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Curved Air - Air Cut CD (album) cover

AIR CUT

Curved Air

 

Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 102 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

OGTL
4 stars "I'm tumbling like Alice, down the tunnels of my mind!"

By the time this album was in production, Sonja Kristina was the only original member of the band.

Eddie Jobson had been recruited from a local band playing in the same club as Curved Air, and Daryl Way was out. Jobson was only 17 at the time, but he displays such a amazing amount of maturity, and talent playing keys and violin, and his compositional skills are to me, quite incredible. I prefer him much to Daryl Way.

Sonja Kristina was one of the magnetic forces that attracted me to this band, I was interested in prog bands with female vocals, and I have to say I prefer her voice to Annie Haslam. It's clear, beautiful and she can sing in many different ways without being weak. Try the fast paced and rocky vocals of "Purple Speed Queen" change radically with the next song, the soft, pure and beautiful Elfin Boy. Then transform into a chanting mystical child in the vocal portion of 'Metamorphosis'. Country Folk your thing? Might want to try out the joyful whimsical singing in 'World'. More Drama? Maybe give 'Easy' a try.

The remaining instrumental members in the band aren't too shabby either, Kirby plays some excellent riffs, and contributes some good backing vocal work on the last two numbers. Who Could forget Russell's military march drumming in 'Metamorphosis'? Mike Wedgewood plays the bass role solidly, but doesn't really have any astounding performances.

Oh, the songs!? Heh! This album has a pretty wide range of musical styles, and they are generally executed exceptionally.

There are three rock/pop songs, 'The Purple Speed Queen', a very nice solid rocker with a great chorus. 'Two-Three-Two' is the peice in which Mike Wedgewood does vocals, and I really enjoy some of the vocal melodies in the song. It's probably the bottom of the barrel for this album, but I don't skip it. UHF is a bit more on the proggier side, and it has a great solid riff, good instrumental and vocal performances all around.

'Elfin Boy' is a beautiful vocal folk track, and Sonja shines here. The begnning starts a little slow, but develops into a flowing melodic vocal section I can't help but turn to a labotomized state. It does contain a short instrumental keyboard bit, and the atmosphere is terrific.

'World' is really in a class of its own here, and some reviewers state that it's a clunker, but it is, without a doubt, my favourite -2:00 track. It's very upbeat and happy, and Jobson's violin and Sonja's vocals work beautifully together. It's really a great track. Misunderstood!?

Now, the three numbers that a proghead would find most enjoyable.. ARMIN is the most well rounded, excellently astounding mind blowing song of Curved Air's discography! From the beginning, the smashing speed and prescision of that violin I love so much, to the eargasmic guitar riffs, it's structured beautifully and is an essential song. METAMORPHOSIS is equally incredible, one of the top 10 minute suites in prog rock. This was written by Jobson, and it features some very tasteful piano work, both in the intro and mid section. between those, is the intimidating military snare march. Well written mystical lyrics, about the "Children of the Midnight". Sonja sings like a devil child quite well. 'Easy' is a song I had to get to know a bit more before accepting it, but it's a really endearing track that seems to have a story behind it. The lyrics are some of my favourite, reference the first sentence of this review. It has equal greatness in structure, vocals and instrumental arrangements.

A neglected prog masterpiece indeed, it need not be anymore. The CD has been released in a awesome remastered digipack, from Repitoire Records. (The same guys who recently remastered GG's Acquiring the Taste which I own and highly recommend, and Octopus on Dec 22). It comes with a extended booklet, lyrics, pictures, and a Chris Welch overview of the band and the record. Overall a great package and worth the -$20 it will cost you when you go to Amazon.com after reading these reviews. Buy it!!

OGTL | 4/5 |

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