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Curved Air - Second Album CD (album) cover


Curved Air


Eclectic Prog

3.60 | 193 ratings

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3 stars Curved Air's 'Second Album' which of course is.. hahhaha.. smart prog fans that you are.. their second album. Some fans call this album the highlite of the Monkman/Way incarnation of the band.. .others think that Phantasmagoria is. The best thing to do is get both and decide. I personally like this album best. The album was created by a band flush with new ideas and recorded between tours when they were on top of their respective games instrumentally and this group had some serious skill and talent going on.

The album of course is dominated by two elements the sensuous voice of Sonia Kristina and the classically trained Daryl Way and Francis Monkman on violin and keyboards respectively. If you have not really checked out Curved Air I strongly recommend you do.. similar to Renaissance musically yet with subtle differences. Curved Air had an aggression, a brashness that Renaissance lacked.Maybe in large part to the character of the different vocalists. Where Haslam had an angelic voice and seemed to excude purity. Kristina was the 'bad' girl your mothers warned you about. Can you imagine Haslam singing a song about having sex in the back of a car or in other places that passion drove you to. I can't that's for sure hahah. Well Kristina sang about it as if she had.. and considering she wrote the song hahha.. well. let's leave that alone and get on with the review before I blow a gasket here.

The album kicks off with 'Young Mother' with Kristina's impassioned vocals and Ways emotional violin. A great Monkman VCS 3 solo in the middle and is a great opening to album. The song according to Monkman predated Sonja's arrival in the band and was about Jackie Onassis. The next song up was a top 5 UK hit from the album ' Back Street Luv' Pretty much a pop song a nice electric piano playing by Monkman. According to Kristina the song was written for those who have made love in a dark alley or in the boot of an MG ( emoticion for ... how do you do that) Nice song. Next please....

Jumbo is a strings and piano piece that has a beautiful melody. A melancholy song about flying back home after a tour. Not bad.. but now.. the meat of the album for me starts. 'You know' has a jaunty rhythm that just inspires me to pick up the bass and play along. The obvious highlites are Monkmans two fabulous guitar solos. Love Kristina's singing on this one. The mellotron and piano driven 'Puppets' is next. What a lovely melody. One of my favorites from the album. 'Everdance' kicks off with a satanic wail from Way's violin and drops into a furious rhythm driven by Miksa. The highlite is the duelling violin and synthesizesrs of Way and Monkman and Miksa's drumming.. though I will give bonus points to the gentleman who wrote the liner notes to the album who called his drumming on this 'one of the most stunning rock drumming performances ever recorded' hahhaha. It's good guy.. but come on. Great track.. all misplaced enthusiam aside.

The harpsicord driven 'Bright Summers Day 1968' follows with another excellent Monkman guitar solo to close the track. Love the vocal harmony bits in that one. The album closes with the nearly 13 minute epic 'Piece of Mind'. A Monkman composition full of sythnthesizers and .. to be honest.. a little of everything. Cellos, horns, and others I'm sure I lost in the mix hahah. A rather dramatic piece of music that Since I feel bad for flaming the guy who wrote the liner notes.. I have to given him a shout out I wouldn't have recognized it otherwise being the uncultured (literature that is haha) swine that I am but there is an wonderful section where Kristina sings a section of T.S. Elliots 'The Wasteland' over a Monkman piano solo that is out of this world. He may have dropped the ball on the drumming.. but nailed it on that hahha. Great track.

The album for me had a bit of slow start but really picked up steam heading to the finish. Highly recommended if you want to try to Monkman/Way era of Curved Air. No Jobson on this.. try Air Cut if looking for him. Monkman might be one of the more underappreciated talents out of England during this period. This album shows him off quite well. Really enjoy this album.

For me and the site... 3 stars..

Michael (aka micky)

micky | 3/5 |


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