ModeMusic [Release date: 23.09.13]
And the prog from Scandinavia just keeps on coming…
Following in the considerable footsteps of Nordic brothers such as Airbag, Katatonia, The Flower Kings et al comes Jonas Lindberg with his second foray into the studio ‘The Other Side’.
Hailing from Stockholm, Jonas plays bass, guitar and keyboards and describes this as a prog/AOR project citing influences as diverse as Genesis, Sting (!) and Toto.
With just five tracks and clocking in at a mere 30 minutes, I suppose this falls into ‘EP’ territory but I reckon most listeners would agree that 30 minutes is probably enough.
Not that it’s bad, far from it, it rolls along at a very pleasant rate and does hit the odd high spot, but the overarching feeling about it is that it’s all a bit too ‘safe’.
Lindberg has assembled a fine band of musicians and their abilities are never in doubt – but they only do what they’re asked to do and this leads to a certain blandness throughout.
To these ears it is most reminiscent of Yes’s foray into commerciality with ‘90125’ with Trevor Horn in the producer’s chair – again, nothing wrong with it, but just didn’t take the risks their previous work had.
And I suppose that’s the rub really; in order for progressive rock to, er, progress, there has to be that certain something, that spark of creativity that makes you sit up and listen.
However, bearing in mind that this is only Lindberg’s second waxing, it must be pointed out that this is well worth a listen.
There are some very pleasant passages and if the quality of the eight minute closer ‘Line No.18’ with its splendiferous guitar work is carried forward to future work, who knows?
In short, agreeable, commercial progressive rock that just lacks that cutting edge.
Review by Alan Jones
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