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Can - Tago Mago CD (album) cover

TAGO MAGO

Can

 

Krautrock

3.92 | 428 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

horsewithteeth11
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Edit: Disregard what I said earlier about Augumn and Peking O. I think both of those songs, as well as this album, have finally fully hit me. And so, I feel upgrading my review from 4 stars to 5 is quite appropriate. This is easily Can's best album.

If the warning "watch your step" could be applied to an album, I would certainly apply it to this one. Of course, I could also leave you with the assumption that some of these songs/jams/moments of psychedelic tripping seem to run one way too long. And for the longest time I believed that (for the most part). However I've moved away from that notion over time.

Some call this Krautrock, some call it psychedelic, and some call it jam music. Quite honestly it is really all three. For me, Can's musical quality comes down to two things: the first is vocalist Damo Suzuki and the second is the rhythm section. And on this release, both are in top form. I imagine that it would be fairly difficult to keep an album mostly composed of repetitive beats and as long as this one is and still make it exciting, challenging, and dense. But Can really comes through in these aspects. I believe a friend told me that when Can would perform "Halleluhwah" live, Damo would perform the first section in English, the second in Japanese, and the third in scat lyrics, mostly comprised of random shouting and babbling. His voice, like this album, is definitely an acquired taste, but if you come to understand and appreciate it he really does have an amazing talent at making the lyrics fit the music.

I think the most challenging aspect of the album to get around wasn't so much the song lengths, but the 2 songs "Augumn" and "Peking O". The other 5 songs I'm fine with but on those two my mind will tend to wander fairly frequently. Sometimes they make me think of if a RIO/Avant-garde band (Henry Cow is a good example) employed psychedelic sounds to some of their more jam-esque songs that make my thoughts go somewhere else. Normally I can appreciate improvisation, but on these two songs it just gets on my nerves from time to time. Sometimes when I listen to this album I'll skip one of the two tracks or even both of them. The other 5 songs would warrant giving this a 5 star rating, but because of "Augumn" and "Peking O" being 3 star songs I will have to give this 4 stars. I've tried to like them more, but I simply can't. The first 4 songs and "Bring Me Coffee or Tea" however are masterpieces of Krautrock music and are worth purchasing this album. Recommended to fans of psychedelic or avant-garde music that enjoy really good rhythm sections and unusual vocals.

horsewithteeth11 | 5/5 |

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