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Captain Beyond - Sufficiently Breathless CD (album) cover


Captain Beyond


Heavy Prog

3.17 | 107 ratings

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2 stars It's a real tragedy that the progressive audiences of the early 70s ignored Captain Beyond's exhilarating debut album because by the time Sufficiently Breathless rolled around drummer Bobby Caldwell had quit. His replacements ... drummer Marty Rodriguez, conga/timbales player Guille Garcia and keyboardist Reese Wynans ... may have expanded the group's musical possibilities, but the fact that Caldwell wrote all the music on the first album was telling. Bassist Lee Dorman took over for this album and while most of his songs are good, Captain Beyond almost never sounds as inspired or as original as it did on the first album.

In fact, if anything, Captain Beyond frequently sounds like Santana on this record! I kid you not. Tracks like Bright Blue Tango, Drifting in Space (which has a great electric piano solo from Wynans) and Everything's A Circle are strongly rooted in the Latin-rock/fusion tradition of Santana. Elsewhere the laid-back acoustic title track, the wah-wah heavy Evil Men and the superb power ballad (not that anyone would have called it that when this record came outin 1973!) Starglow Energy are all listenable songs that don't quite meet the standards that Captain Beyond set with its debut album.

The highlight of this album is the intriguing Distant Sun. Here the band uses a strong melody, spacey synths, a distracting almost dischordant rhythm in combination with a Latin-rock/fusion interlude to make for an exciting unpredictable track. Unfortunately, it's just about the only song on the whole album that has a hint of progressive rock about it. ... 48% on the MPV scale.

Trotsky | 2/5 |


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