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Supersister - To The Highest Bidder CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.25 | 226 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Can you say "sophomore slump"? Well I have to say that, because it's true regarding this second album. The music doesn't quite reach the heights of "Present From Nancy". "To the Highest Bidder" this time around features just four cuts. It's often said that the two longest cuts, "A Girl Named You" and "Energy (Out of Future)" are the album's two finest cuts, and I really can't disagree on that. The lineup is still the same with keyboardist/vocalist Robert Jan Stips, bassist Ron van Eck, drummer Marco Vrolijk, and flautist Sacha van Geest. The electic piano is more dominant this time around, and I swear I hear a little Mellotron creep up, but it's hard telling. Frequently the vocals had been compared to Richard Sinclair, but on "A Girl Named You", they remind me of Pye Hastings. There is a bit of that "Waterloo Lily"-era CARAVAN feel to this piece (because of the dominant electric piano, although that album was still a year off), but with better jazzy passages. "Energy (Out of Future)" has a lot of that CARAVAN feel, but near the end they really go off the deep end with Krautrock- like experiments with these eerie sounds. Now for the other two, shorter cuts, these two prove how "To the Highest Bidder" just doesn't live up to the greatness of their debut. "No Tree Will Grow" features some nice, trippy droning sounds, but then it turns in to a overly dramatic piano-ballad. There's a much stronger romantic/symphonic feel to this piece, and for some reason I am reminded a bit of what CARAVAN would be doing on their album "Cunning Stunts", although this album came out the same year CARAVAN gave us "In the Land of Grey & Pink". This song unexpectedly ends with the sounds of laughing. The other short piece, "Higher" is a pop-oriented number dominated by electric piano, and actually works fine in context of the previous cut, "Energy (Out of Future)" after being hammered with unexpectedly relentless experiments for the final ending of that cut. I hadn't heard anything from these guys after this album, so I can't say if this was a temprorary slump or not, but whatever the case, make sure you start with "Present From Nancy" first before you come here (or better yet, just get the 1990 2-for-1 CD reissue that contains both these albums).
Proghead | 4/5 |


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