(All Album Reviews by Ursula)
Tomas Bodin (keyboards, backing vocals), probably best known for his part in the Flower Kings, united Michael Stolt (bass, lead vocals), Jocke JJ Marsh (guitars, backing vocals), Marcus Lilijequist ( drums, backing vocals) under the tag of Eggs And Dogs for his solo work which is sound-wise so far away from the Flower Kings that those who will expect a Flower King derivation will be disappointed.
Under Tomas's lead they produced a fresh sounding album that plays with rather, than emulates, musical influences. Drawing on AOR as well as on symphonic prog, the music is spiced up with tasty little things like a bit of jazz rock and folk elements. Music in ballad style finds itself contrasted with a dash of musical humour including some sound effects and voice recordings. The vocals are, in contrast to many other releases of the prog genre, an intrinsic and enhancing part of the music in that their contribution complements the instrumental passages. All that in connection with excellent harmonies is resulting in an overall upbeat and cheerful sound. Unfortunately, and that is really the downside of this album, this sound clashes with the lyrical content which largely deals with eating disorders, the negative effects of Americanisation and other problems of daily life. With the exception of “Poor Lucille” and “Silicon Bimbo Run” the music suggests no real negativity in spite of the dreary subjects. While “Private Skies” could claim to be a humorous take, the remaining songs lack ironical and/or satirical exaggeration in music and text as possible means to overcome the gap between musical upbeat and the seriousness of the topic.
It also has to be said that the album has not much relevance for us women. Although 4 out of 7 songs deal with female orientated topics (rather a rare occurrence in prog) they basically repeat what we know anyway without adding anything new. Regrettably also the chance of describing a distinct Swedish point of view as been missed by instead drawing on worn out American clichés as in “American Standards” and “Silicon Bimbo Run”. Perhaps worst of all are those parts where linguistic inadequacy is seriously interfering with semantics.
In summary, while the album is musically a little gem, it leaves a couple of things to be desired in the lyrical department. If you, dear reader, belong to the category of people who don't mind lyrics, you most likely would be getting very happy with this album as the music is delightful. Yet, if you like your lyrics well-crafted and can easily be put off by the above described flaws, a test listen on Myspace is recommended before purchase.