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Jon & Vangelis - The Friends of Mr. Cairo CD (album) cover

THE FRIENDS OF MR. CAIRO

Jon & Vangelis

 

Prog Related

3.28 | 83 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars After listening "Heaven & Hell" by VANGELIS back in the early 80's , I was so impressed hat asked my parents (who went to USA on those days), to bring me all the collection of the Greek musician. After a couple of weeks I received several albums and except "Albedo 0.31", I was unimpressed by each and every one, specially by the ones released in cooperation with Jon Anderson, the music tendencies of Jon mixed with Vangelis early New Age leanings sounded pretty cheesy to me, and to be honest, things haven't changed with the pass of years.

My edition stars with "I'll Find my Way Home", in my opinion one of the most boring songs ever released, a catchy, extra sweet romantic track with little interest except a few Vangelis solos, that sound more atmospheric and spacey, almost like music from "Blade Runner", sadly with Jon Anderson adding nothing to the work. This track wasn't in the original vinyl, I believe it should had stayed like this, because it adds nothing to the album except filling 4:31 minutes of blank space.

"State of Independence" is not better than the previous, the good jazzy intro is soon ruined by some sort of Calypso music with programmed drums, simply horrendous and repetitive to the extreme, and of course the pseudo scatting done by Jon Anderson doesn't help too much.

"Beside" starts with a beautiful piano, proving that Vangelis is a very skilled musician, but as soon as Jon enters to the equation, the level goes down, again totally boring and predictable song, not even the spacey synths can save it.

"Mayflower" has an advantage over the previous tracks, at least Vangelis tries to be innovative and allows himself to some excesses in the keyboards, the sound effects and the voices add some interest to the track.

Hey, where is Detective Hercules Poirot? The title track sounds as a soundtrack for a "B" class detective movie, you have the bullets, the car crashes, the voice of a Bogart impersonator, so only the Orient Express train is missing.

But lets say something positive............It's not boring, cheesy yes but boring no way, and Jon Anderson sounds better than usual. The synthesised bass "a la" Peter Gunn is very catchy, but the gangster voices are simply pure Camembert.

"Back to School" is pure 80's Synthpop, not that this is bad per se, but the song is nothing special, I believe it's a waste of the Jon Anderson and Vangelis talent, some early Rock & Roll chords and children chorus.............Well again not boring as most of the album.

The album ends as boring as it started with Outside of This (Inside of That), they should had ended with "Back to School", at least some of us wouldn't be falling asleep at this point. Well, it's obvious I'm not a fan of Jon Anderson, but I like most of his works with YES, at least until "Relayer", and it's also truth that I have a huge respect for Vangelis, but JON &VANGELIS together are an invitation for a nap.

If it wasn't for "Mayflower" and "Back to School", I would only had only waked to rate it with one star, but I will go with two stars, because of the tracks mentioned in the previous paragraph, that reach an average level.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |

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