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Caravan - Waterloo Lily CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.77 | 584 ratings

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5 stars It surprises me to see Waterloo Lily with less than a 4-star average. I guess I could call this one a 4.5 if I wanted to be more exact, but it deserves the round up.

To me, this album stands as testament to Caravan's ability to produce timeless prog-pop. Along with For Girls Who Grow Plump, this one contains enough hooks and drive that it's hard to imagine anyone being turned off by it. Complexity may not be their main focus here, but the only band I know of who uses complexity as a goal with any success is Gentle Giant.

Still, it's more than simple banal pop music. The structure of most songs is atypical of any pop conventions, and the riffs, particularly on the title track, simply rock, and I tend to love Caravan most when they're doing that (at the end of Dabsong Conshirtoe, for instance). The album's ten-minute epic, The Love in Your Eye, is one of my favorite Caravan songs in its entirety. When the first string comes in at about a minute, the song really feels like it's going to take you away somewhere (an effect helped by the first word of the next line being "take"). And the album also contains two of my very favorite Pye Hastings tunes, the bouncy Aristocracy and the luscious The World is Yours. "I love you, the world is yours if you love me too." Sap certainly isn't my thing, but if that particular one doesn't hit your soft spot than you probably haven't a soft spot to hit.

This leaves the second song, which contains some outstanding piano work courtesy of one-time member Steve Miller (not of Steve Miller Band fame, of course, but now that I think about it there might actually be a thing or two in common between that Steve Miller and Caravan if you really wanted to draw out the connections). It's not stellar, but it's not bad. The only song that doesn't really do it for me is the overly sugary "Songs and Signs".

So decide for yourself if it's actually a "masterpiece" - it may be pretty simple stuff, but it's all played with great intensity and energy. It doesn't hardly have anything to do with the band's usual medieval walking-through-a-forest vibe, but that's kind of an albatross for them anyway. "In the Land of Grey and Pink" was certainly more visionary and artsy, but this one is actually more enjoyable. And the cover absolutely rules.

KyleSchmidlin | 5/5 |


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