Exposé Online banner

Landberk — One Man Tell's Another
(Megarock MRRCD 007, 1994, CD)

by Rob Walker, 1994-08-01:

One Man Tell's Another Cover art From the opening moments of this CD, it is obvious that this Swedish band has greatly matured. The follow-up to 1992's well received but unspectacular debut Lonely Land, One Man Tell's Another features solid musicianship, diverse writing, strong production, and most of all an original sound which doesn't reflect the usual progressive influences. The five band members spread the writing duties around, and while the (English) lyrics, full of personal melancholy and angst, are rather thematically similar throughout, the music benefits greatly, covering a variety of styles over the seven songs. There is no outstanding musical virtuosity or complexity, but with some novel sounds and fresh chord progressions, the album moves beyond the more typical symphonic prog of their first album into areas that are more difficult to define. It is hard to point to any specific group or album that seems to be a predecessor to One Man Tell's Another; perhaps the latest Sylvian/Fripp album or even Talk Talk may exhibit similarities in mood and style, but that does not adequately describe this music. For much of the CD, the rhythm section is used to set up a strong foundation — I hesitate to use the word "groove" — that is developed and accented by the excellent use of dynamics and instrumentation, as well as the wonderful production. Some of the most tasteful use of the Mellotron in recent years can be found here. The modern sound of the album is an odd context for this well-traveled instrument, but it works extremely well and helps to create a unique atmosphere. Of all the band members, guitarist Reine Fiske is featured most prominently, but this remains very much a group effort. The lyrics, music and other elements are all brought together in each song into a strong, cohesive whole that is very engaging. One Man Tell's Another at times seems to fall into the nebulous area between prog and progressive pop; the sort of album that might perhaps bridge the gap to a larger audience for progressive music in general. Even if not, it still stands as a solid and original contribution to the 90s prog scene. I am not usually one to fall for this type of music, but I found Landberk's latest release to be impressive and thoroughly enjoyable.

by Dan Casey, 1994-08-01:

Landberk are one-third of the new wave of prog-rock from Sweden, along with countrymen Änglagård and Anekdoten. As with the other two bands, the sound here is based mostly upon organic, 70s-style instruments (like Hammond organs, Mellotrons, Rickenbacker bass, etc.) but with a 90s edge in the writing and production. One Man Tell's Another is Landberk's second offering and those who enjoyed their first one (Lonely Land) are sure to enjoy this one as well. The band is a five-piece, with a dedicated lead vocalist. But for a frontman who doesn't carry any other weight in the band, Patric Helje's voice is pretty thin and lacking confidence and strength. Furthermore, the lyrics (in English) suffer from the same overblown gothic imagery that Anekdoten's did (ex. "I am lonely/Wonder how you feel/Sit in darkness/Naked in my room"). While Landberk sound very much like Anekdoten overall, they approach the music with significantly less enthusiasm and energy, the result being like a subdued boil rather than the explosiveness the writing begs for. Since they also take a much simpler approach in songwriting, perhaps this suggests Landberk are already pushing their limits as an ensemble. There certainly are some fine moments on this album, but not enough to seriously compete with Änglagård or Anekdoten in this arena.

by Mike Borella, 1994-08-01:

My first reaction to hearing this, the latest release from yet another of Sweden's newer bands, was, "What?" The opening chords sound all too similar to half a dozen or so U2 songs. However, this moment is soon over, and while Landberk has taken a slightly different approach here than on their debut, they haven't sold out or commercialized. Landberk has never been a band to impress one with complexity, rather they take a more atmospheric approach. The use of analog instruments and soft, yet ominous, interludes, reminds me of the slower moments of early Black Sabbath, with a touch of Crimson thrown in. While the guitarist has a style that mixes heavy riffing and discordant melodies, the rest of the band does little more than follow along. Throughout most of the album the drummer plods along, though he does lay down some interesting beats on a few of the tracks. The bass and keyboards add to the atmosphere, but contribute little else. Vocals are entirely in English this time, and the vocalist's style is very hit or miss. While some may like his strained singing, I find it rather distracting. Landberk's emphasis seems to be on vocally-oriented music, with predictable rhythms and structures. This isn't a bad release, though I find that little of it moves me. Outside of the guitarist's interesting textures and the brooding intensity, this album leaves me wanting. Recommended to those who enjoyed Landberk's debut.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 4 , 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Landberk, Reine Fiske

More info

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
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

2020-06-14
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

2020-05-15
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


Previously in Exposé...

Univers Zéro - Clivages – The word "darkness" is often prominently mentioned in descriptions of the music of Univers Zéro, and there are certainly aspects of this newest release that fit that mold. However,...  (2011) » Read more

Mike Oldfield - The Songs of Distant Earth & Hibernaculum – Here is the latest release from Mike Oldfield and what an innovation it is! The Songs of Distant Earth is the first CD I've encountered that marries CD-ROM with audio CD. In addition Mike Oldfield...  (1995) » Read more

The Reptile Palace Orchestra - Iguana Iguana – With the same globe-hopping disregard for genre exhibited by labelmates Boiled in Lead, Reptile Palace Orchestra present a collection of Eastern European dances, twisted folk tales, Colombian fishing...  (1999) » Read more

D.F.A. - Lavori in Corso – Rarely has a new Italian progressive created an album of this caliber; DFA have really put a lot of work into making an album of incredible complexity and depth for their premier run. This is Italian...  (1997) » Read more

Ten Jinn - Wildman – Judging from the information on their web page, Southern California-based Ten Jinn has been through several changes in the last few years. Happy the Man fans might recall that former HtM guitarist...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues