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The Muffins - Manna/Mirage CD (album) cover


The Muffins


Canterbury Scene

4.09 | 85 ratings

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4 stars The Muffins is an excellent Canterbury quartet with moderate RIO leanings in a typical Soft Machine, Henry Cow and Hatfield and the North fashion. This was long a highly anticipated release for me before finally getting my hands on it, and I can safely say that I wasn't disappointed at all from my first listen on it and until now. The songs are long and adventurous and goes through several different climaxes and themes with a good melodic balance. Although the last two tracks goes well over the 15-minute mark, they are never boring and bursts with charming, inspired and entertaining passages with few weaker moments. The musicianship is very good and the musicians never misses a beat although the music get's fairly challenging technically at times. There also is a great range of instruments used here in addition to the standard bass/guitar/drums and keys; sax, various wind instruments and percussions is also present and that adds a somewhat eclectic and complete touch to the music. But while the arrangements flows well and the musicianship is nothing to complain about, I must notify that the production quality of the album is a bit raw and thin to recieve a perfect 5* rating for me. It would have definitely improved the album a bit with a fuller and warmer sound quality, but focusing on the excellent music only most likely makes you ignore that quite easily.

Overall, I can safely say that this is a very charming and adventurous release that should easily appeal to fans of Henry Cow, Soft Machine or Hatfield and the North. Musically complex with a good flow to it with well-thinked arrangements that is interesting to listen to all the way through with a nice typical humoristic touch to them. Other than a few weaker (but not bad) moments and a somewhat thin production quality, this is an essential for it's genre. 4.5/5

Bj-1 | 4/5 |


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