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Curved Air - Second Album CD (album) cover


Curved Air


Eclectic Prog

3.59 | 194 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
4 stars Here is an album I can dig. The influences are all over the place to the point where they've basically developed a pretty unique sound of their own. The band has never been any better (or retro-cooler) than in Second Album, with their basis of prog rock morphed with some brit-pop and a bit of french-pop chic to make this one of the few full fledged (non proto-) prog rock albums that would inspire Austin Powers to shag himself senseless with joy.

In fact the shagadelicness kicks in pretty much right away with Young Mother, a jazzy prog rock number with a sort of majestic adventurous vibe. Pretty and melodic as hell, yet full of undanceable time signatures and unorthodox chord progressions, this is how to start off an album. Sonja's voice may be a bit high in the mix during this number, but it adds a bit of 60s charm to the tune, and her wistful delivery has a sort of Francoise Hardy charm to it (without the French accent). Back Street Luv follows, and I'm feelin' the LUV here baby. It's catchy brit-pop rock with a sweet vocal melody and technical flair not usually on display in poppy numbers. More pop songs should be like this. The album then steers us in different directions from ethereal folk to funky grooves with some cool guitar soloing, most of it being pretty much essential. Puppets, in particular, has such a psychedelic cool as a cuke chorus about marionettes.

The latter portions of the album have even more of a jazzy tone, with some of it working just fine (Everdance is damn fun), and other moments going overboard into corny and rather obnoxious territory...which would be the song Bright summer's day 68. In the middle of May. Oh man that bugs me...

The last track is a pretty wild showcase for the whole band to show off their chops from all the groovy violin solos to keyboards to the spy-rock music to the speedy lyric delivery to you name it...this is Curved Air at their best, and of course the perfect way to end the album, even if it could have been shortened a bit.

It's too bad this incarnation of the band couldn't stick can argue that they embraced their progginess a bit more on the next two efforts...but in this particular case that was at the expense of the FUN. This is Curved Air.

Prog Sothoth | 4/5 |


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