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National Health - National Health CD (album) cover


National Health


Canterbury Scene

4.13 | 463 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Very Modern, not always warm.

The first National Health album is the only one that is close to the vision for the band that Dave Stewart, the founder and leader, originated. His original idea was for the band to feature two keyboardists - himself and Alan Gowan (one in each ear/stereo channel) - with multiple female vocalists over a complex rhythm section. While Gowan left the band before recording the album, he agreed to play on it, as did Amanda Parsons (the one female vocalist who became a permanent member for their earlier tours), and they recorded this album, which they had played on tour for about a year. Each National Health album is different. This album, as you might expect, is notable for Parsons' (often double-tracked) vocals. Not everyone likes her singing here, but I quite like it. The music is very complex and angular, really inventive and original. It is also very modern, essentially a combination of modern classical music played by rock musicians and modern jazz fusion, aspiring to the highest level of quality. However, it is not exceptionally warm. Indeed, only Parsons vocals, and the occasional heavy keyboard solo, warm it up. It is certainly not as warm as Stewart's previous band, Hatfield and the North. Nonetheless, the music reaches excellence at times. I give this album 8.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, so 4 PA stars. Not as good as Hatfield, but if you liked Rotter's Club, you will likely also like this.

Walkscore | 4/5 |


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