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Jefferson Airplane - After Bathing At Baxter's CD (album) cover

AFTER BATHING AT BAXTER'S

Jefferson Airplane

 

Proto-Prog

3.80 | 125 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars I was originally surprised to see this much enthusiasm for After Bathing At Baxter's on the site since to me it's just another one of those nice but non-essential albums that Jefferson Airplane recorded towards the end of the '60s.

This album was released in the same year as Surrealistic Pillow and although there are quite a few similarities between the two recordings in terms of production and sound the direction has this time around shifted slightly towards psychedelic and experimental rock territory. I see this change as an improvement that ultimately also becomes this album's major liability. But before we get there let's talk about the good parts.

After Bathing At Baxter's begins on a strong note with The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil and the material after that maintains a much higher quality in comparison to their previous release. Unlike Surrealistic Pillow this album actually gets better towards the middle section that begins with a dark acoustic number called Martha and doesn't stop until the album's masterpiece performance of Rejoyce. The title of this track doesn't really do it justice since this is the darkest sounding performance that you'll probably hear from Jefferson Airplane!

Along the way there are quite a few experimental rock moments that other reviewers before me have correctly compared to the work of Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention. Some of this material like the short piece titled A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You Shortly is quite refreshing in comparison to the overall sound of the band. Still I think that the 9+ minute Spare Chaynge psychedelic jam goes overboard in terms of extravagance.

Ultimately After Bathing At Baxter's is a definite step in the right direction that still doesn't really reach its goal for me. I definitely recommend this album to everyone who enjoyed Surrealistic Pillow since this album might be considered a bit too extravagant as an introduction to Jefferson Airplane. Although there are nods at Frank Zappa's experimental style all over this album I'm not really sure that Zappa's fans will actually consider this a worth a while experience. Hence a good, but non-essential album.

***** star songs: The Last Wall Of The Castle (2:41) Rejoyce (4:01)

**** star songs: The Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (4:35) A Small Package Of Value Will Come To You Shortly (1:34) Young Girl Sunday Blues (3:33) Martha (3:26) Wild Tyme (3:09) Watch Her Ride (3:11) Two Heads (3:13) Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon (5:02)

*** star songs: Spare Chaynge (9:12)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |

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