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Golden Earring - Contraband CD (album) cover


Golden Earring


Prog Related

3.12 | 41 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars By 76 and this album Contraband, GE was losing momentum from their peak they'd enjoyed in 73 with Moontan and the ex-Supersister keyboardist wasn't bringing in all of the fresh blood the fans were hoping for, Contraband can be considered the very last of their classic-era albums, even if the tremendous double Live was to be their next release and become another major seller. Graced with a clown-esque artwork, Contraband shows the group pumping out tracks that lack inspiration, the same one that had the group climb that international ladder, but by all means, this album is still worthy of many a listens.

As just mentioned above, this album (and that extended line-up trilogy in general) is a bit plagued with lesser songwriting than previously, but there are a few bright ray of sun in it. Most notably, among the best are the intriguing (and somewhat repetitive) Mad Love Is Coming and the upwards-looking Fighting Windmills with its Arabic synth layers and very tights arrangements and weird ending. Note that it's the only three tracks from Contraband that will find space into their concert track list and both will be featured in the double live album coming up next. Also of interest is the almost title track, Con Man (the only one close to the title of the album) with its intricate interplay. For the rest, the album is made of slightly-above average tracks that in earlier works might have been seen as fillers, but let's just says that they are not as inspired by the old sense of urgency of GE (prior to Moontan).

Although not as good as the previous TTH, Contraband is certainly a better album than Switch, a TTH album whose better moments will have a chance to shine up on stage and more importantly on the fantastic double live album coming up. Not flawless an album but still worth a listen, though!!

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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