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Moon Safari - Lover's End CD (album) cover


Moon Safari


Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 460 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Moon Safari's late 2010 release Lover's End will always hold a special place in my heart. It came to me at a very emotional time in my life, and helped me through when I needed it most. The music here is absolutely wonderful, but I think my personal ties to it create a bias, and it won't resonate as much with most listeners. Regardless of how much this album will hit you, it's melodies and harmonies are great, and are definitely worth listening to.

Lover's End is a concept album that loosely follows the stages that an unnamed character goes through after a breakup. This album came out as my first relationship, one that lasted over two years, was coming to an end. As soon as the first song started, I felt instantly at home. Every single line was something that had crossed my mind dozens of times. Even though listening to Lover's End made me sadder, I couldn't stop listening. It was so nice to have something that let me know I wasn't the only one feeling like I was. The album in its entirety perfectly captures the essence of the end of love, in a way that I don't think any other piece of media can come close to. Like myself currently, the end of the album ends with our character being almost as bad as when he started, but at least looking up.

Lover's End is at its best when one or more of the Swedish men are singing. Each of the band members has a wonderful voice, and there is a nice range between all of them. The melodies found here are very lyrical, catchy, and emotional, and can bring you to both extreme highs and lows. It's rare to find just one of the members singing, and it's clear that crafting vocal harmonies is Moon Safari's specialty. They are in full effect here, and are a joy to listen to, whether they're singing in unison, or creating a more polyphonic texture with their voices. The lyrics themselves are very good, with lines in the opener like "No she couldn't change my world" being flipped to "Only you could change my world" in the following, just as the character is flip flopping between his emotions. Each line reveals a little more of the emotions the character is going through, and are incredibly believable. While the lyrics are usually sung in an upbeat manner, if you really sit down and listen they can sure get to you.

While the lyrics of Lover's End are very sad, the music works counteractive to them, as this is one of the happiest sounding albums you could come across. Since briefly listening to the band's previous album, Blomljud, the music sounds characteristically like Moon Safari. The sound can be described as very bright and consonant, with a lot of piano and Moog led passages that really hit the spot. The breaks between vocal passages usually see instruments sticking to repeating and varying the vocal melodies, but there are a few longer instrumental sections where the band explores more adventurous material. Specifically, those found in A Kid Called Panic, and Crossed the Rubicon, the album's two longest songs, are excellent, and make you wish there were more of them.

Although the music is led by vocal passages and single part melodies, the music is complex enough that it doesn't get boring on repeated listens. Every time that I think I've had enough of it (over 20 times through), I'll give it another try, and it grabs me and pulls me in just as much as my first listen. There's some neat stuff going on in the bass section, and the vocal harmonies themselves can get pretty complex that it'll take a few listens to figure out. Also, the album's length is a very succinct 50 minutes, which leaves you wanting more as soon as it ends.

There's not a lot of bad to be said about Lover's End. More instrumental passages where the music breaks off from the melody would be welcome, but I think that it's a perfect balance as it is. The one thing to be said for people who know they don't like Moon Safari, is that this album will definitely not change your mind on them. Although, it is notable to say that in a genre filled with a myriad of bleak and depressing music, Moon Safari is one of the few bands you can confidently say produce happy prog music.

Lover's End is without a doubt my favorite album of 2010, and even though I'm getting more releases by the week, I don't think anything can top it. That being said, I really don't think this album will effect anyone like it's effected me unless they're in a similar relation to my own. Regardless of how recent your last breakup was, or even if you've never been through an emotional breakup, Lover's End is a great album, and is worth a shot no matter who you are.

m2thek | 4/5 |


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