Beardfish — Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two
(Inside Out Music SPV 80001246, 2008, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01Beardfish’s rise to prominence is due to hard work and good music, as long as your tastes run toward the sort of modern prog that pays homage to classic 70s bands. Main man Rikard Sjöblom is one of today’s finest singers, sounding a lot like Gary Brooker. Besides lead vocals, he plays both guitar and keyboards with David Zackrisson (guitar), Robert Hansen (bass) and Magnus Östgren (drums) filling out the lineup. As the title implies, this is the second part of magnum opus that uses a single day in the life of an unnamed protagonist to explore myriad topics. The concept is a bit of a contrivance and the whole thing lacks the clarity of similar musical excursions such as The Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed. That’s not to say the songs are bad. On the contrary, this is one of the best progressive rock efforts of the year and the album brims with great playing, catchy writing, clever arrangements, plus a healthy dose of something lacking from prog these days: a sense of humor. For example, the “South of the Border”/”Cashflow” sequence takes the listener through wacky Frank Zappa-inspired storytelling and Dave Stewart’s brand of eccentric Canterbury prog (think “Apocalypso”). The title epic piece is also similar to Ritual’s “Seasong for a Moominpapa” – just three times longer. The entire album is a winner, especially if you enjoy the style of vintage 70s rock and prog in the vein of Procol Harum, or more modern groups like Echolyn. Recommended.
Related artist(s): Beardfish
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more