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Caravan - Waterloo Lily CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.77 | 584 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In the Land of Jazz and Waterloo Lily

It's rather common for a Prog band that after their most acclaimed opus, in this case In the Land of Grey and Pink, one of the 'key' members leaves the band thus leaving the band no option than to replace him by someone who generally is pretty different to the former member, and as a result making either a weaker, but essentially a different kind of record to what the band is known-of doing. Conclusion, fans consider it either a weak attempt of re-making their grandiose opus or simply just say it's a weak record per se because they don't like the addition of the replacement.

Well, that's the case of Waterloo Lily, however for me it's neither a weaker copy of their previous effort nor I have any issues with the addition of the replacement, quite the contrary. The main issue that fans of their previous albums have with this album is the addition of Dave Sinclair's replacement, Steve Miller, who adds to the band a very jazzy feel overall.

However, I can't deny another obvious factor that also leads to dissapointment, and this one I can understand. This is the lack of Richard's distinctive voice, which was by all means 'the voice' of Caravan. So, yes, in Waterloo Lily the vocal department is not exactly the 'Caravan vocal department', but I've learnt to deal with it.

While I absolutely love In the Land of Grey and Pink and think it's a superior album to this one, I can't say I'm no big fan of this album as well, and that's all thanks to Steve Miller's splendid addition of great jazzy bites all within the album. He may be no Dave Sinclair, but neither Patrick Moraz was Rick Wakeman and yet he rocked the hell out with Relayer and added to the band something that hadn't be heard with previous efforts.

Anyways, this is not a jazz rock affair as a whole, just get rid of In the Land of Grey and Pink's happinness and sophistication and add a rockier, groovier and a more loose feel to it. Songs like 'The World is Yours', 'Aristocracy' and 'Songs and Signs' still sound very much like the ol' Caravan. However it's the longer tunes that make the difference; 'Nothing At All' being a very cool jazzy jam showing the whole new line-up at full steam in the instrumental side of things, while 'The Love in your Eye' is a more sophisticated tune with string arrangements and plenty of brass instruments too.

So overall Waterloo Lily is a different, yet excellent treat by this new, not-that-different, incarnation from Caravan. Anyone who is fond of jazzy-inclined good music, I highly recommend you this. If you're a big fan of In the Land of Grey and Pink but you are not that fond of jazzy stuff, then check If I Could Do It All Over Again, I Would Do It All Over You first.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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