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Curved Air - Reborn CD (album) cover


Curved Air


Eclectic Prog

3.03 | 10 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Pregnant with potential, but the true rebirth of the band was still a few years in the future

In my review of Curved Air's latest studio album North Star, released this year (2014), I criticized their decision to include a few re-makes of older songs (and a couple of covers as well) in amongst the brand new, original material. The new songs on that album were all of very high quality and the album as a whole would definitely have been better had they excluded the re-makes (and covers) and concentrated exclusively on new, original material. This is especially true in light of the fact that they had already made an album of re-recorded versions of classic songs a few years earlier in Reborn. This 2008 album featured newly recorded versions of 11 songs that originally appeared on the band's first five studio albums plus two brand new songs (as well as a Dance Remix that is best regarded as a "bonus" track, or perhaps as a "penalty" track if that makes sense). Note that all of these are new recordings and Reborn contains no previously released material, hence this is not a compilation.

Normally I don't much like albums of re-makes, but Reborn is a good one of its kind. The new recordings of old songs are not bad at all, and frankly the original recordings were far from perfect. The sound quality on the original 70's albums was not very good and these songs deserved to be re-recorded. The end result presented on Reborn is fine but also far from perfect. The drum sounds used are especially problematic and make these versions very 90's-sounding despite being created in 2008 (and the aforementioned final track which is a Dance Remix of Back Street Luv is best avoided really).

The two brand new songs are Coming Home and The Fury both of which are good songs and constitute the first new songs by Curved Air for many a year. Daryl Way takes the lead on The Fury with his ultra violins which are in good shape. In hindsight it would probably had been better to save these new songs for inclusion on North Star and let Reborn be an album of strictly re-makes of old songs (and North Star an album of exclusively new songs), but as it stands these new songs are worthy additions to the Curved Air catalogue.

Five of the re-recorded songs featured here originally appeared on the 1970 debut album Air Conditioning (Stretch, It Happened Today, Screw, Hide And Seek, and Vivaldi), two songs each originally came from 1971's Second Album (Back Street Luv and Young Mother) and 1972's Phantasmagoria (Marie Antoinette and Melinda (More Or Less)), and one song each originally featured on 1973's Air Cut (Elfin Boy) and 1975's Midnight Wire (the title track). The band's final album from the 70's, Airborn, is not represented by any re-make. Young Mother was re-recorded once again in 2014 for the aforementioned North Star, and I must say that the latter version is better than the one presented here.

Reborn is definitely worth having if you are a fan of Curved Air and a good album of its kind, but the real rebirth of the band had to wait until 2014 when North Star was released. Also a better place to hear newly recorded versions of many of the songs featured on Reborn is on the excellent live album Live Atmosphere released in 2012.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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