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Cressida - Asylum CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.57 | 153 ratings

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2 stars For all its follow up status and 1970 release, on "Asylum" Cressida actually devolved their sound even further back into 1960s psychedelic jams. They seemed oblivious to the newer more refined prog that was coming out, while they lacked the general muscularity to pull off convincing jams and jazzy meanderings.

While the presence of 2 lengthy epics bodes well for progressive fans, it turns out that the group really has no idea how to execute an engaging longer piece. "Munich" alternates between banal organ jams and limpid tired vocals and orchestration. "Let them come when they will" provides a generally satisfying closing thanks to more interesting lyrics and harmonies accompanied by ethereal strings. Cullen's voice brings the emotion up a few notches here, as opposed to sucking the air out of the room as he does most of the time.

The remaining short tracks are largely filler: organ laden affairs that were probably obsolete on release, although "Reprieved" works well as a slightly jazzy tune that does not overstay its welcome. On "Lisa", Culley's lead guitar sounds like a poor man's John Lees (BJH) imitation. Too many motifs tend to be packed into too small a space, displaying instrumental skill but virtually no instinctive and organic quality. They would have benefited from a stubborn editor.

Cressida was a very minor player in the rock scene of the time, for good reason. Virtually nothing they tried had much conviction. Their silly juxtaposition of dated styles, especially on this the weaker of their two efforts, was fit to be tied.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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