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Zyma - Thoughts CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.95 | 58 ratings

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4 stars Outstanding recording engineering and sound clarity to support great performances from all musicians, great vocals from both Greg Lake-like male vocalist Meinrad HIRT and Amanda Parsons-like female vocalist (and violin, flute and percussion contributor), Dorle FERBER. The keyboard work from Günter HORNUNG is top notch throughout and the bass work from Bodo BRANDL also stands out.

1. "Thoughts" (8:19) flows along beautifully, superlatively, for the first four Zeuhlish minutes as choir intermittently exchange support and lead moments with lead singer Dorle Ferber--who sings wordlessly in a vocalese style. Steady, almost funky bass with rock-Zeuhl drumming while Günter Hornung plays on a number of different keyboards. By the time the violin takes the lead, the music has shifted to a more spacious jazz foundation. At 6:20 there occurs a rather radical shift into a kind of West Coast blues-jazz-pop with Dorle singing in English about what's going on in your brain. I like the first third the best. (8.5/10)

2. "Businessman" (12:33) spacey synth and jazzy keyboard opening with delicate cymbal play make it feel as if we're at the dawning of something. Separate drum kit and bass track emerges from 1:30 resulting in a quick-paced Fender Rhodes chord-based foundation over which synths and electric violin (and, later, female vocalese) solo and collectively repeat complex jazz melodies. At 4:15 clavinet and different (arp?) synth take over. Love the bass play throughout this one. Male lead vocal enters at 5:15--with stage musical-like background choral shouts. Raucous piano solo follows the second verse in the fifth minute. Another sound shift at 5:45 while bass and drums continue to play at their frenetic pace. Violin takes another turn alternating with synth sound soli. Rhythm section finally slows down and decays into near stillness in the tenth minute before a varied return occurs at 9:55. More synth soloing over clavinet while drums and bass race to the finish. Pretty amazing display of musicianship! (9/10)

3. "One Way Street" (8:04) oddly weird and, unfortunately, dated, but stands up due to great clarity and cohesiveness among the band members--unified focus. (8/10)

4. "We Got Time" (3:43) sounds like a little flower child pop songs like something from Britain's Sonja Kirsten (CURVED AIR), Lulu or Dusty Springfield. Catchy and upbeat if not wholly prog. (8.5/10)

5. "Wasting Time" (9:39) the centerpiece of the album and a Canterbury epic for the ages! I LOVE FLANGED DRUMS! Awesome bass line, drumming and piano work throughout this classic. One of the best, most definitive Canterbury songs ever. (10/10)

While not totally fitting into the classic Canterbury Scene, the experimental nature of the sound and stylistic choices definitely makes this album a shining example of the Canterbury approach to jazzier pop/progressive rock music.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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