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Kevin Ayers - Bananamour CD (album) cover

BANANAMOUR

Kevin Ayers

 

Canterbury Scene

3.23 | 33 ratings

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febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars BANANA LOVE!

BANANAMOUR is the fourth AYERS album released but the last one on the prog label HARVEST before he left to ISLAND records for a shot at stardom.This album follows the same pattern than its predecessor WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING, except there are here no tracks as good as.for example THERE IS LOVING/AMONG US. On the other hand, there are really no silly songs (except the bonus tracks) either, disrupting the flow of the album, a remarkable achievment for someone like KEVIN AYERS!

What we have here is a good album that can be listened with pleasure but doesn't leave a memorable mark when it's over. All the songs are well arranged as usual but there is nothing you wouldl whistle when you are walking the streets.The opener DON'T LET IT GET YOU DOWN is a perfect example, great arrangements with a refined sound full of lush orchestrations, discreet horns, but what makes the song noticeable are the strong backing vocals of the 3 ladies repeating the chorus sounding a little bit like the ones used by latter days PINK FLOYDl Good, but not great!

STEVE HILLAGE was touring at the time with Kevin , but his contribution is limited to a great solo on SHOUTING IN A BUCKET BLUES! AYERS going blues?? Everything is possible! But a la KEVIN AYERS evidently; What strikes me when listening to SHOUTING and the next one WHEN YOUR PARENTS GO TO SLEEP , is those 2 songs sound like the.............ROLLING STONES period EXILES OM MAIN STREET, horns included!! Just listen to them and tell me if am wrong!WHEN YOUR PARENTS is so bluesy , even KEVIN AYERS let his new sidekick bassist ARCHIE LEGGETT take the lead vocal on this track as KEVIN'S voice is definitely not suited for ''earthy'' songs!

INTERVIEW is good psychedelic adventure with a hypnotic bass rythm enhanced by once again a wonderful fuzz solo organ from former bandmate MIKE RATLEDGE giving a great deal of help with his unique characteristic sound.INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM can be seen as an intro to the best track of the album, the ''trippy'' 8 mns DECADENCE , a really good song , i am sure,created and recorded ''under high influence'' .It might sound monotonous at first taking its sweet time to develop,but that's more of a special athmosphere to enjoy. It reminds me, yes, the build up of THE END from THE DOORS. Yes, this statement might sound stretched, but once again, tell me if this is not the same kind of deranged athmosphere.

DECADENCE is an tribute to his good friend NICO, the former VELVET UNDERGROUND singer nicknamed ''Marlene''here. Next, comes another tribute to one of his peer, Kevin has been used to be compared with, SYD BARRETT.OH WOT A DREAM is a very simplistic song, fun but not that memorable. Oh! no i forgot, there is something to remember about this song, what about the duck singing with AYERS! how could i almost forget? A duck doing backing vocals?? how more prog can you be?

HYMN is another great track well in the mood of the album: a tranquil, cozy, refined way to end the album followed by the ''epilogue'' 1mn 19'' orchestral BEWARE OF THE DOG. BANANAMOUR is definitely a GOOD album, just not a great one and not a necessary addition to your collection, but if you like AYERS music, of course you should get it.

I won't waste time describing the bonus tracks which showcase AYERS ''talent'' for writing ''tropical islands'' songs; so you are treated first on a REGGAE with CONNIE, then you go to TAHITI in a story with crazy bananas before ending under a CARRIBEAN MOON which happens to be yellow!!!3 stars for the album, no extra for the ''bonus'' tracks.

3 STARS.

febus | 3/5 |

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