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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Work Of Art - 2011 In Progress
 
Work Of Art - 2011 In Progress



ARTIST: Work Of Art
ALBUM: In Progress
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 524
YEAR: 2011

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Lars Säfsund - vocals, keyboards * Robet Sall - guitars * Herman Furin - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Rain * 02 Nature Of The Game * 03 Once Again * 04 Never Love Again * 05 Eye Of The Storm * 06 Until You Believe * 07 The Great Fall * 08 Call On Me * 09 Emelie * 10 Fall Down * 11 Castaway * 12 One Step Away

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.myspace.com/musicofworkofart


Background
This is the Swedish band that set hearts racing with their debut album 'Artwork' back in 2008. I loved a couple of their songs, including the amazing 'Why Do I', but the rest of it left me a little underwhelmed. Since then of course, the guys have been busy interloping on other tracks, particularly Lars Säfsund who has appeared since with Enbound and Lionville. 'In Progress' is the much highly anticipated follow-up, and I'll admit that for me it's much better than the debut, mind you they've had three years to refine their music, so no surprises there. Säfsund is a wonderful singer but I didn't like the way his vocals were mixed for this album. They sound thin next to the rest of the huge production, it's just as well that he's classy enough to carry it off for the better part.


The Songs
Things get off to a cracking start with the lively and entertaining 'The Rain'. Just as 'Why Do I' set the high-bar on the debut, so too does 'The Rain', the whole thing is fast paced, dramatic, while the accelerated bridge leading into the solo section is simply breathtaking. What an entrance! 'Nature Of The Game' is next, and there's no let up from the WOA team, Säfsund reminding us what a talent he is. The band ease up for 'Once Again', restrained and simplified compared to the first two tracks. Now that the tea break is over, we're back into AOR central with the magnificent 'Never Love Again', the intro sounding more Journey than Journey lol! It progresses into something special soon after. Love the hi-tech sound for 'Eye Of The Storm', but the central ideas/motifs are starting to become too familiar now, especially on the verses. So too 'Call On Me'. They really need to change it up. The first real change comes with the Toto like 'Until You Believe', which is a ballad, 'The Great Fall' you've seen on our main page as a video for a weeks now, their typical sound now becoming a WOA trademark. 'Emelie' for me is one of the album highlights. It's heavier, has a brash sound (especially the drums) and just goes for broke mostly. 'Fall Down' is another Toto like composition, with the strong piano lines prominent, and to ensure that there is contrast, 'Castaways' is an acoustic bluesy piece straight out of Memphis. Though it might the final track on the album, 'One Step Away' will appeal to fans of David Foster or Bill Meyers, a purist West Coast-ish track straight out of the 80's. Nice way to finish.


In Summary
Reading elsewhere on the Internet, opinion is divided over which album is better. Some swaying for the debut, while others opt for this one. I'll go with the latter opinion myself, mainly because they sound like a million bucks and less of a Toto clone that they were on the debut. The vocal mix is still an issue for me, but you got hand it to these guys, this is so much better than most other albums around, other than the two other albums released the same time as this by Frontiers (re: XorigiN and Toby Hitchcock). A nice album, I give it a 9.


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Tags: Work Of Art 
 
Comments
#1 | roadrunner158 on September 12 2011 16:17:01
Funny, I liked the debut better because it sounded like a Toto clone. On this one, they sound like all those other Swedish (and Norwegian) melodic rock bands - if you played me some songs from Elevener, XOrigin and this CD in a row, I doubt I'll be able to tell the difference. But don't get me wrong, this is still a very enjoyable listen Thumbs Up
#2 | DrakeSinister on September 13 2011 18:30:40
Eh, I easily hear the difference between Work Of Art and groups like Elevener. For one thing, their hooks are better than pretty much anyone else in the business right now, and second they aren't burdened by some of the eye-rolling Christian baggage of guys like Toby Hitchcock (who, while a good vocalist, is certainly no Lars Safsund).

To be honest, I'm more of a fan in general of AOR in the Toto/Journey vein than the majority of other "AOR" groups who go for the typical thump-thump pomp of bands like Survivor. As far as that goes therefore, I think this release is by far the best we've heard from the more L.A.-inspired side of the FM rock tree in nearly half a decade.
#3 | george_the_jack on October 31 2011 23:58:15
Well, this is a good as the first! Can't stop listening to it.Very enjoyable record, harder in places compared to its predecesor, yet very very melodic! One of the winners of 2011 without a shadow of a doubt!
#4 | george_the_jack on December 14 2011 00:53:44
Man, this is getting better and better and better to my ears with every listen! I have to say, the first place in my 2011 best list is not that far... Exceptional production and arrangements, memorable hooks yet mature melodic lines is what you get here while lyric-wise is quality all the way.You, that found 'In progress' inferior conpared to 'Artwork', PLEASE give it one more chance! I bet my head that if you give this 2-3 more spins, you will change your mind!
#5 | jeffrey343 on March 08 2012 21:29:15
Another winner for 2011. I'll agree with George that the vocal mix isn't as great as it could be - Safsund sounds great, but I would like the vocals to stand out more than they do. I find myself having to concentrate more to pick out the lyrics when I listen to this that I'd like - makes it hard to sing along. But there are some great songs on here.
#6 | gdazegod on March 19 2012 11:17:17
YouTube Video:
#7 | gdazegod on November 25 2012 13:55:56
YouTube Video:
#8 | jeffrey343 on October 20 2013 06:06:39
I gotta say that this is knocking on the door of being my favorite album from a stellar year. It did take it a while to grow on me, but I have been rewarded by playing this many times. 'Until You Believe' is the best ballad since, well, 'More Than A Million Years' from the debut, which was as good as I've heard since the 80s. Both are truly sublime works of art (yeah, pun intended). And every song on here works great for me. It helped me sitting down with the lyrics and getting them firmly embedded in my memory. And 'Emelie / Emily' might be the 'Carrie' of this decade, as I hear that name in a fair number of songs these days.
 
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