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Max Webster - A Million Vacations CD (album) cover

A MILLION VACATIONS

Max Webster

 

Prog Related

4.16 | 18 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Happiness, man... it's beginning to rise.

Canada's best kept secret, Max Webster has, by this point, entertained many ears with their pseudo-prog hard rock, although without much success internationally. While this album would not change that fact it would still give them a huge leap forwards in Canada's rock scene. Although unknown by me as to their know-ability outside of the great White North, this album had some huge hits on it and the album, in general, sounds a lot different than the Webster that we're used to. It's often been said that this band is from the moon, mostly because of their obscure music and lyrics, but after a couple albums and a change in producer will they still be able to keep that sound? Especially when trying to become a better know act?

Well, yes and no. While there are still some totally off the wall moments on this album the polish is a bit too thick to really see the band as it once was. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Nope. Actually, it's very interesting to see how dynamic the band was able to be during their incredibly short lived time together. From their quirky debut to the moment where they found their niche on Mutiny Up My Sleeve to this gem the band constantly evolved and let loose upon the world a series of excellent albums, all of them deserving of the Prog-lover's attention, even if they weren't 100% bona-fide prog.

Starting with the hit Paradise Skies it's clear that the band has taken another route. Still heavy and full of energy, this is the band with a shinier coat on. This album is mostly full of good rock songs, something the band was always good with, but it's those moments to pure out-there-ism that's of the most interest to the progger. Sun Voices/Moon Voices is an excellent example of just that. Moon Voices especially in a rare case of a Max Webster instrumental.

Other high-points on the album include the smooth and somehow unsettling A Million Vacations, the key driven Look Out and the ever beautiful Let Go The Line with its well pulled off vocals (not by Mitchell) and classic riff which sticks in your head like some kind of crazy-glue. Research (At Beach Resorts) isn't quite as good as the band's former closing tracks, the best of which being the debut's Lily, but it still manages to show through with the band's quirk, something that has been absent through a lot of the album.

Likely the only disappointing part about the album is the sleeve! A bunch of beach balls with the title of the album spelled out in some kind of Hawaiian restaurant menu-font with a couple of vacation pictures on an otherwise white background is a lot less appealing than the spiffy neon-fire of the previous album or the head-scratching weirdness that graced the debut. But hey, the sleeve has nothing to do with the music, so no complaints here. It would have been nice, however, if Anthem Atlantic has decided to give these boys some liner notes with their re-masters instead of just the cover with a blank inside!

When it comes right down to the music this is excellent stuff that any progger should enjoy. A very well done album with tons of replay value in it makes this album worth 4 stars. Good job boys!

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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