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Can - Landed  CD (album) cover

LANDED

Can

 

Krautrock

3.51 | 94 ratings

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Pnoom!
3 stars Well, I'm going to keep this review brief, because if I were to try talking too much about this album, all that would happen is that I'd either end up sounding like a CAN fan boy and endlessly talk about how good Vernal Equinox and Unfinished are, or I would sound like someone with nothing better to do who felt like bashing an album as I discussed the tracks that are not Vernal Equinox or Unfinished. To tell the truth, this is only half an album. Those twenty-some minutes are some classic CAN, and the rest of it is CAN in sell out mode (well, not quite, but almost). Even the album title is fitting. CAN, who had previously been up in musical heaven, has now landed back on Earth, with faults just like the rest of us. They have not yet deplaned and joined the rest of the world, and so they still have some sense left, but for the most part they are clearly on the path to sellout-dom.

As I pointed out, half of these songs are just plain bad. Some of them are actually listenable (though I do think that part of that is that I'm loath to think that anything by my favorite band could ever be unlistenable), such as Full Moon on the Highway (but this one only marginally), Half Past One (this one is actually fairly decent, even if it doesn't come close to what I know these musicians were capable of), and Hunters and Collectors (like Full Moon on the Highway, this one is only marginally listenable). The remaining track that is not either Vernal Equinox or Unfinished is Red Hot Indians, and it is one of the worst songs I have ever heard. I'm still in shock from realizing that CAN could do something quite that bad. So what, then, is good about this album? Well, Vernal Equinox and Unfinished. Vernal Equinox has more energy than any CAN track than Father Cannot Yell (the first song on Monster Movie), and is most excellent. The guitar solos are blistering and the drums go at light speed, showing that these truly are great musicians, though the fact remains that I preferred it when Liebezeit served as more than just a traditional drummer (which he does here, albeit a very good one), and when Karoli noodled around on guitar rather than took himself seriously, but we can't have everything, and this is still a great track. Unfinished is a sonic stew in the vein of those that came before it (such as Aumgn, Soup, and Chain Reaction/Quantum Physics), but it lacks the focus of those, and so is not quite as good. I still very much like it, but CAN has done much better.

Put these two halves together and we get a patchy album that I cannot recommend to anyone not already a huge CAN fan. If you do like CAN, you will probably want to hear Vernal Equinox and Unfinished, even though you will be left disappointed with their sound. If you don't like CAN, or don't know them, don't bother venturing here until after you know you like their earlier albums like Monster Movie, Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, and Future Days. CAN was on the verge of selling out when they released this album. They managed to keep some of their integrity with them here, but were already leaning towards the fate that lay in wait not only for them, but also for bands like Yes, Genesis, and Gentle Giant (to name a few). This album marked the end of the once great band CAN, and is not essential by any stretch of the imagination.

Pnoom! | 3/5 |

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