Tomas Bodin

Sonic Boulevard

Following his magnificent Pinup Guru, the Flower Kings’ keyboardist Thomas Bodin is back with a new solo effort.

It’s a long way off from his previous effort however. Instead of going into an Emerson, Lake & Palmer feel like he had done on Pinup Guru, Bodin goes into a completely different direction; one that feels much more personal.

Is this to say the album is not as good? Definitely not! This album is at least as good as the previous. It’s one of those albums that you put into the CD player and listen to from start to finish; no interruptions at all. The keyboards are all beautiful and served with taste! The melodies and the sounds just pick you up and take you in unsuspected directions.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Tomas at the Flower King’s last show in Montreal. He’s an extremely nice man, a pleasure to talk to, and I feel this album really picks up on that aspect of his personality.

In a way, I’m glad this album goes into a different direction from Pinup Guru as it allows one the pleasure of hearing two completely different facets of his music and it allows one to play a Tomas Bodin album, whatever mood we’re in.

Pinup Guru

What happens when you take a Flower King and let him work outside of the band? An incredible album.

Flower Kings keyboardist Tomas Bodin surprises us with his first solo album. Bodin started with the idea that classic progressive rock should be played as a trio. Basing (quite obviously) the sound on Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Bodin comes up wth a stunning presentation quite different from the Flower Kings.

He is accompanied on this endeavour by drums and bass provided by his Flower Kings associates.

The first track, Sodium Regale, is very much Bach influenced and merges quite nicely into What’s Going On. This has more than a passing influence to ELP’s Tarkus. Not a bad choice. The tracks that follow are strongly influenced also by Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre. Not bad choices either.

Regardless of these influences, the sound is still very much his own and the tracks are beautiful and eloquent.

Pinup Guru is certainly an album that you will listen to from start to finish and one that will carry you in many directions. It’s a welcome addition to any CD library. And, yes, the title is from that song by Genesis…