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Ramases - Space Hymns CD (album) cover

SPACE HYMNS

Ramases

 

Prog Folk

2.89 | 34 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
2 stars One of those one-off albums that could only have been brewed-up in the heady musical atmosphere of the sixties, RAMASES(really a jobbing electrician from Sheffield) somehow managed to coalless most of the line-up of future eclecto-pop merchants 10cc(them of DREADLOCK HOLIDAY fame) into producing the wonderfully-titled and utterly bonkers SPACE HYMNS. Accompanied by Ramases' wife, the mystically-monikered 'Sen', SPACE HYMNS is, unfortunately, a fairly risible mixture of early prog, folk, psychedelic pop and bizarre spiritual meanderings. The words 'pretentious' and 'indulgent' spring to mind all too readily when attempting to encapsulate in a few media-friendly soundbites just how SPACE HYMNS comes across, but, happily, it's not all junk. In fact, opener 'Life Child' is a barnstormingly psychedelic, all-out freak-folk rocker featuring incredibly tight interplay between the soon-to-be popular backing band, and as the zen-like cod philosophy of the later cuts has yet to kick in, Ramases lyrics - something about a strange, space-age child - actually compliment the piece nicely. It's a shame, because the creators seemed to have decided to include this as their one-and-only proper rock-song, and the talent, invention and hunger of the musicians really shines right through all the murky babblings and cryptically-constructed passages. However, 'Life Child' asides, the rest of the album is a big disappointment. No-one seems to have told Ramases(or his wife Sen) to include actual tunes, and the remainder of the album is split between sub- donovan folk-vignettes and feeble psychedelic rock, complete with silly voices and stupid wordplay. Only 'Oh Mister', a kind of afro-inspired bongo-ditty, is worth perservering thru, and even that becomes slightly repetive towards it's chanting, pseudo-hippie end. 'Life Child', novelty-value and the stunning early Roger Dean sleeve aside, 'Space Hymns' is an album seriously lacking in focus. One wonders what a proper producer could have made of it.
stefro | 2/5 |

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