FreddeGredde is a solo project by the Swedish multi-instrumentalist Fredrik Larsson, who became 'famous' due to his videos on YouTube. His debut album, which took him almost two years to complete, contains twelve prog rock songs varying from quiet acoustic pieces to almost metal-like songs. You'll hear influences from bands like Porcupine Tree, Spock's Beard, The Beatles and sometimes, during orchestral passages, I even heard echoes from the renowned Electric Light Orchestra.
The first couple of songs are rather short; they're a mixture of acoustic passages and harder parts kept together by the high voice of Larsson. His singing sometimes tends to get on my nerves, especially when he uses his high-pitched voice. An absolute redundant song is Vampire Bride which is nothing more than repeating the song title over and over again. Luckily the album ends surprisingly well with the two long tracks Euphoria and Time Will Tell. These two epic pieces are really outstanding, because here it's obvious what Fredrik Larsson is capable of: amazing guitar solos, beautiful keyboard passages, quiet melodic intermezzos and good, decent vocal parts. Why is the rest of the album not as good as these two songs? I don't know, but let's wait for the follow-up album before judging FreddeGredde too harsh. Meanwhile you can enjoy his debut which really is a decent prog rock album.
*** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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