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Satin Whale - As A Keepsake CD (album) cover


Satin Whale


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3.04 | 23 ratings

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4 stars OK, so Eugene, Oregon isn't the most prog friendly place on the face of the planet, and that goes for finding used prog LPs, although I have found a few unbelievable finds there, including original Italian Polydor pressings of the first two Latte e Miele LPs (I only bought Papillon at one of the Eugene record stores, as I already owned the original Passio Secundum Mattheum), the original Italian Grog pressing of the Celeste LP, and an original green Brain LP pressing of Satin Whale's Desert Places. For some reason finding unbelievable albums in Eugene seemed to have petered out since then (probably since the record stores felt they were making more money with newly pressed vinyl, and needing to cater to the college student and hipster population). Regardless, so glad to get that Satin Whale LP, then coming home to realize the big money originals are going for (I spent $20, and this doesn't appear to be the recent repress). I also noticed a copy of As a Keepsake at the same time (2012), but skipped it thinking it probably isn't worth my time. Come 2015, same Satin Whale LP still sitting there and I bought it, and I actually find it very good.

Everything else they ever done seems to get compared to Desert Places, and I didn't feel the need to do that. As a Krautrock album, As a Keepsake crashes and burns. As a "crossover prog" album, this rather good, and if you like crossover prog, this comes recommended. It might not have the extended jams of Desert Places, but it had nice songs and nice arrangements. I don't think they sold out, the production and the music is a bit too sophisticated. They go a bit in the Barclay James Harvest route here, which I guess was intentional, as they had toured with them. I even prefer this over the BJH album from the same time (Gone to Earth). This album has several songs I really enjoy including "Holidays", "Devilish Roundabout", "Going Back to Cologne" and "Maree". "Devilish Roundabout" features some nice acoustic guitar passages, plus I really love that vibraphone solo. While I enjoy Desert Places as much as the next proghead, I was surprised to find this enjoyable, and worthy of four stars.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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