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Caravan - Cunning Stunts CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.12 | 312 ratings

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2 stars I hate to come down hard on CARAVAN, after releasing a handful of good to great albums, they came up with this over-orchestrated disaster known as "Cunning Stunts". The lineup at this point was Pye Hastings, David Sinclair, Geoff Richardson, Richard Coughlin, and Mike Wedgwood. Wedgwood was previously CURVED AIR and appeared on the wonderful "Phantasmagoria" and its followup, "Air Cut" (which I hadn't heard yet, but had a lineup change for that album). While Mike Wedgwood's appearance in CURVED AIR didn't hurt the band any (after all, the songwriting there was confined to Sonja Kristina, Darryl Way, and Francis Monkman, keeping the CURVED AIR sound), his appearance in CARAVAN really hurt the band, as he seemed to take over here and hogged the spotlight. And most of the stuff he came up with is mush, like "The Show of Our Lives" and "Lover". The orchestrations don't help. What's really lacking here is the whimsy, and the charm of earlier albums, concentrating too much on orchestration. Pye Hasting's rare vocal show, "Stuck in a Hole" is a bit of an improvement. And where's David Sinclair? Mostly it's just him on piano, I start missing his organ, like on "In the Land of Grey & Pink". "The Dabsong Conshirtoe" is the side-length cut, which actually has some excellent moments, starts off rather mushy, but still prevents the album from being a complete disaster. Not the first place to start if you're new to CARAVAN.
Proghead | 2/5 |


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