Dragonfly — Dragonfly
(Musea FGBG 4148.AR, 1981/1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-11-01
Not to be confused with the American early-70s band of the same name, this is the long awaited reissue of the Swiss keyboard masterpiece, with a full 23 minutes of superb bonus material added. Dragonfly were a five-piece of guitar, bass, drums, keys, and dedicated lead singer. Despite the prominence of Markus Husi's pianos, Hammonds, and synths, this is still very much a group effort, with each player pulling their share. The band seems comfortable in a number of different settings, from harder rock to soft ballads to the lengthy multi-part opus. Vocalist René Bühler sings in English throughout (save the two instrumentals), and – despite the track record of most Swiss bands – his vocals are fairly decent, especially on the harder rocking tracks. The accent is clear, but the pronunciation and lyrics (provided by a lyricist outside the band) are fine, certainly as good or better than Grobschnitt, Anyone's Daughter, Machiavel, and any number of others. The album kicks of with a fairly accessible rocker "Behind the Spider's Web," which could easily be compared to some of Tull's War Child era, sans flute. Going even further, the original side-one closer "Willing and Ready to Face It All" is an out-and-out balls-to-the-wall hard rocker, although the spastic vocals in the midsection slow it down a bit. Nice synth solo, Markus! Second track, "Shellycoat," is a seven minute instrumental full of bright and colorful synth work and tight playing by all, recalling PFM's "Celebration." Following that is "You Know My Ways," a sappy love ballad with nice piano backing, certainly no worse than some of Greg Lake's crooning on his side of Works. "Dragonfly" is a sidelong opus of many parts and changes, mostly in a quieter more expressive style, the predominant instrument being Husi's Steinway grand piano. If you liked ELP's "Take a Pebble," then you must have this! The two bonus tracks are good enough to match the rest of the material (and even follow the title track without being a letdown). "Humdinger" is a spunky seven minute instrumental, and "The Riddle Princess" is another beautiful sidelong multi-part opus recorded two years before the rest of the album. In all, a worthwhile reissue that many are sure to enjoy.
Related artist(s): Dragonfly
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more