Sweden – Small as a Ball
A new iteration of the Music For Keyboards thing, Small as a Ball is the title of this album with one of the Titans on the cover. Lars has taken help from the same musicians this time again, I liked the previous effort called The Symphonic Dream so it wasn’t without a little bit of interest I set to work on this new album that doesn’t really have a very good cover look.
Musically it continues in the same vein as the previous album, instrumental progressive rock music with lots of focus on the keyboards. The music is pretty grand and varied throughout the eight tracks that we are given and with no vocals they can make exciting passages and such things, they make music that would not benefit from the use of vocals. I think they paint pretty dramatic landscapes and bring out some excitement from the songs. Fans of Lars and his music will recognise this as I think it is in a way a pretty logical follow up to what we have heard before.
It is a good album no doubt about that, but I don’t think that it is as good as the latest effort. It lacks the magic of the previous effort; it could do with more dynamics and drama. I think there are a few smaller things that could have been slightly better as I think that this album lacks the little extra edge that the previous album had. But nevertheless it is an enjoyable album with good music and good feeling; I like it but not as much as I liked the previous album. Fans of Music For Keyboards will probably enjoy this and as will fans of progressive instrumental music – for you who answer to that description I am sure it is an interesting album to look closer to.
Best tracks are the first one and the last one, but the album in itself is quite good even though I know that Lars and his fellow musicians are capable of making better stuff. I think if I were to listen to any Music For Keyboards soon it would be The Symphonic Dream that would occupy my music player – Small as a Ball is good but does not quite reach the standards set before it.
Rating: 4 out of 7
Reviewed by Daniel Källmalm