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10cc - Deceptive Bends CD (album) cover

DECEPTIVE BENDS

10cc

 

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3.28 | 104 ratings

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Lupton
5 stars "You better do it right or you won't feel the benefit"

When Godley and Creme left 10CC to pursue their gizmo on the Consequences Album they took away much of the artiness that had helped define the band's earlier work especially the excellent "How Dare You". Clearly the remaining duo of Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman had some serious work on their hands to continue 10CC as a viable proposition.Fortunately, while Godley and Creme were rather simplistically viewed as the art-proggers while Stewart and Gouldman represented the more straight forward pop-rock, those two were exceptionally talented songwriters and surpassed all expectations with the brilliant follow up to "How Dare You".

The album starts off with "Good Morning Judge" a fairly short punchy rocker followed by the wonderful Beatlesque "The Things We Do For Love".Marriage Bureau Rendezvous" and "People In Love" are fairly lightweight in comparison but still beautifully arranged."Modern Man Blues" is a Bluesy number strongly reminiscent of Steely Dan circa their Pretzel Logic album especially the slow loping verses.I love the way the song suddenly shifts gear for the faster upbeat chorus where the subject is free of his wife and finally living his life.

Side two is where things get really interesting. "Honeymoon With B Troop" is a terrific little shape shifting song similar in structure to "Clockwork Creep" from the group's "Sheet Music" album and about the same length.I am so impressed with how many musical ideas they manage to cram into a song that is not even three minutes long."I Bought A Flat Guitar Tutor" with its acoustic bluesy backing is the closest thing to the sort of pastiche Godley and Creme were so fond of."You've Got A Cold" is another quirky rocker and one of those songs 10CC were so good at incorporating a middle eight of such complexity it is almost a song within a song (to quote Camel!) The crowning achievement has to be the eleven and a half minute magnum opus that is "Feel The Benefit".The opening arpeggiated guitar pattern is a clear nod to the Beatles's "Dear Prudence"but the way the big symphonic chords crashing in also reminds me of the beginning of the Genesis song, "Dance on A Volcano"The main vocal section is absolutely gorgeous and for once the orchestral backing really adds to the emotionally charged choruses.I particularly love the "Latin Break" section which is yet another shape shifting beauty.To cap it off the track ends with an excellent extended guitar solo which for some reason always reminds me of the final part of Yes's "Starship Trooper". In fact, the whole song is so brilliantly crafted that I never tire of hearing it and it remains my favourite 10CC track.

I am fully aware that for many fans and critics alike, this album is viewed as a disappointing follow up to "How Dare You" or at best "almost-as-good-as...." but I simply disagree. For me "Deceptive Bends" is far and away their finest album and one of the defining albums of the seventies. A very solid Five stars

Lupton | 5/5 |

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