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Low Budget Orchestra - The Second Best CD (album) cover

THE SECOND BEST

Low Budget Orchestra

 

Neo-Prog

3.00 | 4 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Elegant Simplicity (UK), Eureka (Germany), Methexis (Greece), etc. As you may know, the common factor is that these are one man bands, more or less. Mikko Muranen from Finland makes instrumental, guitar-oriented yet Neo Prog sounding rock music under the name Low Budget Orchestra. The name must be taken with irony: this is not low-fi music made in poor circumstances, but the budget is low simply because there are no extra musicians to pay. The only other person you can find printed on the covers of this second album is Jaakko Viitalähde who mastered the music. One wouldn't guess in a blindfold test that all instruments are being played by the one and the same person instead of a four-piece group. So talented musicians are rare.

Funny how much that one-man factor affects to the reception. On one hand you tend to praise the technical level (which you wouldn't necessarily do with a band effort), on the other hand you feel very unsure how to express any negative opinions. I try to be honest. I believe if this was an album by a foregn band, I wouldn't hesitate at all to call it unusually single-minded and sort of pointless on the long run. The weakness is definitely not in the execution: Muranen is agifted guitarist, and pretty good on keyboards and rhythm section too. As a producer - given that he's capable of doing team work too - he would be valuable to any newcoming band.

The weakness is in the writing. None of the eight tracks are bad, any of them would be at least a decent instrumental on a good prog album. This is powerful, clean instrumental rock with a meaty sound starring electric guitar. But all put together to form an entire album, they're damn too similar to each other. I wonder if I would ever learn them individually to tell from each other. This deosn't result as weak musci, far from it, but it does result, in my opinion, as a rather boring album which shows excellent craftsmanship but lacks emotional depth.

I feel sorry to sound so negative. I was given all three L.B.O. albums, and I felt the same with the debut. I hope to get more out of the third one. I'll let you know.

Matti | 3/5 |

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