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Caravan - Cunning Stunts CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.12 | 312 ratings

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3 stars Cunning Stunts is the sixth studio album from Caravan. After the brilliant For Girls Who Grow Plumb in the Night, I expected an equally stunning album, but I guess Caravanīs great era ended with For Girls Who Grow Plumb in the Night because Cunning Stunts is a disappointment compared to the previous album. Itīs not all bad though and there are hints to the Caravan we love.

The Show of Our Lives starts the album. Itīs a semi-ballad song with lots of orchestration. I canīt say I enjoy this song very much. Itīs definitely not to my taste. Stuck in a Hole is the next song and here the quality is considerably higher. This is how Caravan should sound like IMO. Itīs an energetic song that reminds me a bit about some of the songs from For Girls Who Grow Plumb in the Night. One of the best songs here without a doubt. Lover is a terrible cheesy ballad type song with lots of orchestration. Really not my taste at all. Around this time of listening I was seriously worried if Cunning Stunts would continue in this way but fortunately the next song No Backstage Pass is a pretty good subtle Caravan song. But then we go again with a terrible song. Welcome the Day has beat that is almost in the vein of disco. This song is so cheesy I canīt stand it. The keyboard solo by David Sinclair is a bit redeeming though. Itīs a very bad song though.

Dabsong Conshirto is an 18 minute long song which is the definite highlight of Cunning Stunts. This is actually one of the greatest compositions I have heard so far from Caravan. Lots of soloing by violin, keyboards and flute but there are also some of the most demanding vocal parts Pye Hastings ever did. Really high pitched without sounding forced. What a great song. The last song is The Fear and Loathing in Tollington Park which is a short almost bluegrass inspired guitar led song but then flute kicks in and gives it a folky touch. Ok but nothing special.

The musicianship is very good even though itīs hard to understand that brilliant musicians like these wantīs to play some of the things played on Cunning Stunts.

The production is very good. I really enjoy this production and I wish that the music had been better so it could have profited from the good sound quality.

Cunning Stunts have good moments and terrible moments and itīt definitely not my favorite Caravan album but the good moments does mean that I will rate Cunning Stunts 3 stars. Two songs stand out as the best and saves the album and that is Stuck in a Hole and Dabsong Conshirto. This is partially recommendable. I would buy this if I fell over it in a record store but itīs not the kind of album I would seek out.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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