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Caravan - Waterloo Lily CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.77 | 665 ratings

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3 stars Mixed, a bit Noodle-y, but a Keeper

Perhaps not realizing just what an amazing album "In the Land of the Grey and Pink" was at the time, organist and key composer David Sinclair left the band, forcing Caravan into crisis mode for the first time (but not the last - as it turns out, Sinclair would return for the follow-up while his cousin Richard would leave). (Aside: this seemed to have been a thing in the UK at the time - once you make an excellent album it must be time to leave the band! (aka Bruford post Close to the Edge, etc)). Anyway, Caravan were able to get Steve Miller to join, adding a more jazzy and fusion-y feel to the band with his preference for the electric piano. This album feels like it was put together fairly quickly, perhaps under pressure from their record company, and there are sections that are merely jams stitched together to make them sound like planned suites (but which, of course, just sound like bits stitched together: i.e. the "Nothing at All-Its Coming Soon-Nothing at All" suite). But nonetheless, this is still one of the better Caravan albums. The title track ("Waterloo Lily") is the definite highlight, and one of the top-three Caravan songs in my opinion, with a really strong catchy melody, great singing and lyrics from Richard Sinclair, and tons of potential for improvisation (and Robert Wyatt seemed to think so too - he had Matching Mole play an instrumental version on their live gigs - a version can be heard on the "Matching Mole March" live album on Cuneiform). The other highlight is the "Love in Your Eye" suite, which despite some cheesyness contains enough musicality for repeated listening over the years. The rest of the tracks seem like filler, but much of it is fairly decent and inoffensive, even the noodly jams. On balance, I give this album 7.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

Walkscore | 3/5 |


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