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Gong - Leave It Open CD (album) cover

LEAVE IT OPEN

Gong

 

Canterbury Scene

2.96 | 39 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
1 stars I feel somewhat ambivalent about this album. On one hand, merely hearing Pierre Moerlen's clean and steady beat gives me pleasure. Through overdubbing, Moerlen puts acoustic and electric vibes on top, and those, too, sound very pure. The problem is: you keep waiting for exciting developments in his band's music, but there are virtually none. Okay, there are tiny little guitar solos here and there, and a few brief but riveting moments on what sounds like xylophone, but when you compare LEAVE IT OPEN to GAZEUSE or ESPRESSO II (where there's so much going on you can hardly follow!) it just seems a sad, sad story. I wonder if Moerlen had been touring a little too much with Mike Oldfield. From INCANTATIONS onwards, Oldfield's minimalist-derived themes were getting more and more insipid, and now it turns out that Gong started suffering from the same disease. Some critics have called LEAVE IT OPEN meditative and relaxing, but I find it discourgaging and enervating, particularly when there's some sort of dreamy little keyboard humming in the background and Charlie Mariano plays insipid little sax solos. (Shame on you, Charlie, we KNOW you could do much better!) Do you really want to call this chill-out music (avant- la-lettre)? Surely only if you're in a second-rate shopping mall elevator, with the air conditioning going crazy! Conclusion: all those who enjoy inventive jazz-rock (Bruford, Mahavishnu, Metheny) and/or great percussive arrangements (Gary Burton, Joe Locke), stay away! If you absolutely need to buy this, you could get it as part of an inexpensive 2-disc set entitled THE ARISTA YEARS, which also includes the equally dire TIME IS THE KEY and the far better PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG LIVE (which at least has decent guest spots from the likes of Mike Oldfield and Didier Malherbe). To his credit, Pierre Moerlen actually regained some chops in 2002, when his version of Gong made a triumphant (if short-lived) comeback with PENTANINE.
fuxi | 1/5 |

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