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Fruup

Prince of Heaven’s Eyes

Review by Gary Hill
Fruup was an Irish progressive rock band from the 1970s. This was their third album. It’s also a bit more rocking than the two that preceded it. I’d consider it to be one of their best, too. That said, they are all quite good. I’ve reviewed this album and three others from this outfit as retro reviews in this issue. All of them are included in a new box set, which is also reviewed here. I highly recommend getting them that way. It should be noted that the track reviews used here come from that review.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
It's All Up Now
This has plenty of classical music influence in the powerhouse opening prog rock buildup. It eventually makes its way to a balladic, folk prog type arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. The cut gets back into more pure progressive rock zones as it gets past the vocal section. It really drives upward as the powerhouse jamming takes control. There is still plenty of symphonic edge to this piece.
Prince of Darkness
This cut has a lot of artsy weirdness built into it, particularly in the vocal delivery. I’m reminded of Gabriel-era Genesis in some ways. There are some cool rocking moments. There are some definite psychedelic rock things here, too. All in all, this is an interesting bit of variety.
Jaunting Car
This has a real traveling music kind of vibe to it. There are hints of Americana in the mix. It has a real jam band kind of vibe in a lot of ways. This instrumental has a grounding and playful sound.
Annie Austere
This fast paced number is all class on the introduction. Pure progressive rock, some of the guitar fills make me think of Steve Howe a bit. The vocals call to mind Flash a bit, though. This is up-tempo and very cool.
Knowing You
The arrangement that opens this has a cool, bouncy folk prog vibe to it. The number drops to mellower sounds for the vocal section. It is a gentle balladic treatment as they join. After running through in mellow instrumental ways, a shout of “hey,” heralds a more rocking mode to continue the piece as it approaches the three-minute mark. That doesn’t hold it for long, though, as it drops back to a mellower interlude with flute. As it continues to explore that territory the arrangement gets more powered up but continues in the same general direction. It explodes out into a powerhouse folk prog jam from there, and the vocals return.  They take things through a number of twists and turns as this drives onward. This thing is really quite a ride.
Crystal Brook
Piano starts this cut off and holds it for a time in a very classical fashion. Ethereal vocals join after the 30-second mark, but only the piano remains as it continues. Other instruments rise up as it nears the minute-and-a-half mark, but it still remains quite mellow and classical in nature. The vocals don’t return for a while, but the sounds of waves are heard. When the vocals do rejoin, it’s back to just a piano and vocal arrangement. At just about three minutes of music, this is the shortest piece of the album.
Seaward Sunset
Cool energized prog rock opens this with hints of classical and fusion in the mix. It seems even harder rocking in contrast to the mellow number that preceded it. The cut drives forward with style. There are definite hints of Flash on this at times. It has some playful folk prog moments and hints of jazz in the mix, too.
The Perfect Wish
This cut, the closing number of the album proper, has some particularly dramatic moments. There is plenty of folk prog built into this. It has a lot of classical leaning, too. It’s quite effective and potent.
 
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