a perfect jam with keyboards a la The Flower Kings (ie, a la Yes), and 4 minutes to turn the vocals. I'm not a fan of this singer, because sometimes he exaggerates the treble and the music is uncomfortable, but this is offset by large instrumental sections - although these are broken by strange places, like a strange mix of jazz and phones (?). After moving in several directions the song comes to a strange but beautiful anti-climax that builds attention to the next song.

"A" is the best song on the disc, a soft piano after a heavy guitar riff takes the song to an interesting and easy the "verse-chorus-verse-chorus," and after a section reaches a more- jazzy vocals after this part, there is a very instrumental part dragged, which will accumulate until you reach what I call "the peak of the album", the singer has a conversation with God, and it is simply stunning. Then a pianette repeating the main theme of "The Truth Will Set You Free" from TFK (this phrase is also sung here, but slightly modified), reaching the best part: a guitar solo with an excellent touch of blues, just the way I like it. The music grows until reaching its first climax, and soon after the battery leads to another instrumental jam that ends in a climax even more powerful. The last two minutes are filled with sounds of female voices making requests, while providing a guitar and bass support.

"M" is the weakest song, their first 4 minutes are somewhat forgettable, but then she gets a very heavy section that takes a long time. Unfortunately the music can not keep, but to 11 inutes she calms down and starts a building to a climax that, I thought it would be monstrous. But when the song seems to be dragging its climax and ends brutally open even more brutally. Pfffff ... I smell the air of disappointment.

In the end, this is a good album, although I expected more. 4 stars

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 You Are (as Eggs & Dogs) by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 53 ratings

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You Are (as Eggs & Dogs)
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by sussexbowler

3 stars Not so much a Prog album, more an easy listening experience with Prog elements. I liken it to a more eccentric form of 10cc, and having recently enjoyed 'Dr. Faith', by Christopher Cross, it fulfils the same role in many ways.

Ironically, when it 'goes' Prog, it's so noticeable (and pleasant, of course) and reaffirms why I like the flavour of Prog.

In addition to sharing similarities to 10cc, I found track 5 to be like Elvis Costello (not so good then), and the 21 minute last track to betray bits of Flower King music (not surprisingly), but ultimately end up with an Rogers Waters' 'Amused to death' ending! Yes, it's a mongrel this one!

I'm happiest when the keyboards come to the fore, but that's not the point of this album/project, is it? So, mainstream 70's/80's Pop/Rock, though sadly nothing too serious. Excellent production and performances throughout however.

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 You Are (as Eggs & Dogs) by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 53 ratings

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You Are (as Eggs & Dogs)
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by GermanZERO

5 stars Wow this album is just fabulous from the first listen, this album should be in the top 10 best albums of 2009 and should be heard by all, this album unlike of I AM that was more oriented to the Hard Rock Progressive is an album more in the vein of bands like ELO, Yes, Alan Parsons Project, The Beatles and a great sound of modern progressive rock, You Are musically and vocally is a jewel, this great keyboard player makes of this album a masterpiece, a highly recommended album, my rating is 5.0 of 5.0 stars.

I using a translator of Spanish to English in my reviews.

All The Best.

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 You Are (as Eggs & Dogs) by BODIN, TOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 53 ratings

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You Are (as Eggs & Dogs)
Tomas Bodin Symphonic Prog

Review by Nathaniel607

4 stars What a great album! From Tomas Bodin of The Flower Kings comes this brilliant, unique release!

Throughout this CD, there is a very consistent flow of keyboard and guitar driven tracks. Each is unique in it's own way, but each one obviously belongs on the same CD. Although composed by a keyboardist, this album has MANY fantastic guitar solos! It has very catchy melodies and amazing instrumentation which is sometimes huge and multi-layered and sometimes as simple as an acoustic guitar with vocals.

A couple of standout points include the opening, with the amazing guitar and vocal noises. It's very beautiful. My favourite part of this album is easily in "Dad is Coming Home". The song just breaks off from it's moody, piano driven self about half-way through and then there's this absolutely astounding barbershop quartet part. I won't spoil it any further, but it's just amazing!

There are great musicians on this album. I love Michael Stolt's beautifully unique voice! All the guitarist involved in this album are also great. The drumming and bass-playing is also very solid!

There are some bad points on the album, which is why I do not feel like I can give the 5 stars of "masterpiece". The final song, "Silicone Bimbo Run" goes on for too long and isn't that interesting untill the second half in my opinion. I also don't feel that "American Standards" and "Private Skies" are as great as the rest of the album. They're still fantastic songs, but feel a tad lacking compared to the four at the start of the album.

In conclusion, this is a fantastic, accesible and incredibly solid release! I recommend it to any fan of Symphonic Prog. It's brilliant.

***** songs; "You Are", "Poor Lucille", "Food" and "Dad is Coming Home"

**** songs; "Private Skies", "American Standards"

*** songs; "Silicone Bimbo Run"

Final Rating - 4.2, highly reccomended! Very engaging but with some slight flaws.

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