Karmakanic - 'In A Perfect World'

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Karmakanic - 'In A Perfect World'

Full of wonderful themes, melodies and beautiful musical passages.

Karmakanic is another offshoot from the mighty The Flower Kings (TFK) with this entity being driven by bassist, Jonas Reingold. By his own admission, with Karmakanic he doesn’t think of genres he just has fun composing music and seeing where it goes. Of course, the overarching feel is of Prog but that’s not to say you don’t get other influences coming through at times with a few Pop sensibilities appearing along with Fusion, West Coast and Jazz. The band on this release could be considered a super group as it features the talents of luminaries such as the ubiquitous Göran Edman (vocals), Lalle Larson (keyboards), Marcus Lillequist (drums), Krister Jonsson (guitars) and Nils Erikson (vocals & keyboards). The previous album (‘Who’s the Boss…’) was very special and this one doesn’t quite reach the same standard of brilliance, but it’s pretty close and is chock full of wonderful themes, melodies and beautiful musical passages.

The album opens with the 14 minute epic, ‘1969’ and I could write reams about this track alone but let’s just say that it encapsulates everything that intrigues those who love the Prog genre. A superb instrumental section that starts with a gentle piano, lush fretless bass sets the scene before the guitar and drums enter the fray with a theme that is redolent of TFK. The chorus has Yes sensibilities and will stick in your head and as always the sonorous tones of Edman are just right; showing his versatility as a vocalist, who can turn his hand to any style. There are synth and organ solos, time changes, recurring themes, a capella vocals and fabulous guitar solos from Jonsson who is rapidly joining the list of my favourite guitarists. Many bands go for long songs but not all of them can pull it off as these guys do.

‘Turn It Up’ is about the economic crisis but ironically despite the gloomy subject musically it’s very uplifting, with a Toto-ish feel on the verses. The vocal arrangement is great and the chorus infectious. ‘The World is Caving In’ starts with just Edman’s voice with piano joining first and other instruments following as the music builds beautifully to the point where guitar and organ pick up the pace. There’s certainly a mix of Prog with Melodic Rock on this track. ‘Can’t Take it With You’ injects humour with its Latin beat whilst ‘There’s Nothing Wrong With the World’ has a Fish era Marillion feel at the outset, a gloomy start is soon overtaken by a wonderfully bright theme and hook. ‘When Fear Came to Town’ makes me think of Venice (the band) with much of it being just Edman and an acoustic guitar. It rounds out the album in a rather plaintive style that has me thinking of Procol Harum thanks to the organ sound that underpins Larsson’s fabulous solo. A radio edit of ‘Turn it Up’ appears as a bonus track on some versions of the CD.

Gary Marshall

 

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