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Creatures

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 31, 2006
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 31, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD Baby
  • ASIN: B000KEGF6E
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,307,056 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
From the 90s on, there are three bands that can claim to be successfully reaching a synthesis of great prog and jazz elements: Italy's Deus Ex Machina, Sweden's The Flower Kings and the American combo Frogg Café. The two first, at different rates, have turned from straight symphonic/progressive to some sort of a jazz-prog fusion. It is this what sets Frogg Café apart: right from the beginning they've achieved a credible combination of elements from jazz and prog (among others) in their music.
While listening to the Froggs CDs, one can't help but wonder what this band might sound like in a live environment, that is, how do they (re) work this material live. For now, we only have the albums to judge. And what a journey it is!
Some album highlights:
All This Time¹ starts with some weird noises and vocal effects. The rhythm set by the drums and guitar, against the Mellotron's dark strings on the background, give this track a certain Crimsonish-bolero atmosphere. This march-like pattern adds a dramatic feel to the track, alternating with jazzy (or, more precisely, fusion-y) breaks, which work very well against the former sections.
Some of the vocals on this one remind me of Under The Sun's Chris Shryack, and that's not bad at all! The lead vocals are very expressive, and the harmonies and backing vocals are great, as we've already seen on the debut CD. There are nice touches with harpsichord (highlighted with panning), as well as great unisons, which include marimbas. Nice!
Creatures features Gentle Giant-like complexities that alternate with soft vox-piano sections, accompanied with bass melodies. A cool marimba-violin unison is one of the instrumental highlights of the track. Again, the Mellotron adds depth and dramatism through a strings patch.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a fabulous cd - a great follow-up to their excellent first release. Brilliant music performed by five extraordinary musicians - a superb melange of highly complex, intricate music and delightful whimsy - a combination that is all-too-often lacking in many groups performing great, challenging music. One can hear the band's origins as a Zappa band, but they have developed their own wonderful, ecclectic sound. A VERY refreshing new band - get this immediately if you like quality music, you will NOT be sorry. Ribbit Ribbit Ribbit - here come the froggs...
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Format: Audio CD
"Creatures" finds the Frogg Café boys covering a ton of musical ground. The Zappa influence is once again apparent, but the band really delve into several musical styles at one point or another on the disc. I really like this CD a lot. I think that it showcases the incredible versatility of this band. They tackle several musical styles and pull it all off magnificently. There is really something here for every kind of prog fan. The album is both experimental and accessible at the same time which is something most bands of this genre find very difficult to pull off. The opening track "All This Time" showcases the band's Zappa influence, with very nice vocals. The title track "Creatures" reminds me of something Gentile Giant might do. "The Celestial Metal Can" is where the band showcases their experimental side on a tune that is almost avant in spots. "Gagutz" mines fusion territory the likes of which this band does so well. The final track the 21 plus minute "Waterfall Carnival" is pure symphonic progressive rock at its best. For me this is the highlight of the album and really works on several different levels. I got to see the band perform this live at NEARfest a few years ago and it was truly one of the highlights of the weekend for me. "Creatures" is an album that proves that this band can do pretty much anything they want and pull it off. People who enjoy a wide variety of musical styles should eat this one up.
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased this CD after reading the couple reviews available and gazing at the cover, as well as Frogg Cafe's other releases and this receives my vote for "Least Regretted Purchase In Recent Memory." Awesome listening for those into fusion or symphonic rock. Slight resemblances to The Flower Kings (mainly on the incredible closing track "Waterfall Carnival." Other than that, a smidge of Zappa on track one,"All This Time," some 21st Century schizophrenia ala Crimson's Lizard CD on track three, "The Celestial Metal Can," and flashbacks of Mahavishnu Orchestra on the instrumental "Gagutz." There is a similar atmosphere to that found on Crimson's unmatchable debut, but this is a very fresh, original, thoughtful piece of pure listening bliss. Instantly captivating, despite its technical nature. Very, very highly recommended!
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