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Cressida - Asylum CD (album) cover

ASYLUM

Cressida

 

Symphonic Prog

3.60 | 173 ratings

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Ladyprogger
4 stars I first discovered Cressida in around 1989, long after they disbanded in 1970. They were only in existence for a mere two years, which I regard as a real shame. This band could have been huge, with the right promotion. Their first, self-titled album consisted of shorter tracks and was a bit more uneven in quality. It was still a very good album but Cressida really came into their own on their second album, Asylum. In the main, they stuck to the shorter track format used in the first album, but there are two lengthy tracks, which give the album a much proggier feel. The title track is very solid, displaying the band's musical abilities to the full, but my personal favourite is Munich, which still sends shivers down my spine, however many times I hear it. I love the time signature changes and John Culley's guitar is stellar on this track. Like many of their songs, this one culminates with a dramatic ending and I have to say this is my favourite of all Cressida's music. Goodbye Post Office Tower Goodbye is the closest to being a throw-away track, however it does have the attraction of a very quirky title, no doubt confusing millennials these days. Survivor has more of the feel of the first album. One thing that Cressida never lack is a good melody and this track is no exception. The third very short track in a row is Reprieved. Easy on the ear and instrumental, this one could very easily get lost amongst the more meaty tracks. I kind of like the way they squeezed all the short tracks into the middle of the album. Summer Weekend of a Lifetime might be considered a throw-away track, but Cressida don't do that. They turn it into a summer feel good song, charming and atmospheric. My second favourite is Lisa. This is stunning. Changing time signatures and soaring melodies. What's not to like? Finally, Let Them Come When They Will. The longest and proggiest of the lot, it kind of reminds me of Caravan's Nine Feet Underground. It shows off their skills nicely but doesn't move me in quite the way Munich does. Although the band's roots were in London, they sound to me like they could have come from Canterbury. Overall, Cressida were a hugely underrated band. The plaintive vocals of Angus Cullen deserve recognition, along with all the other talented members of the band. Who knows what would have happened had their record label, Mercury, decided to release their two albums in America. We'll never know.
Ladyprogger | 4/5 |

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