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Hatfield And The North - Hatfield And The North CD (album) cover


Hatfield And The North


Canterbury Scene

4.27 | 585 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars A great all-star group out of the ashes of Soft Machine, Caravan, Khan, and Matching Mole-- before Robert Wyatt's paralyzing accident. Lots of fun, lots of short collective explorations, lots of experimentations with editing and mixing. Richard and Robert (on "Calyx") are at the peak of their vocal confidences--though I wish "The Northettes" got a little more air time (like their amazing work on "Lobster in Cleavage Probe"). We get a preview of some of the sounds made famous on Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" and Todd Rundgren's "Adventures in Utopia" on "Rifferama." The album has only two longer songs, "Son of 'There's No Place Like Homerton'" and "Shaving is Boring" (8:47), which are actually two of my least favorite songs on the album. I love the nonsensical tongue-in-cheek 'classical' vocal harmonies of "Fol de Roi" (3:09)-- especially the "call-in" reprise over the telephone line at the end! Great bass play throughout from Richard, as well as top notch guitar and drum play. The wide variety of keyboard sounds Dave Stewart was experimenting with on this album don't get much traction from him on successive recordings but are fun and interesting here. Not quite as jazzy or proggy as others from this sub genre. Still, there's a lot packed into this album. Check it out!

Five star songs: "Big Jobs (Poo Poo Extract)," "Calyx," "Aigrette," "Rifferama," "Big Jobs No. 2 (By Poo and The Wee Wees)," "Lobster in Cleavage Probe," and "Gigantic Land-Crabs in Earth Takeover Bid."

Overall, Hatfield's debut is a stellar example of the best of what the Canterbury Scene has to offer the Progressive Rock genre. A bit silly at times but otherwise stands up well over time. Not quite the type of album that draws me back as much as some others from the sub-genre, but pretty nearly a masterpiece. 4.5 stars.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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