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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » Larsson, Sven - 2012 Bad Mad Man
Larsson, Sven - 2012 Bad Mad Man

ARTIST: Larsson, Sven
ALBUM: Bad Mad Man
LABEL: Avenue Of Allies
SERIAL: 12-07-0045
YEAR: 2012
SPONSOR: Gregor Klee


LINEUP: Sven Larsson - lead and backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars

Guests: Goran Edman, Thomas Eriksson - lead and backing vocals * Anders Ahlund - lead vocals * Ove Lundstrom - backing vocals, lead bass, keyboards * Ulf Hedlund Pettersson, Fredrik Bergh, Daniel Karlsson - keyboards * Soren Karlsson - keyboards, piano * Par Forsberg - organ * P-O Larsson - steel guitar, keyboards, backing vocals * Torbjorn Karlsson - flute, alto sax * Goran Fors - taurus pedals * Bjorn Lodmark - bass * Christian Johansson - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dance The Night Away * 02 Sin City * 03 How Could It Come To This * 04 Bad Mad Man * 05 Forever You And Me * 06 Missing Link * 07 Green Unit (instr) * 08 Look The Ghost In The Eyes * 09 The House Upon The Hill * 10 Castle Of Mine * 11 Welcome To My Island (instr)



This chap has been featured at GD more often than not, and it's good to see him back in action through the latter part of 2012. Larsson, long revered from his days as a member of Galleon, Xinema and Street Talk has recently gone down the solo route, displaying his sonic tapestry away from the band situation. It frees him up to diversify into non-mainstream genres though with a west-coast/jazz fusion overview. 'Bad Mad Man' is Sven's second solo outing for Avenue Of Allies following on from 2010's 'Sunlight And Shadow', which garnered a healthy 9/10 rating back then. More or less the same crew who appeared on that album come back for a second bite at the cherry.

The Songs
The opening pair of 'Dance The Night Away' and 'Sin City' evoke reminders of Larsson's participation in Street Talk, the latter featuring Goran Edman so that much was obvious. Both are a racy set of tracks which keeps things familiar for melodic rockers. From here, the album goes slightly west of sunset, as a myriad of styles become evident. 'How Could It Come To This' slows to a near crawl, a mellow piece within a sombre environment. The title track 'Bad Mad Man' ticks away with a Novo Combo style gentle rhythm, before opening up the valves on the chorus which toughens up substantially. It's all very laid back and cruisy with the 3 minute 'Forever You & Me', which drops in some subtle steel guitar warbling, adding colour along the way. The near 7 minute excursion of 'Missing Link' is probably the album's piece de resistance, and contains some awesome soloing within. Think Steve Lukather's 1989 debut album, and the extended soling that he, Steve Stevens and Jan Hammer did on 'Fall Into Velvet'. It's pretty much the same deal here. Great track! 'Green Unit' is a beaut instrumental if you're into that jazz fusion/rock thing. The sax solo again adds some offbeat colour. 'Look The Ghost In The Eyes' isn't as morbid as it might sound. In fact, it's a gentle acoustic affair that is a fair representation of modern day West Coast. Again, some lucid piano, sax all add their compliment. 'House Upon The Hill' contains some unusual textures, shades of light and dark, keeping things wistful and reminiscent of Bill Meyers. 'Castle Of Mine' has a bit of Toto in it for the first part, but the arrangement goes totally jazz fusion, which keeps it true. The final track 'Welcome To My Island' is near 6 minutes of special Larsson guitar noodling, and is the ultimate way to finish up the album. See if you can some of the passages and phrasings that have ear-marked some of Sven's previous work.

In Summary
As an album, I enjoyed listening to this but I would also add that it doesn't quite hit the mark that 'Sunlight And Shadow' did two years ago. The opening pair, 'Missing Link' and 'Welcome To My Island' keep the quality right through the album, with a few dips in between. As a longtime fan, I'll take this CD over most of today's releases because at the end of the day, it's the music and the class that matters to me most.

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#1 | Eric on December 31 2012 03:50:16
Love the cover art.
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