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Alan White - Ramshackled CD (album) cover


Alan White


Crossover Prog

2.48 | 54 ratings

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
2 stars After the successful tour the Yes experienced that supported the album "Relayer", it was decided that the five members of the band at the time would each release solo albums. "Ramshackled" is drummer Alan White's attempt at a solo album. What White wanted to accomplish is to create an album that had a wide variety of tracks, and he definitely accomplished that in this album. He also created an album that was nothing like anything Yes had done. Instead of releasing tracks that reflected their progressive stylings, he reverted to some of the styles that he had delved into with his participation in various other bands prior to his membership in Yes in 1972, when he replaced Bill Bruford as drummer.

There is not much on this album that spotlights White's talent as a drummer/percussionist. White did not write any of the tracks, but left that up to his band members and friends, most of who had been in his prior bands Griffin, The Alan Price Set, Happy Magazine, and Simpson's Pure Oxygen. The music on the "Ramshackled" album would reflect the various styles by becoming a mostly uneven affair and the vocalists would have a hard time being believable, but instead would often be laughable as they would try to add inflection to the music.

In the end, the album ended up being made up of bad tracks. However, 3 of the tracks on the album are pretty good, namely "Avakak", "Spring-Song of Innocence" and "Darkness Pts 1-3, but they only help to accentuate how bad the other tracks are. Here is a run down of the tracks on the album:

Ooooh Baby - Cool, funky vibe introduced by effects, organ/synth bring in r&b plastic vocals. One Way Rag - a smoother sound with better vocals this time, but sticking with the r&b style. Avakak - Leads out with piano, a very nice solo that eventually turns into a tropical feeling rhythm. Horns take the lead while other instruments copy the theme. Later, things mellow out quite nicely as the brass continues to take the theme. The song continues to deconstruct itself and it becomes somewhat experimental, percussion comes back in to sew it all together to return to the main theme, this time taken by the electric guitar which is followed by the sax improvising upon the theme. A very nice fusion instrumental. Spring-Song of Innocence - includes fellow Yes-men Jon Anderson on vocals and Steve Howe on guitar. It begins with atmospheric and dreamy sounds from the instruments before smoothing out to bring in Anderson's voice and Howe's mellow guitar. Lovely and shimmery, this one is a nice homage to William Blake's verse of the same name.

Giddy - A smooth r&b inspired piece that brings in more of a rock sound, but the vocals are goofy. Silly Woman - an awful track with cliché reggae sound. Marching Into a Bottle - Folkish instrumental with pastoral guitar and flute leading chamber orchestra sound. Though it's pretty standard, it's a nice break from the rubbish from the two previous tracks. Everybody - Tries hard to rock, but is another embarrassingly bad endeavor with steel drums added in. Things just don't gel here at all. Darkness Pts 1-3 - Settles into a nice bluesy rhythm with a soulful spirit which later picks up a more complex rhythm that melds the verses together. Vocals are better at points, but other places are laughable. The ending part is a bit more free-form when the rhythm disappears and things become more pensive. The trumpet is a nice addition here. Overall, this is a passable attempt at a more progressive and fusion style sound.

Overall, this album is not that great, but is only salvageable because of the 3 better tracks on the album. Is it worth looking for? Well, not specifically, but if you can find a cheap, used copy like I did, then I wouldn't pass on it. However, just don't have real high expectations of it being like a Yes record, because you will be disappointed. Just know that there are a few passable tracks that are decent, the rest of it is quite questionable.

TCat | 2/5 |


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