Artist: Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion
Back in 2008 The Flower Kings froze their activities for undetermined time, while Roine Stolt founded Agents Of Mercy and released 3 albums. Hasse gathered some friends to form a new band and in 2010 they released their first album Future Past (2010).
To tell you the truth I was completely unaware of his ‘solo’ work till their second album Powerplay (2012) was sent to me. The band is formed by Hasse Fröberg (vocals and guitars), Anton Lindsjö (guitars and vocals), Kjell Haraldsson (keyboards and vocals), Thomsson (bass and vocals) and Ola Strandberg (drums and vocals).
Powerplay (2012) was released in April last year by Reingold Records, owned by The Flower Kings bassist Jonas Reingold and the sound engineer and producer (with Hasse himself) on the album is Tomas Bodin, keyboard man from TFK. As you can see TFK is like a big family, record company, producers and etc.
It’s very easy to see The Flower Kings influences on Powerplay (2012) and that wouldn’t be different, Hasse is an important part of the band.
The first track ‘My River To Cross’ has the amount of energy and style to easily been put on a TFK album if they were not on a break at that time.
I would say that the difference between the two bands is that Musical Companion is a bit more Rock n’ Roll, the old 70’s Rock, sometimes.
Like I said, it is very hard not to compare this album with what The Flower Kings does. Of course Hasse songs are not the same as Roine Stolt (the main writer in TFK) and you have many new nuances in Powerplay (2012) because of the other musicians involved, but many times it seems we’re listening a very good cover band from the original.
The difference lies in tracks like ‘The Final Hour’, especially in the final part and because of the guitars from Anton Lindsjö. ‘Waves’ is also a very different track.
I guess my favorite track is ‘Venice CA’ for its ‘light’ and good mix between the melodies and the catchy chorus. In ‘Is It Ever Gonna Happen’ we have a good amount of TFK again, the good part.
In ‘The Chosen Ones’ we have the best moment of Kjell Haraldsson and his keyboards.
It’s not that Powerplay (2012) is a bad album, it is not. In fact, it is a very good album. And it would be exceptional to have it in The Flower Kings time off, but as soon as this album was released The Flower Kings announced their return and it’s a bit complicated to pay attention to Powerplay (2012) when you have the original band with a great album like Banks Of Eden (2012) is.
It’s quite hard to review this album without the comparisons, especially to me, a fan of The Flower Kings. I realize that it’s unfair, but it is what it is and Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion drinks in all the fountains TFK drank too and it’s impossible not to compare both.
Some might say that having two albums with members of your favorite band and with high quality being released in the same year is a very good thing. They’re probably right! Stop thinking about it for a while and just enjoy Powerplay (2012) and you’ll be just fine.