Tomas Bodin — I Am
(Inside Out Music IOMCD 209, 2005, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01
For his fourth solo effort, Flower Kings keyboard player Tomas Bodin takes a more autobiographical approach, using theatrically conceptual albums like Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Pain of Salvation’s Be as his blueprint. I A M is divided into three sections, each roughly 20 minutes long and subdivided into many tracks that more or less blend together to make for quite a hefty hunk of music. Bodin has enlisted the aid of fellow FK members Marcus Liliequist and Jonas Reingold for his rhythm section, though for guitar and vocals he’s gone to two members of the Glenn Hughes band, Jocke Marsh (guitars) and Anders Jansson (vocals). Both are key to this effort since 80% of it involves vocals and besides Bodin’s own keyboards the electric guitar is the other featured instrument in the arrangements. If anything, Bodin’s contributions, while important, are less impressive than Jansson’s and Marsh’s. His role here is mainly as composer, arranger, and ringleader and in that regard he’s succeeded. The album shares Be’s weaknesses in that the requirements of continually moving the storyline forward makes for a disjointed collection of ideas and no strong overarching themes or melodic ideas. Nothing really sticks and the end result is impressive, though overly busy and scattered. The album actually works best when it shifts into a harder rock groove, which is Jansson and Marsh’s bread and butter. In these moments the story takes a back seat and the album really cooks. If only these moments lasted longer.
Related artist(s): Tomas Bodin
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more