Moonrise – Stopover-life

2012 (Lynx Music)

1: Stopover-Life (4:32)
2: Surrender To Win (6:57)
3: Start Up Song (4:06)
4: Let It Flow (6:17)
5: Flying In Empty Lands (7:02)
6: Blind Faces (5:49)
7: Guardian Angel (6:51)
8: Unravel Your Soul (7:37)
9: Mr Strange (9:14)

Here’s a new word for you: cuddle-prog. “Stopover Life”, the third album by Polish band Moonrise, formed around multi-instrumentalist Kamil Konieczniak, inspired me to do this. The tender, Oh so beautiful sounds of the album should be consumed between the sheets at least once.

We hear nine neo-prog like songs all of which are kissable. Don’t always expect explicit neo-prog. Apart from some Jadis-like moments, you usually get a kind of soft music with a creamy, melodic prog-sauce. Konieczniak is giving them the full blast in that regard. The music is draped on a subsurface of deep bass and woolly synthesizers. It should be noted that Moonrise is sending you in the wrong direction if you assume this subsurface as being dark. There is a lot of light on the album.

Konieczniak decorates his music with fine chords on the acoustic guitar, nice keyboard themes and sparkling piano playing. It is a comfortable bed on which the fellow-musicians can truly excel.

First of all there is singer Marcin Jajkiewicz. With his pleasant voice he brings the same kind of warmth in the music as Gary Chandler from Jadis. He has a fairly ordinary voice, which he doesn’t force with all kind of frills. Most of all Jajkiewicz is an integer vocalist and he needs that credibility desperately for the lyrics written by former singer Lucasz Gall. The albums handles about a broken relationship and to start over afterwards. Really beautiful is Blind Faith, Jajkiewicz tries to peak every emotion in which he brilliantly succeeds. Actually he turns every song into a pleasant listening experience.

What really stole my heart is the regularly appearing, elegant saxophone played by Dariusz Rvbka. From the gentle runs in the atmospheric titletrack that opens the album, he asks for attention. A bright theme like in Start Up Song is always welcome of course, however he is at his best in the solo on Guardian Angel. Rvbka can safely be considered as the icing on the cake and yes, later he joined Millenium.

Another keyplayer is guitarist Marcin Kruczek who plays one neat solo after another. Think in that regard of, here he is again, Gary Chandler. All his performances are noteworthy, his contribution on the thunderous Flying In Empty Lands needs to be mentioned, but also the one from Konieczniak in the carrying Unravel Your Soul. The drums from Grzegorz Bauer is also quite tasteful. It all sounds terrific.

This is a beautiful album and that will surely sort effect. 

Grzegorz Bauer: drums
Marcin Jajkiewicz: vocals
Kamil Konieczniak: keyboards, guitar, bass
Marcin Kruczek: guitar
Dariusz Rybka: saxophone

© Dick van der Heijde 2022