Tomas Bodin

Picture of Tomas Bodin

Pinup Guru

Tomas Bodin - Pinup Guru ©2002 InsideOut Music
1. Sodium Regale
2. What's Going On
3. Me And Liz
4. Harlem Heat
5. My Beautiful Neighbor
6. New In The 'hood
7. Blood
8. The Ballerina Is Not Getting Closer
9. The Last Eagle
10. The Final Swig

Looking back on my review for Tomas Bodin's Sonic Boulevard, I must have been in a particularly agreeable, altruistic mood because, well, Pinup Guru is a particularly overblown, entirely superfluous recording that would best be found under the tires of an Oldsmobile. This strikes me as an effort where the artist has no critical feedback as he whips together whatever strikes his fancy at the time. It's like a soundtrack to a tedious movie, except the soundtrack is even more tedious. There are so many moments of instrumental excess, wanking and pure dorking around that I've lost count and would just rather go find that Oldsmobile. Some of the manic moments seem as though he heard Mr. Bungle's Disco Volante but can only recreate that sort of strange music through a Flower Kings filter. That's just not a good thing, folks.

Pinup Guru is a long, decidedly aggravating walk through the fields of pure indulgence. The album walks the line between mood music for the comatose or the soundtrack to Wankers Inc. and for most listeners, that's just not a journey one should wish to take.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2004

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Sonic Boulevard

Tomas Bodin - Sonic Boulevard ©2003 InsideOut Music
1. The Prayer
2. The Hero From Cloud City
3. Back To The African Garden
4. Picture
5. Walkabout
6. The Horses From Zaad
7. A Beautiful Mind
8. The Happy Frog
9. Morning Will Come
10. The Night Will Fall

Tomas Bodin, who is perhaps most noted for his keyboard contributions to The Flower Kings, occasionally finds time in his busy life to step out and record solo releases. Sonic Boulevard represents his third outing for InsideOut music and is one of those (mostly) instrumental releases that has more than a few good moments, some slightly tedious ones and an overall impression that this isn't the kind of music you'd want to play at a bikers' rally.

Sonic Boulevard mostly sticks to lighter styles, mixing casual prog rock, light jazz and soundtrack elements. Certain songs, such as "The Horses from Zaad", definitely have a cinematic flair to them. There are occasional eddies and tides from ethnic influence, although they are subjugated to exist quietly within a more prog framework. For the most part, Sonic Boulevard avoids sounding like dentist office music, but as the album wears on, the music becomes less and less obtrusive to the point where you can almost feel your teeth being worked on. Nothing kills the mood faster for a rock band than realizing the song could be played on light jazz stations, which is music designed for people who have died but haven't quite fallen over yet. But fortunately, much of this album sticks to a mild soundtrack theme so there's very little death of the soul going on here.

For the most part, Sonic Boulevard is a pleasant, but fairly unassuming and unchallening listen. Perhaps a bit too light for my tastes, it will undoubtedly be of interest to fans of The Flower Kings as well as those who enjoy a light instrumental diversion that seldom taxes the eardrums.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2003

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