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Greenslade - Time and Tide CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.93 | 105 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I'm afraid the disappointment this album causes in everyone from longtime fans to newcomers is understandable. David Greenslade's gang of prog thugs do appear to have been on their last legs for this fourth one, and Time and Tide became their final offering of the era from which they'd sprung. On the other hand, I've heard some mighty bad progressive rock in my time and against the backdrop of that mediocrity - all the musical incompetence, tin ears, warbling coffee-can productions, incomprehensible "freeform explorations", newly-castrated singers, "lost gems" with every reason to stay lost, poaching so blatant it might as well be Genesis, and lyrics that would make Alfred E. Neuman hide from embarrassment - this ain't that bad a record.

In addition to the symphonic sound that had always been at the center of this unit, there is a subtle but tangible flavor that reminds of the tragically hip art-glam of the Bowie/Lennon NYC set, as well as the insolence of Becker & Fagan, distant glimpses of the Stones and the occasional Brian Wilson appearance. 'Animal Farm' is a cool, drunken hardrock groove, Dave Lawson's freshly-found swagger and much improved vocal ability a pleasure, certainly compared to previous Greenslade records. I suppose 'Newsworth' could be described as a joke though with Lawson's vaguely political commentary it would appear to be a legitimate track. But it's followed by utterly useless 'Time' spotlighting a male choir and equally useless 'Tide', both mercifully brief. Finally we get 'Catalan' with David's electrapiano and Crumar Stringman doling out the arpeggios for a nice 5-minute progger. Ridiculous but not-so-bad 'Flattery Stakes' is a fun bumper of a tune, followed by the heavily sedated drool of 'Waltz for a Fallen Idol'. But it opens big into the wonderful 'The Ass's Ears'; an engaging construct of organ, synth, and Martin Briley's piercingly beautiful guitar lines as it segues with care into dreamy 'Doldrums' where the Steely Dan influence is most prominent, and the swing of Cool Jazz brought together with faux classical for closer 'Gangsters'.

I hesitantly give this one two stars, as 'collectors/fans only' probably suits it fine. But it's a little better than that, and for a few moments now&then, much better.

Atavachron | 2/5 |


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