Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
Sleeping In Traffic: Pt. 2
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
|New from||Used from|
|Audio CD, May 15, 2012||
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
There is a world apart from the usual radio and MTV formats; a universe in which music effortlessly creates colourful images without excessive visual presentation, by captivating its listeners with its haunting structures, and if you listen really carefully, allows the whole range of traditional rock music to pass by the audience s ear. Hailing from Sweden, Beardfish are a prime example of this phenomenon, an archetype of an exceptionally expressive progressive rock act. Their current album, Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two sounds enthralling and timeless; it has depth and substance without overtaxing its listeners with overly intricate structures. Last but not least, Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two has a distinct sense of humour which pervades Beardfish s music in general and the eight songs on their current release in particular.
Top customer reviews
Prog fans should be delighted with both Beardfish and with Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two. This "night story" is bracketed by two short instrumentals representing sunset and sunrise. Between the two is a delightful melange of modern prog that takes the listener on one wild musical journey. My favorites are: Into The Night, with the insistent pulsing organ work that drives much of the song; The Hunter, with its relentless drive; the many-faceted and often Zappa-esque South of the Border; Cashflow, a rousing instrumental interlude; and Sleeping In Traffic, a true prog epic that is fragmented musically but unified thematically.
The CD is supplemented with an attractive booklet containing album notes, lyrics, and useful commentary by Rikard Sjoblom. Forget the belly-aching some do about Frank Zappa, there are only a couple of overt points of Zappa-esque musical references in this work and those are confined to two cuts. If you like adventurous music with the capacity to surprise at every turn, then Sleeping In Traffic: Part Two is something you should hear in its entirety.
Rather, Sleeping in Traffic - Part Two expands on the first album, retaining its eclectism from start to finish, even building on it. Still steeped in the roots of 70's progressive rock movement, Beardfish continue to produce all-encompassing material, often borrowing from the Zappa and Gentle Giant library and bordering on avant-garde at times. A song like "South of the Border", for instance, sees the band highlighting their sense of humour, as it is informed by a plethora of soundscapes, from the spoken vocal parts to its classic rock tendencies to the downright frightening instrumental wizardy (where blazing organs clash with oddly tuned guitar work) to its ever-funky rhythmic pattern.
On the instrumental piece "Cashflow", they delve into full-on avant-garde territory, which might even be a challenge for the avid Zappa fan. At six minutes, it sees a multitude of sound experiments infused into quirky instrumental passages -- almost too much to take on first listen. Actually, the first and last songs only function as an intro and outro to the other six songs, as they both clock in at less than two minutes: the first tune is just a segment of warm melodies whilst the last one is a solemn piano bit fading into white noise.
Then there are the more song-based yet equally bizarre numbers. "Into the Night" is like an excerpt of the tunes on part one, rightly so. The first part is filled with playful instrumental craze, while the second part is jazzier and darker conjuring up images of the night, ever so briefly. There is a unison solo happening towards the end, where agile melodies are interwoven and climax in typical Fripptonics fashion.
The laidback, bass-centric "The Downward Spiral / Chimay" sees Rikard Sjoblom extracting ever-changing synth tones from his instrument, but there is also a soothing, dreamlike acoustic section complemented by beautiful percussion work. The clarity captured here is awe-inspiring. The husky bass intro of "The Hunter", arguably the band's most bizarre work, opens the track as rousing synths crash into the piece all too unexpectedly. Organs dominate, vocals of Sjoblom - intentionally so - continue to fluctuate between normal singing and the delirious, lunatic tones. The lyrics are equally mind-boggling: "It gives me satisfaction to see you scared and running | And when you bleed you bleed only for me | So peel back the skin of your skull | Cause I wanna see what's inside." The band is being terribly sarcastic it seems, and the ending of the song where lofty guitars and keyboars unite in order to form a cinematic experience is stupifying.
Then of course there is the title track, merging the two discs beautifully, with common threads of melodies and themes. At over thirty-five minutes though, the song can be hard to internalise at one sitting, but one comes to experience its unity and flow upon repeat listens. This is basically the whole Beardfish sound captured on one tune, and it begins and ends exactly the same: with cold bass throbs cascading irregularly.
A concept album about the 24 hours in a person's life, part one was about the day and this one is about the night, and a more challenging listen as well. It could also be said that this disc is unafraid to sound deliberately modern in parts, unlike the first album which is more loyal to the traditional prog sound.
Both discs are highly recommendable; though, for obvious reasons, you're advised to start with part one.