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The Move - Shazam CD (album) cover

SHAZAM

The Move

 

Proto-Prog

3.65 | 62 ratings

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DangHeck
4 stars The Move are a Psych-turned-Prog band, I feel a latter-day reflection on the Freakbeat movement. This album features one of my favorite songs of the era, "Beautiful Daughter". But firstly, "Hello Susie" is a gritty opener, very of the time and yet really looking forward in so many ways. Compositionally, at first glance, it may not look like much, but there's quite a bit of rhythmic complexity and, otherwise, vision. I feel like it's still Proto-Prog in focus, but looking forward, I feel this could be Proto-Glam, which is really very cool! The ending features a very silly interview with someone the interviewer is convinced is not British. And guess what! They are! And they love Reggae haha. Onto the aforementioned, "Beautiful Daughter". This is absolutely perfect early-70s Psych. The lyrics and melodies are very whimsical and just wonderful to me. A must-hear, if you don't know it. It's a tad Beatles-esque here, but also may call S.F. Sorrow (The Pretty Things, 1968) to mind. Again, perfect. Love it.

Up next, the narrated, autobiographical "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited" (a rerecording from their debut). Sometimes you have to sign your life away for your own mental health. Hmmm... I can't believe I don't remember this one! What a bombastic, fun song! It's really no wonder this band eventually spawned ELO (fellow lovers of Psychedelia and Classical alike). Bright and regal, despite being from the perspective of a committed person. The guitars are so heavy. We enter a new section around minute 3. This features a reference to the classic "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (J.S. Bach), which morphs into a dark, distorted section. I couldn't place it, but this then references the "Chinese Dance" from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. Quite the neo-classical mini-epic, lasting nearly 8 minutes! Impressive.

The longform continues on the very familiar 11-minute Ars Nova cover, "Fields of People". Still neo-classical, but like a tongue-in-cheek Flower Power tune. Ooooooh the group harmonies over the chorus are just amazing! Huge song, this'n. Quite the endeavor. Color me... inspired? Bit of a false ending around minute 6... resulting in a low drone, which turns surprisingly upbeat, but also is a bit of a Raga (though I can't help but think that it's clearly anglicized). Fantastic stuff. This is another that finishes off with a short interview. It's clear they had a lot of fun recording these. Still in a longer-than-Pop form, next is the Blues Rockin' "Don't Make My Baby Blue". A bit reminiscent of Deep Purple or, in guitar beefiness, Black Sabbath (though bright). I'm not one to stick around for the Blues, but this has some special sauce, no doubt. The dual-solo in the middle is very nice. Wicked Hendrix-type something, no? And finally, the last thing on the original album is "The Last Thing On My Mind". With the 6th-chord at the start, immediately brought "Fool on the Hill" to mind. I love the sound. And this is still very much in a Psychedelic vein, but also balladic. I did get a tad bored, though, not even midway through the song. Another solid guitar solo is hereafter. I guess best I can say is I'd rather listen to Led Zeppelin II.

The ending (those last two tracks)? Sort of a blight on an otherwise fantastic album.

DangHeck | 4/5 |

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