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Traffic - Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 154 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Is the drummer being muscled out?

"Shoot out at the fantasy factory" should be seen as the second release by the reinvented Traffic, as it bears little relation to anything which was released by them prior to "Low spark of high healed boys". The line up is once again tinkered with, the rhythm team from Muscle Shoals Studios (Hawkins and Hood) providing their distinctive percussion and bass. With Rebop Kwaku Baah also adding percussion, Jim Capaldi must have wondered if he was being literally muscled to one side!

The opening bars of the title track give a slightly misleading indication of what to expect here, the sound being rooted in funky jazz rock. This track is actually quite similar to SANTANA's early material, with the fine guitar work dominating the piece.

Steve Winwood, always a highly under appreciated singer, gives an excellent vocal performance on the slightly slower "Roll right stones", the longest and most progressive track on the album. The slowing of the pace is retained for pretty much all of the second side. "Evening blue" is a dreamy laid back number, Chris Wood taking the opportunity to add some smoochy sax. Wood composed the instrumental "Tragic magic", the only song Winwood and Capaldi did not co-write. While not by any means "tragic", the piece could have done with substantially more "magic".

The closing track "(Sometimes I feel so) Uninspired" rounds things off in a predictably downbeat manner. Lyrically though, it does not appear to represent the situation the title might portray, the piece being one of the album's highlights. Winwood's vocal performance is once again exemplary, although I found the intrusive percussion to be totally inappropriate to the style of music. More so on this track than any other.

Those seeking the music which led to the current Prog Folk classification of this band will need to look elsewhere. Traffic's folk influences have been firmly ditched by this time, the album being highly steeped in jazz and blues rock. The oddly shaped sleeve makes it clear that this is intended to be "Low spark.." part 2. "Shoot out.." is not really up to the standard of that album though, the feeling here being of a band reaching the end of its road.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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