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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

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is Curved Air at their absolute creative peak, and that's really something unexpected after a very impressive effort such as "Phantasmagoria" and a major breakdown produced by the departures of Way and Monkman. Unexpected as it may have been at the time, it was true and real: the newcomers managed to bring new refreshing energy and effective musical ideas to the refurbished Curved Air, and you can tell that Sonja Kristina's enthusiasm at her singing is a clear proof of a permanent sense of purpose and faith within the band's ranks despite the uncertainty of the moment. The opening track, a catchy rocker with artsy flavours, pretty much reflects the frontal spirit of undeterred optimism that seems to inspire the band all the time. In contrast, 'Elfin Boy' shows the acoustic side that Sonjia Kristina is so much fond of: in comparison to 'Melinda' from the previous album, 'Elfin Boy' bears a more mysterious vibe, due in no small degree to the distant, almost whispering Sonja's chanting, but also to teh surreal violin textures provided by Jobson. Now that we have just mentioned him... Among the newcomers, a very young Eddie Jobson is heavily featured in the strong presence of his synth solos, keyboard layers and orchestrations, Baroque- inspired pian otouches and impressive violin performances. He also provides the music to what many Curved Air experts declare as the band's best song ever: 'Metamorphosis'. All the way from the majestic piano intro, the intervention of organ and synth for the rockier passages and the reappearance of the piano for the eerie interlude, there is a consistent lesson in the clever use of the various cadences of diverse keyboards in order to create different moods cohesively coordinated with each other in a continuum. The rhythm section feels particularly tight in this track, and the guitar leads keep a coherent symphonic feel, complementing the moods led by the keyboards. The powerful instrumental 'Armin' is another strong progressive item in which Jobson again assumes a leading role, this time on his electric violin (together with some mellotron washes during the climax). The fluid convergence among the musicians is so solid that it is unbelievable that the line-up came to fruition in a moment of crisis for the band. 'U.H.F.' is a typical CA rocker with an added soft interlude that serves as a vehicle for some symphonic ornaments. The symphonic feel dominates the spirit of the beautiful, majestic ballad 'Easy', which closes the album in a very solmen manner. On the other hand, 'World' and 'Two-Three-Two' are trivial, not bad nor unpleasant, but definitely they don't bring anything special to the album's repertoire. All in all, the greater moments are predominant: with this album, Curved Air managed to enhance both their rocky and artsy sides, building a perfect equilibrium between them. "Air Cut" is a real excellent gem.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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