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Tasavallan Presidentti - Lambertland CD (album) cover

LAMBERTLAND

Tasavallan Presidentti

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.17 | 82 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI's third album was recorded in April-May 1972. Each album saw one member being replaced; first the original saxophonist-flautist Juhani Aaltonen gave way to Pekka Pöyry, and this time the vocalist changed from British Frank Robson to Eero Raittinen, an established singer in the 60's/70's pop culture. The band's fame rose rapidly both in Finland and in England, where they toured twice. Lambertland is almost entirely composed by the guitar master Jukka Tolonen, lyrics are written by Mats Huldén (the original WIGWAM bassist). Gone is the patchwork-like nature of the previous albums, now the album is completely coherent - supposedly also conceptual, though I can't quite figure out the story - and shows the group stronger than ever with a unique personality.

The fast-tempo opener 'Lounge' is a heady cocktail of riffy and bluesy rock, improvisational jazz virtuosity, prog complexity and tight funk. Pöyry's alto sax is all over the place. For me, and many, the album's shiny highlight is the title track that starts slowly in a mystic, nocturnal way. Raittinen's powerful vocals sound truly fantastic on those looooong notes. The delicate instrumental moment that builds up from solitary hi-hat and soft guitar chords into more intense jazz-rock is amazing too. The track changes seamlessly into Pekka Pöyry's instrumental composition 'Celebration of the Saved Nine'.

'The Bargain' has a very reserved basic rhythm on top of which the semi-shamanistic, Jim Morrison reminding vocals and the light jazz doodling of the group make me think of THE DOORS of the 70's, songs such as 'L. A. Woman' and 'Riders on the Storm'. 'Dance', the other instrumental, is fine due to the flute and the occasional Medieval influences, though it has a bit too much of self-indulgent jazz- rock boasting by Tolonen. 'Last Quarters' features a charming bass line, a lot of flute, and some JETHRO TULL-ish nuances. Yeah, a nice track, even if I at first thought it to be directionless.

Without a doubt Lambertland is among the biggest prog classics of Finland, but it's not a 5-star masterpiece to me.

Matti | 4/5 |

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