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Bo Hansson - Sagan Om Ringen [Aka: Music Inspired By Lord Of The Rings] CD (album) cover


Bo Hansson


Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 145 ratings

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3 stars Bo Hansson is a talented chap, indeed a one-man show. He creates evocative psychedelic instrumentals, with a strong organ presence and Santana-influenced guitar work. I'll admit though that I had hoped for something closer to English progressive folk to evoke the images of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth than this recording (originally cut as Sagan Om Ringen in 1971, but released for the English-speaking market in 1972). In fact, for all his musical worthiness, this record proved to be a rather substantial let-down when I finally got around to hearing it.

The problem is certainly not the flow of the record. For that works well enough, even if doesn't always sound appropriate to the themes that he's chosen (The Santana 101 latin rhythms that accompany The Black Riders & The Flight To The Ford just seem wrong). I like the sparse Leaving Shire, the rushed, chaotic feel of The Old Forest & Tom Bombadil, the haunting vibe of both At The House Of Elrond & The Ring Goes South and The Grey Havens and particularly enjoy the fast-paced Shadowfax which is excellent, but way too short. I also like The Horns Of Rohan & The Battle Of The Pelennor Fields, although even here the Santana-influenced bass and rhythms impose themselves. And the bonues track Sketches From Middle Earth reprises some of the themes in a more convincing manner, with lovely warm colors.

What's wrong is that while I enjoy this album as a psychedelic instrumental work (I recommend listening to this one in the dark in fact), it fails on two counts. Firstly in terms of matching my own perceptions of what Middle Earth would sound like, and secondly, and more importantly, on being creative enough. On the pastoral sections Hansson frequently sounds like a stoner version of Mike Oldfield, and like Oldfield, he can sometimes fall into the trap of being too repetitive. In fact, for all the progressive trappings of the concept, I'd recommend this album only for psychedelic rock fans.

I've heard that his follow-up albums Magician's Hat and Attic Thoughts are superior, but it will take me a while to recover from the fact that this album wasn't a classic. I was so ready to fall in love with it. ... 54% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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