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Kevin Ayers - Whatevershebringswesing CD (album) cover


Kevin Ayers


Canterbury Scene

3.66 | 89 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The capsule review for this one is that it contains great music, but a very uneven style. Some artists use solo albums to explore different types of music. (Peter Gabriel I or Jon Anderson's Animation would be good examples.) Anyhow, put on your hiking boots, because Mr. Ayers is about to take you on a whimsical journey across musical boundaries.

There is Loving/Amongst Us/There is Loving is easily the most adventurous track on the album. Combining symphonic music, a take on modern classical music and rock, this song charts new and exciting ground. It's not catchy, it's not pop and it certainly does require a degree of patience from the listener. But it is rewarding.

Margaret is a lush and beautiful ballad. There's not much here that takes it beyond the realm of ballads except for some unexpected chord changes, but it's still a beautiful song, even though it's simplistic. Lord knows, if I can play it and sing to it, it has to be simple. Yet it's a very attractive song. So much so that I tend to start listening to the album here instead of on the first track.

Oh My brings down the level of interest, if not the quality. This singalong song (with what at least sounds to my ears as a New Orleans jazz influence) is excellently executed, but ultimately doesn't really catch my interest.

Song From The Bottom Of A Well is probably the strangest and most interesting song on this album. It's an attempt at some of that really disturbing music from the psychedelic tradition, complete with drastic changes in the left/right balance, dissonance, and weird lyrics. Yet it's better produced and somehow more positive than most similar songs in that tradition.

Whatevershebringswesing is another song that I can't recommend. It's a mellow ballad with country influences, and that kills it for me, despite a very nice featured guitar solo.

Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes, on the other hand, is a great song despite being grounded in old fashioned rock and roll. What can I say, this song is cool! It features great lyrics that tell a good story in a memorable way, complimented by some brilliant performances (especially on the piano) and vocal sound effects that should sound cheezy but instead fit the song well.

Champagne Cowboy Blues is another Western influenced track. It has some nice effects in the percussion and ultimately is well produced, but I can't recommend it. It doesn't even have the redeeming feature of a great guitar solo, unlike Whatevershebringswesing, although it defnitely does have some weirdness in it.

Lullabye is another song that is punched up by great production values. It's basically a flute solo over some piano work, and it's really likeable. What do I mean when I say really likeable? Well, I just took a list at my page and Lullabye is tied for eighth as my most listened track. (If you are interested, it is tied with UK -- In the Dead of Night, Camel -- Supertwister, Bill Bruford -- Hell's Bells and Steve Hackett -- Spectral Mornings.) Anyhow, I recommend this song unreservedly.

I'm only reviewing the original album, but I do have the remaster, and I would be remiss in not mentioning that Fake Mexican Tourist Blues is a novelty song that would have been a welcome replacement for several songs on this album. The other bonus tracks are generally strong as well.

So now on to my quandry. What do I rate this? I definitely want you to hear this, so I'm really tempted to give it four stars and claim that it's an excellent addiont to any prog music collection. On the other hand, the inclusion of a few songs that are clearly worlds away from prog makes me think that three stars for an album that is good but non-essential might be more appropriate.

Screw it. The highs on this album outweigh the lows. Four stars. (But I reserve the right to change my rating later.)

Thank you very much! (Bye, bye.)

ghost_of_morphy | 4/5 |


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