Artist/ Band: Tomas Bodin
Title: I A M
Label: InsideOut Music
Year of Release: 2005
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

Tomas Bodin returns with his forth solo album and it’s the most ambitious of them all. Tomas has a knack for writing good music and over the years has shown it more on his solo albums than in his band The Flower Kings. All of Tomas’ solo albums until I AM were instrumental but this time he wanted to express the music differently and with vocals.

I AM, the first in a trilogy of concept albums, based on ideas Tomas has been tinkering around with for years.. He also decided to go the route of a rock opera with some progressive and hard rock elements rather than Instrumetal route of the past albums. Some may think he’s treading ground that his main band is doing but once you listen, I mean really listen, I AM is nothing like anything The Flower Kings has done. I’ll probably be in the minority but I AM is possibly the best thing Tomas Bodin has done in years as well as the best of the The Flower King offshoots.

Joining Tomas are three vocalists, including Anders Jansson, Helene Schonning, and his wife Pernilla Bodin. The musicians are Glenn Hughes guitar player Jocke JJ Marsh, who’s guitar playing is completely different than Roine’s and give Tomas’ playing and songwritting a bit more room to explore. Not saying he’s constricted in The Flower Kings but one must remember that Tomas is a team player there and ideas tend to come mostly from Roine or a group effort. Rounding off the musicians are Flower Kings bandmates Jonas Reingold and Marcus Liliequist add their solid bass and drum work.

The songs are divided into three parts “I”, “A” & “M” and clock in from 18 to 23 minutes, making for some of the year’s most epic rock so far. This is one of my favorite releases of Tomas. The guy just gets better and better. I can’t wait for the other two parts of the trilogy. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another two years. This is for fans of classic hard progressive rock as well as classic symphonic rock. Obviously fans of The Flower Kings will enjoy this as well. Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on August 2nd, 2005


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