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Brian Auger - Closer To It! (as Oblivion Express) CD (album) cover


Brian Auger


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.72 | 21 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars By this point, it's clear that Brian Auger was targeting the American audience (he would soon move to the States by 1975). Closer to It started incorporating elements of soul with the percussion-laden jazz rock he's been doing with the Oblivion Express. Luckily he doesn't go all Motown on us. It's just a bit less rock than the previous album, Second Wind. Here the Oblivion Express is without a vocalist, so Brian Auger himself handles all the vocals. Personally, I really find this album quite enjoyable, even their take on Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" (complete with Mellotron). "Happiness is Just Around the Bend" is another wonderful song I can't get enough of. The rest may have not stuck in my head, but I still find the album very enjoyable. What I do know is the Santana-influence has really had itself felt, probably due to the release of Caravanserai caused many jazz musicians to take notice, where the previous albums (the Woodstock-era) were more geared to the rock audience. At least here Auger didn't include songs that were more fitting of Motown, which is the trouble I often have with albums like Welcome, Borboletta or Moonflower (these albums obviously worked best when the vocals weren't trying to be so soul-oriented, or when the vocals are dropped in favor of instrumental guitar-oriented jams). After being just absolutely blown away by Streetnoise, with Julie Driscoll and the Trinity, it sounds like the Oblivion Express albums tend to tread safer ground, but I can't complain, given I still find Closer To It (and several others from this era) very enjoyable, and well worth getting.
Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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