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Jefferson Airplane - After Bathing At Baxter's CD (album) cover

AFTER BATHING AT BAXTER'S

Jefferson Airplane

 

Proto-Prog

3.80 | 136 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "After Bathing at Baxter's" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US psychadelic rock act Jefferson Airplane. The album was released through RCA Victor in November 1967. While the bandīs debut album "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (August 1966") was heavily rooted in american folk, the second effort from the band "Surrealistic Pillow (February 1967)" was a more psychadelic leaning rock album. Itīs still an accessible release and even features Jefferson Airplaneīs highest charting singles in "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love". The summer of 1967 is often refered to as the "summer of love" and "Surrealistic Pillow" is one of the albums that many people refer to as the soundtrack to that summer. By the end of November 1967 when "After Bathing at Baxter's" was released the hangover must have set in though, because this album is dark, angry, and at times melancholic. Itīs not a bleak melancholy but more an underlying feeling of restrained anger, despair, and frustration.

The album is divided into five chapters with two or three tracks under each chapter. Calling "After Bathing at Baxter's" a concept album would be stretching the definition a bit, but there is a bond between the songs and several seque into each other. Most tracks are relatively simple and memorable pop/rock compositions but with added psychadelic elements. There are a few more experimental tracks on the album like the sound collage "A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You Shortly" which reminds me of the sound collages by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and the 9:12 minutes long dark psychadelic jam "Spare Chaynge". Highlights here are the dark folky "Martha" (fans of eerie sounding harmony vocals should be able to enjoy this one greatly) and the eerie Grace Slick-led "Rejoyce".

The musicianship is strong on all posts. Jefferson Airplane are an incredibly talented and tight playing unit. One of the greatest assets of the bandīs sound are the way the two (sometimes three) guitarists compliment each other in the music. The vocals are strong too and the vocal harmonies clever and original. The rhythm section provide a strong foundation for the music. Just an overall well performing band.

The production by Al Schmitt (who alledgedly didnīt do much during the recording of the album) is a well sounding and powerful 60s production. you can hear every instrument and vocal part in the mix. "After Bathing at Baxter's" is upon conclusion a high quality psychadelic pop/rock album by Jefferson Airplane, and itīs great to hear that the band opted for development of their sound instead of releasing "Surrealistic Pillow" number 2. The album is loaded with innovative and creative songwriting ideas and an audible joy of playing. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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