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Roine Stolt - Fantasia CD (album) cover

FANTASIA

Roine Stolt

 

Symphonic Prog

2.20 | 28 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
2 stars A very difficult album to understand. Fantasia is supposed to be Roine Stolt´s group after he left Kaipa in the late 70´s. Now their first album bears his name. A ruse to fool record buyers after the amazing success he had with his band The Flower Kings and his other several side projects (Transatlantic, The Tangent, Agents of Mercy, etc)? Probably. Anyway, after getting two magnificent 90´s solo albums (The Flower King and Hydrophonia, both 5 star affairs) I had to listen to his previous cathalog to see what he has done before. Of course I was not expecting much, and I had been warned. This album has very little to do with his terrific works he released since The Flower King (1994).

In fact, this CD sounds nothing like has done after AND before that year, so forget any Kaipa (musical) connections here even if Kaipa members Mats Lindberg (bass) and Mats Löfgren (vocals) are featured on Fantasia. The album totally lacks focus or direction, going from one style to the other like it was a different band on each track. And the songwriting is far from perfect too, unfortunatly. So we have disco/pop, straight folk, jazz rock/fusion, lounge, some Genesis influenced prog parts and even ambient tunes. All done separatly. And even if there are some very fine guitar solos from time to time, most of the stuff is not strong enough to call a highlight. Most of the material has nothing to do with anything we are accostumed to hear from mr Stotl, save a few instrumental parts. All vocals are sung in swedishm but Stolt rarely sings a note here. The vocal tracks are not the best either.

Conclusion: this CD is more a curio than anything else. Clearly Roine Stolt was already an excellent guitarrist, but he needed time to mature his songwriting skills and find his own way. Fantasia is for the hardcore fan who wants to know his first attempts to find his musical path after he left Kaipa. The disco connection on a few tracks will shock some, but on the other hand there are a few hints of the sound he would go to develop in the 90´s, both solo and with his main group.

Definitly for collectors and completionists.

Tarcisio Moura | 2/5 |

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