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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Made In Ireland: Best Of Fruupp

Review by Gary Hill

This new set, as you might guess from the title, gathers up a number of songs from several Fruupp albums and assembles them as a "best of" collection. This band really produced some great music across their catalog, and this set showcases a nice cross-sample. While there is a box set that I reviewed before (and I actually have taken or modified all the track reviews here from that review for the sake of consistency) that represents a classy way to catch up on the band, this might be a better introduction as it's more economical. The set is classy with a nice booklet and digi-pack.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Janet Planet
After a powered up opening flourish this works out to a bouncy kind of jam that makes me think of Klaatu to a large degree. There is a healthy helping of The Beatles built into this thing. It gets back toward the opening section for the outro.
This comes in with a driving prog rock sound. The opening section runs through for a short time before they explode out into a much harder edged jam from there. This is fast-paced and dramatic. It also has bits of symphonic texture. It drops to a mellower, jazzy kind of bouncy movement for the vocals. They fire upward with more energy in a melodic prog jam for the next vocals. Then the piano takes over as they fire out into a short jazzy bit. We’re taken back into the song proper for the return of the vocals. A scream heralds a movement into a powerful, rocking symphonic prog jam that’s pretty purely on fire. This really becomes quite a journey. There are some operatic vocals for a time. The closing section features seriously hard rocking guitar.
Three Spires
This is such a cool song. It has a melodic, often mellow, progressive rock element to it. It’s a powerhouse cut that is so classy.
Sheba's Song
I’m again reminded of Klaatu as this number opens. It works out to more cool prog rock from there. The number works through that for a while, but eventually makes its way out to an exploratory kind of jam that has some particularly tasty moments. This thing is quite a cool and dynamic piece. It makes for a great closing track.
White Eyes
A mellow and quite pretty instrumental section brings this into being and holds it for a time. Eventually the cut moves outward to a pretty and rather psychedelic movement. This cut continues to change from there. The multiple layered vocal arrangement is classy. There are some intriguing sections on this number. It has some world music and a healthy helping of jazz in the mix. It remains mellower than some of the stuff here, but still has some good energy.
Wise As Wisdom
This rises up subtly and slowly, working forward with style. The cut eventually drops down again, giving way to a dramatic balladic section. It begins to drive onward from there. As it gets into more rocking stuff, and the vocals come in over the top, I’m reminded of Nektar to a large degree. The cut eventually makes its way out to a cool and ever changing prog jam. That movement at times gets into fusion-like zones. I suppose it should probably be called “movements,” because there are definitely different section and themes within the one extensive instrumental part. Non-lyrical vocals join after a time as the track continues to evolve.
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.
Graveyard Epistle
I really love the fast-paced prog jam that opens this thing. It’s a real powerhouse with number of changes. It drops way down to a mellower movement for the entrance of the vocals. It’s slow moving, but gradually rising upward. It has a beauty and almost dream-like quality to it. They fire out into more fast stuff after that vocal section. After that fast movement, they take into a cool jam that’s informed by world music melodies at times.
Prince of Heaven
A triumphant sounding prog texture permeates a lot of this track. It’s a prog powerhouse that makes me think of Flash and Nektar both in some ways.
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