Rikard Sjöblom – The Unbendable Sleep

I’ve been into the progressive rock band Beardfish for a while, my favorite album of theirs being their two parter “Sleeping In Traffic.” I also enjoyed their latest album 4626+Comfortzone quite a bit. So I was excited to hear what the band’s frontman Rikard Sjöblom had in store for his second solo album “The Unbendable Sleep”.

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Rikard’s unique and catchy melodies paired with his distinct vocals makes for some interesting music to say the least. This album flows well but also goes unexpected places. One of which being a short interlude track “Building A Tent For Astor” which is a nice little instrumental tune featuring some beautiful piano melodies. There’s also the track “Anna-Lee” which reminds me of the goofy side of Beardfish with its somewhat bizarre lyrics.

Rikard clearly takes influence from 70s progressive rock, but mixes in other styles and influences as well. This is most apparent on the two-part epic “Love And War” which surrounds the album.

Clocking in at 50 minutes, the album is a decent length even though some of the eight tracks are on the shorter side. There’s definitely enough material here to keep fans satisfied until the next Beardfish album. Rikard has certainly been active lately, not just with Beardfish but also as a member of Big Big Train. It’s impressive that he can release a solo album just a year after the last Beardfish album, and I hope he keeps up this momentum.

The instrument playing on this album is impressive. Not only is Rikard a great guitarist, but a talented keyboardist as well. He showcases his skills on both instruments throughout the album.

“The Unbendable Sleep” as a whole is a pretty solid album, and deserving of your attention if you’re a fan of this style of progressive rock. For everyone else, it may not be your cup of tea, but give it a shot anyways, you may find something in it that catches your ear.

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A press copy of the album was used for this review.

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