Flower Kings vocalist and guitarist Hasse Froberg returns with his solo adventure, Musical Companion, and second project, Powerplay. As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree. If you like all things Flower Kings (pardon the trivial rhyme), classic prog rock, and Froberg's raspy delivery, you'll dig this new album.
Although, after several spins, Powerplay sounds even more retro progressive rock than even the Flower Kings can be. Froberg and companions seem swimming in the Seventies, in the pool with King Crimson, Genesis, maybe some Gentle Giant. There's certainly little 'modern' about this album.
Yet, Powerplay is cast between both eclectic and expansive prog and some catchy melodic rock. The former are found in My River to Cross, The Final Hour, and Is It Ever Going to Happen, to name the longer and more interesting prog vessels. Sometimes, however, as on The Final Hour, the length and the direction of the song work against its inspiration.
The latter is found on the shorter and spirited The World Keeps Turning and Venice CA. Then there's rather brief White Butterfly, simply Hasse and acoustic guitar. These songs against the longer prog pieces seem and odd juxtaposition, but it all works just fine. The odd moments come in the confused spirituality lingering in songs like The Final Hour, The Chosen Ones, or Godsong. At best it's some distortion of Christianity drowning in a soup new age pantheism.
Nevertheless, as mentioned at the start, if you like your prog rock in it's most classic early context, but also near to the Flower Kings, you'll appreciate Powerplay from Hasse Froberg and friends. Easily recommended.
If you like your prog rock in it's most classic early context, but also near to the Flower Kings, you'll appreciate Powerplay from Hasse Froberg and friends. Easily recommended.