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Tomas Bodin - Pinup Guru CD (album) cover


Tomas Bodin


Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 81 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars 2.7 Stars.

A neat album if you can find it cheap and you already have Tomas' better albums (Sonic Boulevard, I AM, hopefully YOU ARE). Pinup Guru is a different album, it does not even have a guitar player, is instrumental, and focuses on a bass-drum-keys just like Emerson Lake and Palmer. Actually, the first song sounds like a perfect tribute to that band, with the glorious bombast of their Pictures of Exhibition cover. What is striking is that "Sodium Regale" is not only an outstanding classical music composition, but Tomas Bodin's use of church organ and synthesizer sound selection improves on Emerson, partly thanks to the modern technology. "What's Going On" continues the ELP vein with the up tempo and desperate Hammond organ work, though it later transforms into music more reminiscent of the Flower Kings.

After this song, the ELP music style is abandoned. "Me and Liz" is a mellow symphonic composition with many familiar keyboard sounds that he uses in his band and the bass player (Reingold) is instantly recognizable in parts when he is put loud in the mix. "Blood" is a mysterious sounding tune that as reviewer Didly stated, wouldn't sound out of place in a horror or suspense movie. It has a great atmosphere. "The Last Eagle" is an uptempo tune with emphasis on the rhythm. Zoltan shines here. Unfortunately, the last two minutes are horrible filler. the closer "The Final Swig" is a more melodic affair that sums up the album.

Yes, I skipped tracks 4,5,6 and 8. These are the main weakness of this album. Frankly, I think they are a complete waste of time and should have been left as bonus track. They completely ruin the coherence of the album. "Harlem Heat" lacks a lot of texture and harmony, but the couple of minutes are brilliant and unexpected, sort of like restrained gospel. "My Beautiful Neighbor" and "The Ballerina" are throwaway piano noodling tracks, and "New in the Hood" does not take itself seriously and while it has good musicianship, it sounds completely goofy and cringe worthy. Another problem I have with this album is that some of the tracks have terrible beginnings, though they last only a few seconds.

I would recommend this album only if you are a fan of Tomas Bodin or The Flower Kings, and only if you already have "Sonic Boulevard" and "I AM". This album is solid, but nothing spectacular.

Zitro | 3/5 |


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