UK flag United Kingdom – The Symphonic Dream

Danish composer /keyboards player, Lars Boutrup, has been recording since the seventies, although his first all solo album, “Music For Keyboards” only came out about 5 years ago. This new release follos on from that with eight new progressive insttrumentals, which hark back to the glory days of keyboard based progressive rock.

As such, it has a limited audience, but prog fans who enjoy dense, instrumental prog will probably have a field day here. It’s not all show-off stuff, although Mr Boutrup quite rightly goes a bit doolally in a few places. Which is his prerogative, as it’s his solo album and his tunes. And he’s hasn’t forgotten the tunes, as there are plenty of melodies here that the more casual listener can hang on to.

It’s a fine mix of synths and organ, especially on ‘June’, which slowly builds into an impressively emotional work. But it’s the title track, ‘The Symphonic Dream’, that really lives up to its billing, as the amazing keyboard work is helped along by an impressive (real) rhythm section. Elsewhere, there are some nice piano lines galore, and just to show he knows how to rock, he turns it up on ‘Eddy Will Not Be Ready’.

If you liked the seventies sounds of Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, souped up with a dose of ELP, then this record is well worth checking out.