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Rare Bird - As Your Mind Flies By CD (album) cover


Rare Bird


Crossover Prog

3.98 | 183 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars If Charisma's first release was a rather good looking gatefold, when they returned to Rare Bird, the probably decided to go for the blandest of artwork, even though the debut had encouraging sales. With the same unchanged line-up, the band decided to get more ambitious and they wrote a sidelong multi-movement suite for the flipside, but the group forces us to listen to the shorter stuff on the opening side.

Thie album starts under-average, opening on the heavy ascending What You Want To know, then onto the horrible Down On The Floor with bad harpsichord with some of the more approximate (to put it politely) singing ever, the second player definitely screwing things up in the closing seconds. Clearly Rare Bird was in over its head, with this track. Hammerhead presents a darker face and more adventurous face, but as with most of this album, its production is not the top. After a lengthy intro I'm thinking is closing the first side on a very average note, partly again due to the production, but the production, the vocals, but also the organ playing which appear anemic and without strength. Although both Field and Kafinetti play organ together, they don't come up to Vincent Crane or Keith Emerson's eel, in terms of boring playing. The song seems either ripping off Brubeck or Joe Cocker, beit in the intro or the main body of the song.

The "epic" (four apparently unrelated pieces, both musically and lyrically, assembled into one title) on the second side draws all of the objects of attention, especially now that we know the shorter tracks are either fillers or failures. Starting out on demented drums and a duo f (finally) energetic organs, the first movement is reminiscent of The Nice or even Genesis' The Knife (out a few months earlier on Trespass released o the same label), with the voice now sounding a tad Gabriel-like or a bit Moodies-like, but there are some wild Space Odissey choirs that bring much excitement to the whole thing. Yes, this first movement (title track) is probably what Rare Bird did best, even if it is still not. Vacuum is certainly RB's most experimental work, but it doesn't seem to bring a real intention (unless it represents hyperspace travel across the Atlantic Ocean towards NY and its Central Park. And the experimental part soon leads into an ELP-like section (strangely enough sounding like the yet-to-publish Tarkus) and a bolero that they should "Abbadon", for Crimson was there first or did it better. Some good (excellent) moments, but often reminiscent of something else.

The Esoteric remasters can't do much to fix the shoddy production job,, and to correct some of dynamics mistakes would mean remixing, rather than remastering, and it doesn't matter how many bonus tracks you add to it, the first being single edit and the last being a track from another line-up, and neither of the three fit much with the album and therefore don't add much to the overall disc's value.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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