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Curved Air - Back Street Luv CD (album) cover

BACK STREET LUV

Curved Air

 

Eclectic Prog

3.19 | 7 ratings

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patrickq
Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Backstreet Luv" (or "Back Street Luv") b/w "Everdance" was a released as a single in 1971 in a number of European countries and in Australia. Both songs were taken from Curved Air's Second Album. It also appears on compilations like The Best Prog Rock Album in the World...Ever.

"Backstreet Luv" was Curved Air's second single, following "It Happened Today," taken from the group's 1970 debut LP. The songs are somewhat similar, although "Backstreet Luv" is an improvement. Both feature doubled lead vocals by singer Sonja Kristina, but since the two takes aren't very tightly synchronized, the effect is quite different from the chorus-like reinforcement that is usually the purpose of vocal doubling. It kind of worked for the somewhat mysterious "It Happened Today," but doesn't seem suited to "Backstreet Luv."

Stylistically, "Backstreet Luv" strikes me as 1960s psychedelia updated for a new decade - - kind of contemporary psych-pop. Or contemporary psych-rock. Lots of keyboards predominate an unhurried arrangement with kind of an unresolved mood. This unresolvedness is emphasized as the song fades during instrumental verse music, implying that there's more to the story, which itself is punctuated by unanswered questions (e.g., "Did she give love? Could she feel love? Did she find love? Was it real love?" and "Where's your smile today? Did she let you down?").

Compared to the a-side, "Everdance" is somewhat unsophisticated. It has that groovy late-1960s beat that was revived in the 1990s for hits like "Right Here, Right Now" (Jesus Jones, 1990) and "Two Princes" (Spin Doctors, 1993). The sound quality and mixing is a bit less than you'd expect from a Warner Brothers album recorded in London in 1971. It sounds like the lead singer is isolated in a booth while the band is playing in a separate room. But more to the point, it just isn't as interesting as "Backstreet Luv," which puts it on a par with most b-sides.

"Backstreet Luv" is a nice period piece, though not essential. It's a good example of the intersection of progressive rock and 1960s psychedelia.

patrickq | 3/5 |

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