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Greenslade - Greenslade CD (album) cover

GREENSLADE

Greenslade

 

Symphonic Prog

3.50 | 136 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ods94065
2 stars This is an album of mostly pleasant, and occasionally bluesy, keyboard-driven prog, not far at all from Yes and ELP's musical space. I don't think it's aged nearly as well as the efforts of either of its larger cousins, however.

The weak point in the band is the songwriting, which ranges from competent to calculatedly derivative, and the lyric writing, which ranges from OK to flat-out embarrassing. The music struggles to rise above the dated lyrics, but the limited vocal delivery makes things even worse. A case in point is "What Are You Doin' To Me," which attempts to wed heavy rock organ and an unabashedly epic Mellotron bridge to Lawson wailing, "You left me a nut when I wanted a screw ... I fell out of love babe, when I fell out with you." It's prog wrongness at its most picturesque.

Moving away from the songs with words, things get more tolerable. "Mélange" is a nifty bit of music that uses its Mellotron interludes to much greater effect, dancing adroitly between a upbeat, tight, and intricate keyboard opening and a spacious, rising Mellotron theme that floats beautifully, both resolving into a Rickenbacker bass solo straight out of Chris Squire's book. "An English Western" delivers exactly what it promises, lots of English prog, shifting time signatures and galloping motives, with just a little seasoning of corny cowboy song thrown in.

Having savaged the songwriting (there's mud in my eye!), I do have to say the keyboard work here is quite good--not just a chops-fest, Greenslade and Lawson know how to coax out lots of different colors and textures from their instruments, and the band sans vocals is tight. if you're willing to overlook the songwriting and just jam along to some vintage prog, this will probably fit the bill nicely for you. Don't expect groundbreaking work, though, and I recommend starting with the nonvocal tracks first.

ods94065 | 2/5 |

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