Rydholm Säfsund

Wow, what lovely AOR album in the vein ot the late 70s/early 80s this release is!
June 6, 2024

To have two (or more) known musicians joining forces for a side project isn’t something unusual, the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll is full of such cases. Some of these projects are just a matter of forgetting their existence, but on others is a matter of waiting for a new release. But since AOR is a success on Sweden by now, a project as RYDHOLM SÄFSUND can’t be said as unexpected, but the high quality of everything on “Kaleidoscope” is amazing.

Produced and arranged by Anders Rydholm and Lars Säfsund (the masterminds of the project), known for their works with ART OF ILLUSION, WORK OF ART and GRAND ILLUSION), with the recordings and mixing happening at GodisPaScen Studio between 2021 and 2024 (Anders took over of the two duties), and the sonority is clean and defined, with everything sounding loud and understandable to the ears. It’s an amazing result, indeed. And the additional musicians list is so huge that would demands more lines on this review than the necessary, but it’s on the album, so go for it.

As wrote above, Anders and Lars are the ones behind the music heard on “Kaleidoscope”. It’s an eclectic format of AOR known by the works of bands as TOTO, SUPERTRAMP and ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA full of influences of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Pop Rock and Jazz Fusion, with ample use of keyboards and horns, some percussion and more. It’s something unexpected today, because such kind of music (usual in the turn of the 70s to the 80s) seemed dead. But it’s good to hear it again, in such modern and energetic way, and the best thing: with personality. It’s truly great!

There are 12 excellent songs on the album, but “Now and Forever” (an excellent set of melodies can be heard, and pay attention to the excellent bass playing and horns parts, and what a catchy chorus), “Hey You” (that has a groove inherited from Funk/Jazz Fusion on it, with excellent backing vocals and keys), “What’s Not to Love” (a silk set of melodies are heard on it, and the mind goes back to the 70s and 80s easily, and what excellent guitars and keyboards parts), “Seven Signs of Love” and “Don’t Make Me Do It” (both with a typical Pop/AOR appeal of the 70s with a modern outfit, with excellent grooves), “4th of July” (an accessible song with elegant melodies, again with fine contrasts between vocals and backing vocals), “The Bet” (the scents of Soul Music and Pop Rock is clean, but how the horns sound perfect on it), and… Well, you MUST listen to “Sara’s Dream”, “Bucket List”, “The Plains of Marathon”, “Kaleidoscope” and “Love Will Find a Way” as well, because the album is strong as a wall, and works perfectly.

Let’s hope that RYDHOLM SÄFSUND will not release “Kaleidoscope” and let the fans orphans. The project shows an amazing talent, indeed.

10 / 10









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"Kaleidoscope" Track-listing:
  1. Now and Forever
  2. Hey You
  3. What’s Not to Love
  4. Seven Signs of Love
  5. Don’t Make Me Do It
  6. 4th of July
  7. The Bet
  8. Sara’s Dream
  9. Bucket List
  10. The Plains of Marathon
  11. Kaleidoscope
  12. Love Will Find a Way
Rydholm Säfsund Lineup:

Lars Säfsund - Vocals
Anders Rydholm - Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards

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