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Cressida - Cressida CD (album) cover

CRESSIDA

Cressida

 

Symphonic Prog

3.56 | 159 ratings

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Psychedelic Paul
5 stars Cressida are a group of five accomplished musicians who got together in London in the late 1960's to form a band. The band initially called themselves "Charge" before changing their name to Cressida. They released their self-titled debut album in 1970 and a further album "Asylum" followed in 1971 shortly after the break-up of the band. The "Cressida" album is full to the brim with complex changes of time signature, soaring emotional vocals, impressive Hammond organ virtuosity and wild guitar solos. The album contains 12 diverse songs, ranging from short Jazzy numbers, melancholy ballads, and all-out symphonic masterpieces. It's hard to pick out a favourite in an album that is a sheer joy to listen to from beginning to end, but the final song "Tomorrow is a Whole New Day" represents a masterpiece of Symphonic Prog. The melancholic singer sounds remarkably similar to Justin Hayward in places and the album is guaranteed to appeal especially to fans of the Moody Blues and any collectors of classic Symphonic Prog generally.

The album opens impressively with "To Play Your Little Game", featuring plaintive vocals and a beautiful organ solo before launching into some fast-paced Jazz-Rock played in an unusual time signature. "Winter is Coming Again" is a pleasant sounding melody, featuring a wild psychedelic guitar and Hammond organ solo in the middle section. "Time or Bed" opens with an acoustic guitar before transposing into another up-tempo Jazz-Rock number in an irregular time signature. The title track "Cressida" is probably the most Jazzy track on the album with an upbeat Jazzy 5/4 time signature. "Home And Where I Long To Be" is a beautifully complex song, and ranks as one of the most impressive numbers on the album with it's sudden changes of tempo, soaring vocals and virtuoso Hammond organ and guitar accompaniment. The song is very much in the style of the Moody Blues and would deserve pride of place on any of their albums. "Depression" is a very fast-paced song, very reminiscent of one of the Moody Blues rockier numbers. Side Two of the album opens in similarly impressive style with the jaunty song "One of a Group" with the sound of the Hammond organ very much at the forefront and featuring a brief fuzzy guitar solo with a few Jazzy piano motifs included for good measure. The eighth song on the album "Lights on My Mind" is an up-tempo rocker with some bright and breezy Hammond organ playing and another far-out fuzzy guitar solo. "The Only Earthman In Town" begins with a haunting refrain and launches into some dextrous and intricately fast-paced organ-playing. Track 10 "Spring '69" is a gentle melody featuring a solo acoustic guitar which blends in nicely in between the orchestral and Jazzier numbers. The penultimate song on the album "Down Down" opens with a beautiful organ solo and features the haunting sound of the Mellotron. The song has several interesting changes of pace throughout and includes a Jazzy interlude. The album concludes in full grandiose splendour with "Tomorrow is a Whole New Day", a song very much in the symphonic style of the Moody Blues classic "Night in White Satin".

This is a superb album of musical virtuosity featuring a very talented group of musicians. The album should delight Symphonic Prog lover's everywhere. It should also appeal to any aficionados of early Jazz-Rock with special appeal to fans of Justin Hayward and the Moody Blues symphonic sound. It's no exaggeration to say this album is a masterpiece and it deserves repeated listening to fully appreciate the beautifully complex nature of the twelve well-crafted songs. There's an abundance of melancholy melodies, fast-paced Jazz-Rock songs and grand masterpieces of symphonic virtuosity to entertain and enthral the listener in equal measure and it's an essential album for any classic Symphonic Prog collection.

Psychedelic Paul | 5/5 |

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