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Old 02-05-2009, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Karmakanic - Who's the Boss in the Factory? Review

Who is the Boss in the Factory? Well it might just well be Jonas Reingold!

This is a magnificent album, which I think rises at least to the level of his band, the Flower Kings. After listening to his interview on Dividing Line, I think this band is going to be a solid solo venture for Jonas, when the Kings are not touring or in the studio. With Ronnie Stolt and Thomas Bodin, playing on this one it almost feels like a Flower Kings side project.

He opens this album, (they have two before this), with a 19:29 minute epic, Send a Message from the Heart! Wonderful lyrics supported by awesome musicianship! “Sometimes we’re blind and cannot see how beautiful the world could be!” This coming from a man who has faced some terrible family tragedies in his life recently. Makes us all think about how important it is to appreciate what we do have, now, in the present. This is one of the best epics I have heard recently. “Time for contemplation, take it from the start…message from the heart.”

Let in Hollywood – How do you follow up such a strong beginning? A good pop single. Yes, this is very good and has been getting allot of play everywhere. “I can’t hear a single, this song’s in 7/8”, reminded me of Paul McCartney’s That Was Me. Good guitar, funky keys, and a great beat. Perfect for radio play! Sounds like they had allot of fun with this one. You can tell when a band’s having fun with a song, it’s contagious!

Whos’ the Boss in the Factory? Title songs should always be epic, IMHO, and this one does not fail to please. Dark piano starts this one, separating you from the happier, lighter side of the first two songs. You almost think you are listening to Roger Waters when Goran first starts singing this one. I love all of the songs on this album, but this one does tend to stand out along with the final track. “One by one, step by step…” You really should hear his interview from the Dividing Line to know what this one is about. Great interweaving of piano and guitar here.

Two Blocks From the Edge - That launching guitar solo so similar to David Gilmour. There is a mood of Floyd all over this one. I hear a wonderful mix of the Wall, with the drum beat and all of the horns from Dark Side. It is an incredible journey. “Counting down, watching out for the final blow. The more you learn, the less you know.” Then, 9:51 seconds of power musicianship. Yeah a sax solo that brings back memories of Us and Them. Female singers supporting the guitar and keys…sounds so good! Remember…?

Eternally – Parts I & II – He saved the best for last, IMHO! The piano that starts this one is already one of my favorites for this year’s DPRP keyboard poll. Since this came out so late in 2008, I am going to consider it with my 2009 poll. Incredible work. It ranks up there with Sylvan’s work on Posthumous Silence. Wonderful way to begin a very deep epic song. This one tugs at the heart. If you listen to the Dividing Line’s interview you will understand why. It is a very personal look inside recovery from a tragic event. If this one doesn’t touch the heart, insert in microwave, set to thaw, before listening!

I have already ordered their first two albums based on the excellence performed on this one. This is one of those albums that I took a chance on because I read about it on an Inside/Out New Music page.

They were so very right!

8/10 Rating
"More than a dream, less than a vision, adventure again just begun."

Unitopia - More Than A Dream

Last edited by ProgProfessor; 02-05-2009 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A fair review of a fairly good album. As the title track shows, Karmakanic definitely stand a head or two above The Flower Kings when it comes to novelty, but ultimately I don't think WTBITF? holds up compared to a few other releases from last year, like Moon Safari's Blomljud or It Bites' The Tall Ships.

Well, that's just my opinion anyway. I enjoyed reading this.

Looking forward to your future reviews ProgProf!!
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know if it's alright to write my own review in this thread, but I figure, why not? ^^ Those who are interested in the album should appreciate another opinion of it. Although the overall impression isn't that different.

So anyway:

Send a message from the heart: The good thing about it that there's not one single bad part for 20 minutes, and I really love the intro and the jazzy part in the middle. The only thing I want to complain about is that the song is just too.. mellow all the time. I'd like at least SOME heavier part in a 20 minute epic. 4/5

Let in Hollywood: Catchy and groovy poprock song with a salsa-influenced chorus, at least that's how I see it. ^^ (Makes me think of Dexter, the tv series.) Fun! 4/5

Who's the boss in the factory?: I don't like the beginning, where Göran does his best at singing the really low notes. It just doesn't sound good. I have some sort of gripe with the chorus too, but other than that it's great! I'm still kinda disappointed with it since it has the ingredients to be one of the best songs ever! Now it's just outstanding. 4/5

Two blocks from the edge: The epic prog ending should have been attached to a better song, because I don't like this one at all. I think it's too monotonous and.. dull. 2/5

Eternally pt 1+2: The song starts out a bit too slowly, but it gets incredibly emotional and beautiful at the end! The accordion is interesting, but even if it's amazing I think there's too much of it. 4/5

So, I guess it's a very even album, most of it is great. I have two complains about it, first that none of the songs are "worldclass masterpieces" that would take a spot in my top ten list for their respective categories. Well, maybe Let in Hollywood. Secondly I think it's just a bit too "nice" all the time, I would have liked some more contrast.

Still I'd have to say it's the best Karmakanic album yet! 4/5
Watch my "32 songs in 8 minutes" acoustic medley here:
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