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Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis? CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.59 | 490 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Concept? What Concept?

Well, other than the absence of said attribute, and a couple of weak songs, this album is pretty similar in style and execution to its holy predeccesor, Crime of the Century. Hit single - check. Wurlitzer - check. Cheap pun on cover artwork - check!

The flow is surprisingly good here, despite the songs containing very different subject matter, and in my opinion Rick Davies' piano playing has improved a lot (or at least, this is the first album where he shows off a bit). In fact, he thinks he's Billy Joel during most of this album, while Hodgson goes for a more Donavon-esque approach, contributing some acoustic material that in later albums will grow increasingly spiritual. The pop is there too though, of course, and single 'Lady' is a respectably fun follow-up to 'Dreamer'. Meanwhile in Davies' camp, 'Ain't Nobody But Me' becomes, you guessed it, a respectably fun follow-up to 'Bloody Well Right'....... The most interesting aspect of this record though, is the "quality curve".

The real gems of the album are wedged right in the middle, while the weakest songs seem to be the opening and closing tracks. The above mentioned 'Lady' has a great pop feel to it that I simply cannot resist. And the song that ends the first side, 'Another Man's Woman' is very catchy and probably my favourite song on the album, thanks to its extended blues piano jamming! (see, Billy Joel...). However, 'Easy Does It', while conceptually nice, is a bit on the short side and the only worthwhile moment is its quirky sitar solo. Things remain a bit dull with the mediocre 'Sister Moonshine', so it isn't until track 3 that things pick up. At the other end, 'The Meaning' contains some good chords but has an annoyingly repetitive chorus and really cheesy vocoder. 'Two of Us' is just an awful mini-ballad, complete with "school-play" style clarinet solo; urgh, a dissapointing end to the album.

So, a mixed bag here, in a strange structure that I can only compare to Pink Floyd's 'Ummagumma'; pyramid-shaped quality! But the good stuff is really good, and the poor stuff can be ignored, thanks to this not being a concept album. Perhaps removing some of the pseudo-filler would have improved this album's luke warm reception, as it is quite long anyway.

thehallway | 3/5 |


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