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Anja Garbarek

Crossover Prog

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Anja Garbarek Balloon Mood album cover
3.04 | 5 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beyond My Control (5:19)
2. I.C.U. (5:06)
3. Just One Of Those Days (4:24)
4. Picking Up Pieces (5:15)
5. The Cabinet (4:37)
6. Something Written (5:33)
7. Strange Noises (4:30)
8. The Telescope Man Says (6:15)
9. She Collects (Stuff Like That) (4:09)
10. Balloon Mood (3:24)

Total Time 48:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Anja Garbarek / vocals, keyboards, composer, co-producer

- Marius de Vries / keyboards, programming, vocals, composer (2,4), co-producer
- Steve Bush / programming
- Gavyn Wright / violin & string section leader (2,3,5,10)
- Boguslaw Kostecki / violin (2,3,5,10)
- Perry Montague-Mason / violin (2,3,5,10)
- Wilf Gibson / violin (2,3,5,10)
- Peter Lale / viola (2,3,5,10)
- BIll Hawkes / viola (2,3,5,10)
- Anthony Pleeth / cello (1-3,5,10)
- Martin Loveday / cello (2,3,5,10)
- Steve "Sputnick" Sidelnyk / percussion (1), programming (5,9)
- Frank Ricotti / marimba (1)
- Andrew Findon / flute (8)
- Christopher Baron / backing vocals (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Alexei Tylevich

CD RCA ‎- 74321 37443 2 (1996, Norway)

LP Tonefloat ‎- tf142 (2015, Netherlands) New cover art

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ANJA GARBAREK Balloon Mood ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (80%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ANJA GARBAREK Balloon Mood reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Soft artsy jazz. There aren't much similarities between Anja and her father, the Saxophonist Jan Garbarek. She has a good high-pitched voice, not too strong but very well fitting with her songs.

"Beyond My Control" is the kind of song that could be sung by Sade or better, by Rebecka Tornqvist but the arrangement is more jazz. This is the easiest track of the album.

"I.C.U." is opened by sounds that can remind to India but it's just for a while. It soon turns into a song with an unusual instrumental arrangement. The contrast is between the warmth given by voice and minor chords and the coldness of the electronic sounds.

"Just One Of These Days" is another song based on contrasts: here Anja's voice whispers on a very soft melody, but the rhithmic section based on marimba plus the flute add an oriental background.

"Picking Up Pieces" is made of electronic sounds on a disco tempo with overdubbed vocals. The effect on the voice reminds me of Laurie Anderson.

"The Cabinet" is hard to describe. The base is electronic and the voice is whispered until the chorus when Anja uses her most warm tones and the melody is properly jazz. Between Bjork and Rebecka Tornqvist, two nordic girls like her.

After about one minute of radio noises and whispered words "Something Written" starts and becomes one of the most jazz moments of the album. Not much easy also this.

"Strange Noises" is in line with its title, but the noises are rhythmic. Anja speaks over them for one minute then the song becomes heavy to return to the initial low noise. Does anybody remember the Witch on Gong's Angel's Egg?

Some piano now. It's one of the rare times when an instrumet sounds familiar, even if the notes are discordant, then slow drumming and electronic noises start the song. Not very different from the previous one but with some more melody ere and there, lead mainly by flute and voice.

"She Collects (Stuff Like That)" is less serious and the weird sounds make me think to Carla Bley. There's also a bit of swing in the way Anja sings and later in the brasses, but they are just moments of something more complex.

Finally the title track. It takes some time to start. Anja sings very sweetly on a keyboard(violins) base. This is jazz. At least for a couple of minutes. The rest is spacey electronic.

It's not an easy album. Highly experimental, I think it's bread for fans of Laurie Anderson or Carla Bley, so even if I think that it's a very good album, I don't rate it 4 stars because of the word ANY. You need to like this genre to appreciate the album.

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