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Supertramp - Supertramp CD (album) cover

SUPERTRAMP

Supertramp

 

Crossover Prog

3.46 | 224 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

hdfisch
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Supertramp admittedly never belonged to my fav list though I've been grown up with their records in some way. Their debut always stood for me as a big exception within their discography, actually I even prefer it to their highly acclaimed (and in my opinion far overrated) albums from 74, 77 and 79 and it happens to be part of my collection since the days when it came out on CD.

The album is dominated throughout by a highly appealing melancholic mood providing a very distinctive atmosphere. Certainly this fact is much due to the presence of later Crimson lyricist Richard Palmer as a co-writer for all songs here. The music style the band was presenting on their debut sounds quite different from the one on their later charts-hitting albums. Most of the tracks are dominated by atmospheric Hammond sound and Hodgson's typical falsetto vocals like the blues rock-based "It's a Long Road" for example, which is in a more up-tempo pace. The following two songs "Aubade.." and "Words Unspoken" as well the beginning of "Maybe I'm a Beggar" (with lovely flageolet play) continue in a quite gentle and dreamy vein. The initially highly melancholic mood of the latter track had been abandoned very suddenly right in the middle by rather heavy rocking guitar. "Nothing to show" is after the very short "Home Again" as well kept in a more up-tempo and harder-edged pace which is rather exceptional for this album though since "Shadow Song" comes back to the basic melancholic mood. Most interesting track (in terms of Prog) is then the epic long-track "Try Again" which initially seams to be not that much different from the rest of tracks here. But in its second third there's an excellent organ-guitar interplay becoming more and more dynamic with the guitar as final winner of the duel. Then the track returns to its main melody with verse - chorus one more time and suddenly seams to stop or rather gets lost in some free-form playing of organ, guitar and drums - a part that appears to me a bit redundant actually - before a last chorus line of the main theme finishes it. Second part of the opener "Surely" finally closes the circle.

Overall this sadly too often forgotten album had been a remarkable and strong debut of a band that became later on much more famous (more across the Atlantic than in their home country) for far more approachable sound and "earhangers" like "School", "Dreamer", "Give A Little Bit" or "Logical Song". This later stuff from them I always used to consider rather (though quite good) pop or AOR-type of rock whereas here they came IMHO closer to progressive rock (or at least proto-Prog) than ever in their career. Not really an essential addition I think but a worthy one and I'll round up my 3 generously to 4 stars!

hdfisch | 4/5 |

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