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Bo Hansson - Mellanväsen [Aka: Attic Thoughts] CD (album) cover

MELLANVÄSEN [AKA: ATTIC THOUGHTS]

Bo Hansson

 

Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 72 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Attic Thoughts" is a much more band-oriented sound than the world discovered on his fantastic "Lord of the Rings" debut. While Hansson still tackles all keyboards and some guitar and bass, he is well backed by seven musicians including the talented guitarist Kenny Hakansson who is known from Kebnekajse. Besides the usual instruments and variety of keys employed before some violin is added to the mix here.

I actually don't care for the way Attic Thoughts opens as if it's a song in progress at mid gallup, but then the first guitar lead breaks in about 90 seconds later and all if forgiven. The pace remains fairly slow with keys and guitar playing in front of a bells-like percussion. Some piano also is sprinkled in like rain and the piece becomes quite peaceful and melodic. After the opening title track, "Time and Space" is a brief mixture of synth effects and very quiet acoustic guitar serving as a nice intro to "Waiting." Here delicate, melancholic guitar and synth hover above dreamy mellotron, as a strong bass and drumming back it up. Hakansson gets a co-writing credit on this long track, the only one not by Hansson alone. It moves along at a consistent pace pitting Hansson's keys against Hakansson's lead guitar creating some good fantasy imagery, a very strong track. "Waltz for Interbeings" is a funny title for an unusual track starting out funky, before going waltz, then hyper-jazzy, finally settling into more Hansson keyboard over conga groove. It's an odd song but satisfying at the same time. "Time for Great Achievements" begins with majestic drum rolls and keyboards/guitar notes packed with a forceful pride and insistence. This is one of the more outwardly rocking tracks here packing some real punch initially before leaving room for Bo's forays into the quiet and spacey. After the center section it picks up again. Another quirky short transition piece is "The Hybrills." Soft string keys opens another warm piece titled "Rabbit Music." Playful and varied is the composition here with all manner of moody keyboards. An odd percussion in the quieter parts, soft and bubbly, gives much of this a different feel. "Day and Night" gets edgy and frenetic at first, building up tense keyboards to a persistent guitar loop. It eventually breaks into the calm again with Hansson playing soft, dreamy notes over acoustic guitar, his depiction of night. "A Happy Prank" closes the album as it began, a bold group effort with the band way up front kicking it out. Some really cool warbled guitar effects and acoustic guitar rhythm add to the sound.

While LotR came early and stood up to music being made anywhere else, proving bold and visionary to other artists, by the mid 70s (recorded 74-75) when Attic Thoughts surfaced others had already explored more interesting territory and done it better frankly. While still a good album that is a must for Hansson and Scandy prog fans it is not as essential as his debut work which should be the more coveted title. If you're new to Hansson, definitely start at the beginning. Attic Thoughts is a fuller, more rounded band sound as many will point out but that doesn't mean it is more important or better material than the amazing debut. But he is a unique sounding artist with interesting material that should be heard by '70s prog fans.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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