I may sometimes describe new releases as outstanding or exceptional but one word you won’t hear me throw around more than twice in ten years is "masterpiece". Well now’s the time and Swedish band Moon Safari have come up with exactly that — an extraordinarily uplifting, sprawling, progressive masterpiece. This double CD is so exquisitely satisfying that any other word would be hopelessly inadequate.
It was a grey day in France when I put the [blomljud] album by Moon Safari on. By the time it had finished the sun was shining not only outside but in me as well. I have used the phrase extraordinarily uplifting and it is, but there’s more. This album restores, refreshes, and revives your sometimes flagging faith and recognition of the wonder of life, the miracle of nature and the flower of creation. The two-CD set is vast in scope, epic in achievement, and quite simply must not be overlooked by any admirer of the very best in progressive music. The musicianship from this young band is exceptionally high, the lyrics are wise and worthy of analysis, and the sheer size of this giant production leaves you feeling at ease with your place on the planet.
From the moment the first section starts, [blomljud] commands your full attention and if you give it that, you will gain so much from the experience. Calming, reassuring, uplifting, refreshing, stimulating, and so very cleverly constructed, this is an epic in every sense of the word.
[blomljud] is Moon Safari’s second album following on from 2005’s A Doorway to Summer. It has attracted equally drooling reviews as this and could best be described as the find of the year. If you like superbly written progressive rock such as early Trick Of The Tail, Genesis or Marillion then this is most definitely for you. Combine that with harmonies straight out of Brian Wilson and mix in some Woodstock, Crosby, Stills and Nash and you have Moon Safari. A phenomenal achievement.
Moon Safari is five young guys from Sweden, namely Petter Sandstrom, Johan Westerlund, Simon and Pontus Akesson, and drummer Tobias Lundgren. The list of instruments these guys can play is too involved to go into or list here. Vocals are covered by Simon and the multi-talented Petta, who also provided much of the artwork for the booklet. This is a band that can harmonise exquisitely and write sublimely beautiful tracks and are not afraid to fully explore where they will go.
The very first track “Constant Bloom” is precisely this, a delicate track of luscious harmonising. Then comes the perfectly formed “Methuselah’s Children” a vast sixteen minute exploration of what Moon Safari is all about that opens out into a prog symphony of the highest quality. This is a band with an uncanny ability to write highly relevant and thought provoking lyrics. “In The Countryside” makes you want to sell up, move from the city and live in a recycled railway carriage on a hillside. With lyrics of crystal clear logic, they point at all of us for being slaves to technology and inspire the listener to rediscover exactly what it is that makes life such a rewarding ride.