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Dynamo Bliss - Poplar Music CD (album) cover

POPLAR MUSIC

Dynamo Bliss

 

Crossover Prog

3.38 | 12 ratings

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Windhawk
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Swedish band DYNAMO BLISS was formed in 2005, and after honing their craft for some time released their debut album "21st Century Junk" in 2010, with the EP "Circadian Rhythm" following shortly after in 2011. Two years later and Dynamo Bliss returns as recording artists, releasing two full length albums just a few months apart. "Poplar Music" is the first of these.

After listening through this album, I feel like I've just attended a quiz show on TV. One where I've missed half the vital questions, and witnessing the entire audience facepalming me why doing so. Or to put it this way: All the songs on this disc has an agonizingly familiar sound to them, containing recurring brief details I'm pretty sure are well thought out homages to specific artists and even songs, but in half of the cases I really can't pinpoint neither in a general nor specific direction.

Following a brief introduction the first song Can You Hear The Sound kicks off the proceedings proper, in an enticing manner that to my ears have quite a lot of The Beatles about it. A simple but effective pop tune with flute and symphonic details adding some nice details. The following three compositions, two uptempo affairs with a piano based ballad in the middle, all strikes me as fairly close in sound to what Electric Light Orchestra explored back in the day. Some lap steel and banjo sounding details aside, my experience of this trio of songs is that they transport you from The Beatlesesque to the more firmly developed sound of ELO that concludes with Blue Halos.

The remaining material leaves me in the clueless department as far as specific associations go however, although I suspect that both 10CC and perhaps even Beach Boys, both of them stated influential artists by Dynamo Bliss, are likely culprits. Gentler, more pop oriented affairs all of them, with smoother harmonies, hand-claps and a distinct mood of summer about them. The piano and keyboard motifs have a nifty gently hammering quality to them that is the most agonizing of the details I can't really place, although at some point I thought I heard something that reminded me of good, old Alan Parsons. Most likely an accidental or faulty observation I guess, much the same about the verse part of final piece In the Country that made me think about good, old Ozzy and his power ballad You're No Different. This latter association limited to the verse part only mind you, as In the Country has a chorus far removed from just about anything Ozzy has ever made with it's banjo-driven escapades and later on the concluding instrumental section also features a lap steel solo supported by the aforementioned banjo.

I'll also skip back a bit to Running Out of Mind, as the subtle psychedelic details on that composition as well as the somewhat jazz-oriented piano solo on this piece does set it somewhat apart from the other tracks at hand.

If you enjoy sophisticated pop music of the kind and variety I tend to describe as art pop myself, and in particular if you're fond of the 1970's variety of it, Dynamo Bliss is a band and "Poplar Music" an album that merits a check. From the bands own description I'd guess that those with an affection for the likes of ELO and 10CC both should be something of a key audience.

Windhawk | 4/5 |

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