Karmakanic's Who's The Boss In The Factory is an incredible album. This mixture of styles and influences is so intense and spectacular to me. I hear my beloved early Yes and Genesis at times, especially when Lalle Larsson's grand piano and synthetizers remind me of Tony Banks' and Rick Wakeman's moments. Krister Jonsson's electric guitars at times sound a bit like Steve Howe's but at other times I hear the influences of Terje Rypdal's jazz guitar. The balance of vocal parts to the instrumental sections works beautifully here. There is less vocal in general and it brings more meaning to it, in my eyes, letting us float in the amazing instrumental magic uninterrupted. The overall feel of this music I could describe as the progressive rock of the finest line fused with jazzy and harder rock elements. The fusion part at is of Jean-Luc Ponty or Wishbone Ash lines, and all of it combined makes this music so incredibly rich, to me. This is my most favorite Swedish rock album so far. It is truly brilliant. I have to say honestly that I have quite a few Flower Kings in my collection, and although I see their strengths and understand the complexity I may not review any one of their albums, because for now at least I decided to focus only on the music I love, and something is missing for me in their music...on the melodic beauty level. Perhaps I have not given it enough time yet, and some walls will break soon. I truly hope so. That is not the case here; I love this from the start and I absolutely understand everything involved and what is always most important to me...I can follow and receive the spirit of this creation quite easily.
Send A Message From The Heart besides its magnificent lyrical meaning features Lalle Larsson's solo reminding me of Tony Bank's way of keyboard playing. But the following guitar led progression takes me closer to the EMC related moods of ambient guitar territory and reminds me of Terje Rypdal's playing. The progression of this song is fantastic with its incredibly soft section among many others. Vocals are unique, the sound is so full. Let In Hollywood is Karmakanic playing their most rock'n'roll sound. To me this sounds a bit like a mixture of Deep Purple with Wishbone Ash with a tint of Steely Dan maybe. It is my least favorite song of this album, and I still consider it a good song. If I started listening to the beginning of Who's The Boss In The Factory not knowing where the music came from, I would probably guess that it did from Supper Is Ready or something amazing else by Genesis. The vocals and the progression take us in a quite different direction of some slight fusion grounds. The mood becomes a bit Jon Anderson's Cage Of Freedom - like for a while and then the soft section takes us into a piano playing of a grand proportions. Lalle Larsson showcases his work perfectly here. It is another complex, rich sounding gorgeous progressive rock song with its awesome Yes like and greatest final moments. Two Blocks From The Edge is a great song lyrically and musically. I can almost bet that one of Goran Edman's favorite vocalists is David Coverdale. His voice here sounds a lot Coverdale like. I guess this might be the reason this song sounds so special to me, almost like we would have some strange reunion going on back in 1975 or so, with the symphonic sections of Yes and Genesis, with an amazing saxophone parts which could have been played by Mel Collins or Dick Parry and David Coverdale involved. We do have some outside involvement here but the saxophone parts came from Theo Travis and some guitar and keyboard parts from Roine Stolt, Mr. Flower King himself. Eternally is my favorite track on this album. Another spectacular vocal line by Goran. This one could have come from Phantom Of The Opera, or some place like that. This song has this special 1930s feel to it, due to the Malmo String Ensemble's involvement.
This is one of my favorite albums of 2008, without a doubt. The compositions are brilliant, the team spectacular and their craftsmanship superb. This music represents just the perfect amount of jazz fusion to me, and although quite different the mood it puts me in is similar to where I get while listening to my favorite King Crimson albums from the early 1970s. The style of Karmakanic is unique and perfect but please make sure to allow yourself a few listens, especially if you don't have any prior fusion experience. And I would like to thank Jonas Reingold for this beautiful album, and please get us another one soon.