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Fig Leaf (Norway) - 1995 - "Plays Bob W. And Other Selections"
To Helen Backer Gail 4:02 Spice 4:28 The Fear of After-after 7:50 Moondog 6:38 Changes 3:34 Survivalof the Fittest 6:04 Get Away From That Jazzman 4:48 StirringUp Ghosts 7:19 Way Out There 4:31 Space-cheese-bowlof Glass 4:22 The Life And Times of Mr. Robert W. (in 3 parts) 16:39 The Ballad of Bob W. 4:04
Line-up: Aage Skar - acoustic and electric guitars; Per Flaa - vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion; Paal Iversen - drums & percussion, backing vocals; Gunnar Berg - vocals, keyboards, bass; (+Tage Johnsen - bass on 2,3,4,8,9)
All songs written and arranged by Fig Leaf. Engineered and mixed at Brygga studio, Trondheim - April/May'95. Mastered at Masterhuset, Oslo, August '95. Produced by Lars Lien and Fig Leaf.
Fig Leaf is a wonderful Norwegian Progressive Rock quartet whose basic themes - guitar riffs and keys chords - on this their second album are inspired in large part by Black Sabbath (circa "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath") and Deep Purple ("In Rock"), though they have a sound all their own, with a lot of progressive tendencies, and are unlikely to be confused with the above mentioned bands. While all the vocal themes are done very well, instrumental arrangements on "Plays Bob W", totally free of any influences, show really excellent firm foundation in composing of truly original music - the most original music I ever heard from Scandinavian progressive scene, by the way. The only epic on this album, The Life And Times of Mr. Robert W, is especially complete with great instrumental breaks - Fig Leaf does get it right all the way from start to finish. The Fear of After-after and Moondog are another two perfectly constructed songs of harder-edged Symphonic Rock. All the other tracks strike a near-perfect balance between hard rock structures and your typical progressive, though The Ballad of Bob W is just a ballad… But actually this is an excellent song, full of wisely calm emotions and wonderful, masterful acoustic guitar passages. Really appropriate coda for an album, and Fig Leaf do so often (see the "Fearless" review).
VM. December 12, 2000
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