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Roine Stolt - Hydrophonia CD (album) cover


Roine Stolt


Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 158 ratings

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5 stars This is a remarkable solo album. Like The Flower King, this album obviously sounds much like the Flower Kings, as they are mainly based on Stolt's songwriting. Let me rephrase that - This album sounds like the essence of the Flower Kings. It's so full of beautiful melodies, interesting and sometimes funky rhythms, and very dynamic. Every theme is fully developed and explored here, a quality that many similar albums lack.

Cosmic Lodge: Great track. It kicks off with an epic intro, followed by a short saxophone solo, which soon makes way for Stolt's guitar. The song is based on a funky rhythm of drums and bass, upon which many different and ever changing themes are introduced.

Shipbuilding: A wonderful track, which was also used on the Flower Kings DVD (Meet The Flower Kings) as background music of the tour documentary. It's such a beautiful melody, played by Stolts guitar and a flute.

Little Cottage by the Sea: This was also used on the DVD, and it's a wonderful laid back song that really sounds like the title suggests - listening to it, you literaly see fisher boats, people going about their business in that little cottage.

Wreck of HMS Nemesis: Beautiful baroque-ish melody here in the intro. This is my favorite track on the album, it's an epic, although a short one.

Bizarre Seahorse Sex Attack: This track start's with a beautiful Xylophone riff, and even the melody is underlined with an unisono playing xylophone, much like Zappa used xylophones. It then is varied a bit, using Clavinets and other similar instruments. The melody itself also reminds of Zappa, until about halfway of the song when the drums kick in, when it begins to sound more like a FK song. But then again, the following guitar solo again reminds of Zappa.

Oceanna Baby Dolphin: Beautiful guitar solo in the intro, where Stolt uses the volume knob of the guitar to create a steel guitar sound with his normal guitar. Like Shipbuilding, this is simply a beautiful track.

Nuclear Nemo: This is one of the few tracks that aren't entirely happy and peaceful, it's really dark and brooding at times. Wonderful Bass/Guitar unisono riffs, and some parts even remind of King Crimson. Van der Graaf Generator's "Killer" also comes to my mind here.

Hydrophonia: Wonderful track, but not as colorful as the others.

Lobsterland Groove: This is a track that you could dance to. It starts with the bass drum playing straight 4ths, and no snare. The bass plays a funky line, and Porcupine Tree comes to my mind - except that the melodies and rhythm instruments are more like Zappa-influenced Jazz-Fusion. And indeed, the songs features a lengthy saxophone improvisation.

Seafood Kitchen Thing: Finally, we get a real up-tempo track. Many themes of the previous songs are picked up here in form of multi-voice guitar solos. About half way through the song, there is a nice Zappa quote ... I leave it to you to find it. And later, a guitar solo that sounds like a mixture of Zappa and Vai. This is really a great way to finish a remarkable album.

MikeEnRegalia | 5/5 |


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