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Matching Mole - O Caroline CD (album) cover

O CAROLINE

Matching Mole

 

Canterbury Scene

3.88 | 5 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 20-Year Chronological Run-Through pt. Ten: 1972.

Instead of reviewing the Matching Mole album (which already is reviewed by many), I'll make the first review for this single outtake. The famed Canterbury drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt had been slowly drifting away in spirit from Soft Machine. However he was involved also in their fourth album after he had already released his solo debut, rather experimental and difficult-to-enjoy End of an Ear (1970). Then he founded his own group Matching Mole. The name was humorously derived from the French words 'machine molle' of his ex-band's name. The line-up featured keyboardist Dave Sinclair from Caravan, guitarist Phil Miller from Delivery and bassist Bill MacCormick from Quiet Sun -- so, in a way, it was a Canterbury super group! The supporting musician, Dave McRae on electric piano, came from the fusion group Nucleus.

The album's opening track 'O Caroline' was released as a single, in which it's abridged by a minute and a few seconds. This is a charmingly mellow, simple love song with an ironic relationship to the "sentimental crap" of love songs. The vintage sound is very enjoyable with lots of mellotron.

'Signed Curtain' is also taken from Matching Mole album, and it takes the ironic twist flashed in 'O Caroline' even further. It's a moody, piano centred ballad with lyrics made of lines like "This is the first verse" ... "And this is the chorus / Or perhaps it's a bridge / Or just another part of the song that I'm singing". The listener has to wait till the end to realize that the nihilistic state of the protagonist is explained by heartache: "...Or just another key change / Never mind, it doesn't hurt / It only means that I lost faith in this song / 'Cause it won't help me reach you". Isn't that brilliant, in a way?

Sadly there is no cover art or non-album tracks to increase the appeal of this single, but I'll rate it with four stars nevertheless. This is unimitable Robert Wyatt at his most charming.

Matti | 4/5 |

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