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(40 min, Record Heaven)
TRACK LIST: 1. Suicide 6:54 2. Recall the Future 9:29 3. Resan Till Ixtlan 3:25 4. Universe 3:39 5. Kharma-74 5:52 6. Liv I Stad Utan Liv 7:00 7. Tornet 0:57 8. I'll Arise 2:39 PERSONNEL: Anders Nilson - keyboards Bo Carlbeg - el. & ac. guitars Hakan Andersson - ac. guitar; vocals Lars Meding - el. guitar Kjell Johnson - drums Robert Svenson - bass Jan Peter Strahle - flute Bruno Nilson - saxophone
Prolusion. MR BROWN is an obscure one-shot project from Sweden. This is the CD reissue of their only album "Mellan Tre Ogon", originally released on LP in 1977.
Analysis. The album is made up of eight tracks, three of which are instrumental compositions. One of those coming with lyrical content, Tornet, features only slow synthesizer passages in the instrumental department (if it's possible to say so in this situation) and is too short to be regarded a real song or a full-fledged composition either. That said, the other songs aren't too impressive either. Suicide and Liv I Stad Utan Liv are both mellow Art-&-Space Rock heavily influenced by Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon", especially the former, while Universe and I'll Arise are just ballads. The instrumental compositions are much more interesting, even though one of them, Resan Till Ixtlan, is nothing more than a little symphonic concerto for solo piano. Recall the Future is the longest and, at the same time, the best track on the album. It begins and develops like '70s classic symphonic Progressive with no derivative features, and only the last section sounds like a dedication to Mr. Brown's principal benefactor, Pink Floyd. Kharma 74 is nearly on par with the previously described piece, shining with originality during the first three quarters of its duration as well. The fundamental style is symphonic Art-Rock with distinct elements of folk music, while the finale is intense and quite eclectic quasi Jazz-Fusion, strongly resembling "A Passion Play" - the only Jethro Tull album on which Ian Anderson plays saxophone apart from flute. Finally I'd like to mention that the primary soloing instrument on "Mellan Tre Ogon" is piano.
Conclusion. Considering that there are only two genuinely interesting compositions here, the distinctive spirit of the '70s running all through the album would probably be the only significant virtue of Mr. Brown's single effort. In its entirety, the CD will satisfy probably only those suffering from a painful nostalgia for the sound of the happiest Rock music decade.
VM: March 17, 2006
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