Sapphire - Triple

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Zytlogge Verlag
Catalog Number: ZYT 4858
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:17:00

Taking on a strange resonance, in light of recent events in Atlanta, is the middle track "Men" on Sapphire's third album. Like a couple of other songs I could name, the topic here is domestic abuse. And like Fish's "Family Business," there is a sense of getting up very close - this isn't a distant, dispassionate view. It cuts right to the heart of the issue. Of course, there isn't any direct parallel to that incident in Atlanta. Think more The Burning Bed, that Farrah Fawcett vehicle of a few years ago.

Triple is a worthy successor to 1997's The Second Sun, and, in some ways, surpasses. This is an even more mature work. There are echoes still of Blues Traveller, latter day Big Country, but also some very progressive influences.

The instrumental "Solanum" starts out with a very southwestern/latin feel, via Andreas Hidber's guitar; Patric Ruff then comes in with a fat and booming bass, spitting out notes left and right; eerie keyboards then take over, playing a classic piano tune ... it took me a while to recall what I was thinking of, but it is the "Cantina Band" track from the original Star Wars film ... anyway, there are also moments here that make me think of ELP, especially towards the end. Great stuff all in all.

Vocalist Stefan Howald has such a warm, slightly accented voice; it's very inviting ... in some ways like the late Kevin Gilbert's, more in phrasing than tone.

This will appeal to the more neo-prog minded listeners than the more experimental/avant garde spectrum. Perhaps their most progressive moment is on the closing track "Ride In Time (The Funeral)." Actually, Sapphire have a sound that fits in an odd niche between neo-prog, pop, blues, and country.

Regardless, however, of what genre you want put this in, I really like this. It's really hard to pick out highlights, because there is just so much here. Different songs appeal for different reasons ... let's just say it comes recommended.

[For the life of me, I don't even remember now what "Atlanta incident" I was referring to... Bobbitt maybe?? - SS 8/05]

Cornflakes (4:40) / Carry On (3:32) / She Said (6:52) / Shiver With Cold (4:41) / Men (3:57) / Solanum (8:03) / Questions (3:37) / Ride In Time (The Border) (6:08) / Ride In Time (The Funeral) (8:47)

Stefan Howald - vocals
Christian Freiburghaus - keyboards
Andreas Hidber - guitars
Patric Ruff - bass
Martin Bammerlin - drums

Sapphire (1993)
The Second Sun (1997)
Triple (1998)
What Do You Expect? (2001) (demo ep) In Motion (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1241
Language: english


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