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National Health - National Health CD (album) cover


National Health


Canterbury Scene

4.12 | 383 ratings

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4 stars Welcome to the debut album from National Health, one of Canterbury's treasures.

This band evolved out of Hatfield & The North. But National Health staked out their own path. A more jazzy path than Hatfield & The North. Phil Miller's quirky guitars married Dave Stewart's quirky keyboards and the now much missed Alan Gowen's mini-moog. On the top of this, add Amanda Parsons dreamy voice and back everything up with Pip Pyle's drums and Neil Murray's bass. There are also some additional flutes and other weirdo instruments in their sound.

The music is dreamy, quirky jazz with some avant-garde elements. But most of the music is very melodic with Parsons voice hanging over it and solos from Gowen, Stewart or Miller. Most of the music is simply excellent and always stunning. It is always multi-layered and full of small details. A drum pattern here. A bass there. Some keyboards backing up a guitar solo. This album never gets boring. I know because I have been listening to it for over a year and I just remembered that I had forgotten to review it for PA. Throughout these fifty times of listening to it, I have always peeled of another layer and found more details.

The best song is the rather short Borogoves (Part one). But the rest of this album is excellent. This album is not a masterpiece. I think their second album Of Queues and Cures is better than this one. These (and the live album Playtime) are the two National Health albums worth having. In my view; they are essential albums, but not masterpieces.

4.5 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 4/5 |


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